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Frayer, Lucas, Howe among big winners in semifinals of U.S. Open



Jared Frayer looks to finish a leg attack against Doug Schwab. Larry Slater photo.

CLEVELAND " Jared Frayer loves his training situation.

Frayer works out daily with past World bronze medalist Donny Pritzlaff and reigning NCAA champion Andrew Howe.

Those scraps in the University of Wisconsin wrestling room are paying off as Frayer downed Olympian Doug Schwab 5-1, 5-2 in the U.S. Open freestyle semifinals on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

Frayer, who twice has placed second in the U.S. World Team Trials, advances to the finals to face Josh Churella at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

“I just needed to get to my attacks and force the pressure against Schwab,” said Frayer, who also serves as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. “I wanted to put him on the defense. We are two experienced guys who obviously know each other well. Wrestling Pritzlaff and Howe every day, that's made a big difference for me.”

Semifinals were contested in all three styles on Saturday afternoon at Cleveland State University. The finals in all 21 weight classes are set for Saturday night at 7.

Frayer served as a U.S. training partner for the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships. Frayer is seeking his first U.S. Open title.

“I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been,” he said. “I feel great. Churella is a tough wrestler, who I’ve wrestled with and trained with a lot. I need to get to my attacks and make him counter what I do. I need to stay in position and attack.”

The 20-year-old Howe, who still has two years of college left, upset No. 1 seed Travis Paulson to make the finals at 74 kg/163 lbs. Howe will try to make it a sweep over the Paulson twins. He meets Trent Paulson in the finals.

There were two other upsets of No. 1 seeds in the semifinals.

Othella Lucas of the U.S. Army knocked off top seed Deanna Rix in the semis at 59 kg/130 lbs. Rix has placed fifth in the World the past two seasons. Lucas recently joined the Army after two years off the mat.

“I just had to stay focused and stay positive,” said Lucas, who will face 2009 U.S. Nationals champion Kelsey Campbell in the finals. “I’m excited to beat Rix " it’s a great accomplishment for me. This is the fourth time we’ve wrestled and I had never beaten her. This win really boosts my confidence. Now I need to get it done in the finals.”

In Greco-Roman, Chad Vandiver outlasted No. 1 seed Jeremiah Davis in the semis at 60 kg/132 lbs. Davis was a member of the 2009 U.S. World Team.

World silver medalist Mike Zadick will meet 2009 World Team member Shawn Bunch in the freestyle finals at 60 kg/132 lbs. Zadick beat Bunch in the 2009 U.S. Nationals finals before Bunch avenged the loss in the finals of the World Team Trials.

Another intriguing battle will come at heavyweight in freestyle where World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev will face Les Sigman. Dlagnev won two NCAA Division II titles for Nebraska-Kearney and Sigman was a four-time DII champ for Nebraska-Omaha.

Sigman was 9-0 in college against Dlagnev, but Dlagnev has gained the upper hand in freestyle. Dlagnev beat Sigman in November’s finals of the New York AC International Open. Sigman won the Hargobind and Dave Schultz events this season.

One of the best finals matchups will come in women’s freestyle where Olympic and World champion Sara McMann will battle World University champion and past World Team member Elena Pirozhkova at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

McMann is shooting for her seventh U.S. Nationals title, and first since 2007. McMann took last year off from competing after placing second at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

World bronze medalist Tatiana Padilla will face past World Team member Helen Maroulis in the women’s finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Maroulis won the U.S. Nationals in 2009. Padilla is 19 and Maroulis is 18.

Penn State’s Quentin Wright delivered one of the day’s big early upsets in freestyle when he downed No. 3 seed and two-time NCAA champion Chris Pendleton in the quarters at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Wright advanced to the semifinals before falling to 2009 World Team Trials runner-up Bryce Hasseman.

The Big Ten Network will broadcast a two-hour show from the championship finals, with featured match coverage in all three Olympic styles: freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman.

There are at least three scheduled showings of this broadcast on the Big Ten Network, including next-day coverage on the debut broadcast.

The first airing will be on Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

FREESTYLE FINALS

55 kg/121 lbs.
Obe Blanc (Gator WC) vs. Angel Escobedo (New York AC)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Shawn Bunch (Gator WC) vs. Mike Zadick (Gator WC)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Jared Frayer (Gator WC) vs. Josh Churella (New York AC)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Andrew Howe (New York AC) vs. Trent Paulson (Sunkist Kids)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Jake Herbert (New York AC) vs. Bryce Hasseman (New York AC)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Jake Varner (Nittany Lion WC) vs. J.D. Bergman (New York AC)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Tervel Dlagnev (Sunkist Kids) vs. Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC)

GRECO-ROMAN FINALS

55 kg/121 lbs.
Spenser Mango (New York AC) vs. Jermaine Hodge (U.S. Army)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Chad Vandiver (Sunkist Kids) vs. Nathan Piasecki (U.S. Army)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Faruk Sahin (U.S. Army) dec. Glenn Garrison (U.S. Army)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Jake Fisher (New York AC) vs. Jess Hargrave (U.S. Army)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Chas Betts (Minnesota Storm) vs. Cheney Haight (New York AC)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Justin Ruiz (New York AC) vs. John Lorenz (U.S. Army)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Joe Rizqallah (Maverick WC) vs. Brandon Rupp (New York AC)

WOMEN’S FREESTYLE FINALS

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) vs. Mary Kelly (New York AC)

51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Jessica Medina (Sunkist Kids) vs. Amy Whitbeck (New York AC)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Tatiana Padilla (Sunkist Kids) vs. Helen Maroulis (New York AC)

59 kg/130 lbs.
Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) vs. Othella Lucas (U.S. Army)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC) vs. Sara McMann (Sunkist Kids)

67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Christen Paysee (Cumberlands) vs. Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Iris Smith (U.S. Army) vs. Stephany Lee (Sunkist Kids)
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