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WORLD TEAM TRIALS PREVIEW: Greco-Roman at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

This weight class is the story of two generations. The gold-medal finalists in the 2010 U.S. Open are among the most experienced Greco-Roman wrestlers, with a combined age of 70 years between them. The wrestlers in the bronze-medal match are part of the new breed, with just 31 years combined on earth.

In a battle of U.S. Army teammates, 36-year-old Glenn Garrison edged 34-year-old Faruk Sahin in the U.S. Open finals in Cleveland. It was Garrison’s second career U.S. Open title. Sahin was last year’s U.S. Open champion and also won the World Team Trials. Both have considerable international experience. There is a reason that these warriors continue to compete. Sahin still seeks an Olympic team berth, after placing second in the 2008 Olympic Trials to young Jake Deitchler. Garrison has yet to make either a U.S. World or Olympic team.

The bronze medal match featured 23-year-old Ben Sanchez of the USOEC defeating 19-year-old Ellis Coleman of the New York AC. Sanchez was also the 2010 University Nationals champion, while Coleman earned the true second place finish at the University Nationals.

Sanchez has been refining his craft in the Northern Michigan program, but had never placed higher than eighth at the U.S. Open. Coleman, in his first year out of high school, is quickly climbing the rankings on the Senior level. Sanchez is respected for his work ethic and positive attitude. Coleman has tremendous skills, including some very creative technique that makes jaws drop. Even if these men don’t make the 2010 U.S. World Team, many expect them to be in the hunt for many more years to come.

The three other wrestlers to qualify through the U.S. Open were fifth-place Zachary Lamano of the Fronhofer WC, sixth-place Matt Holt who trains at the USOTC and seventh-place Tanner Andrews from the USOEC. All three had the best U.S. Open performances of their careers, and have been improving in recent seasons.

Qualifying for the World Team Trials through Regional competition was veteran Kerry Regner of the Sunkist Kids, who was the Northern Plains champion, and newcomer Daniel Sotonieves of the U.S. Marines, who won the Northeast Regionals. Also eligible to compete is 2004 Olympian Oscar Wood of the U.S. Army, who remains competitive at 34 years old.

In a battle between experience and youthful talent, veterans like Glenn Garrison and Faruk Sahin may be favored over rising stars like Ben Sanchez and Ellis Coleman. However, the World Team Trials is often an event where athletes make big breakthroughs, and one could be possible at this weight class this season.

2010 U.S. Open results at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman
1st - Glenn Garrison, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) dec. Faruk Sahin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 0-2,3-0,1-0
3rd - Ben Sanchez, Leominster, Mass. (USOEC) dec. Ellis Coleman, Oak Park, Ill. (New York AC), 2-0,1-0
5th - Zachary Lamano, Layton, Utah (Fronhofer Wrestling Club) dec. Matt Holt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Unattached), 2-0, 1-0
7th - Tanner Andrews, North Aurora, Ill. (USOEC) dec. Joel Ahern, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines), 1-2,2-0,1-0

World Team Trials qualifiers at 66 kg/145.5 pounds in Greco-Roman
U.S. Open Champion - Glenn Garrison, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
U.S. Open, second place – Faruk Sahin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army),
U.S. Open, third place - - Ben Sanchez, Leominster, Mass. (USOEC)
U.S. Open, fourth place – Ellis Coleman, Oak Park, Ill. (New York AC)
U.S. Open, fifth place – Zachary Lamano, Layton, Utah (Fronhofer Wrestling Club)
U.S. Open, sixth place - Matt Holt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Unattached)
U.S. Open, seventh place – Tanner Andrews, North Aurora, Ill. (USOEC)
Northeast Regional Trials Champion – Daniel Sotonieves, Jacksonville, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
Northern Plains Trials Champion – Kerry Regner, Darlington, Pa. (Sunkist Kids)
Past U.S. Olympic Team member – Oscar Wood, Fountain, Colo. (U.S. Army)
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