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WORLD TEAM TRIALS PREVIEW: Greco-Roman at 74 kg/163 lbs.

This has been the best season ever for 2010 U.S. Open champion Jake Fisher of the New York AC, who has paid his dues on the Greco-Roman scene for a number of years. He also won both the Sunkist Kids International and the Dave Schultz Memorial International this season. Fisher was a U.S. Open runner-up last year and was third in the 2009 World Team Trials, after many years of strong efforts on the age-group levels.

Lurking in the background is one of Fisher’s best friends, two-time World bronze medalist Harry Lester of the New York AC. Lester won his medals down at 66 kg, but made the 2009 U.S. World Team up at 74 kg. Lester and Fisher were training partners for years in the USOEC program at Northern Michigan. Lester is not expected to compete this year, but is considering coming back sometime in the future.

Placing second to Fisher at the U.S. Open was veteran Jess Hargrave of the U.S. Army, who was second behind Lester at the 2009 World Team Trials. Hargrave has been a consistent contender for the last four seasons, and is fully capable of winning this weight class with a strong effort in Council Bluffs.

Andrew Bisek of the Minnesota Storm, who was third at the U.S. Open, and Aaron Briggs of the New York AC, who placed fourth there, are also products of the USOEC program. Bisek was a 2008 U.S. Open runner-up and has considerable international experience on the Senior and age-group levels. Briggs had his best finish on the national level this season, and also added a University Nationals title to his record this spring.

James Johnson of the U.S. Army, the 2010 Armed Forces champion, qualified for Council Bluffs by placing fifth at the U.S. Open. Johnson’s best performance came in 2005, when he was second at the World Team Trials. Also qualifying for Council Bluffs by placing at the U.S. Open were Tim Bleau of the U.S. Army and Steven Forrest of the U.S. Marines.

This weight class has some depth among its young challengers. Winning Regional titles to qualify for Council Bluffs were Anton Gottfredson of the Sunkist Kids, the Northeast champion, and Kevin Lozano, the Northern Plains champion. Jonathan Drendel also qualified by earning the true second-place finish at the University Nationals. 2008 Olympian Jake Deitchler qualifies to compete based upon making a U.S. team, but has been battling injuries and may not be ready to compete yet for this season.

Based upon his strong season, Jake Fisher comes into the World Team Trials with confidence and momentum. However, talented Jess Hargrave and Andrew Bisek seek to knock him off, and others in the field are capable of strong efforts.

2010 U.S. Open results at 74 kg/163 Greco-Roman
1st - Jake Fisher, Boise, Idaho (New York AC) dec. Jess Hargrave, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 1-0, 1-0
3rd - Andrew Bisek, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Aaron Briggs, Tucson, Ariz. (New York AC), 3-0, 1-0
5th - James Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) dec. Timothy Bleau, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 1-0,2-0
7th - Steven Forrest, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps) dec. Jake Bohn, Kentwood, Mich. (USOEC), 5-0, 2-0

World Team Trials qualifiers at 74 kg/163 pounds in Greco-Roman
U.S. Open Champion – Jake Fisher, Boise, Idaho (New York AC)
U.S. Open, second place – Jess Hargrave, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army),
U.S. Open, third place – Andrew Bisek, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
U.S. Open, fourth place – Aaron Briggs, Tucson, Ariz. (New York AC)
U.S. Open, fifth place – James Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
U.S. Open, sixth place - Timothy Bleau, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army),
U.S. Open, seventh place - Steven Forrest, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
Northeast Regional Trials Champion – Anton Gottfredson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Northern Plains Trials Champion – Kevin Lozano, Jefferson La. (unattached)
Past U.S. World Team member – Harry Lester, Marquette, Mich. (New York AC)
Past U.S. Olympic Team member – Jacob Deitchler, Ramsey, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
University Nationals True Second – Jonathan Drendel, North Aurora, Ill. (USOEC)
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