Top News Stories...
This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....
Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....
The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....
Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....
|Dremiel Byers named 2009 USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year |
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was named 2009 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the third time that Byers has won this prestigious award, to go along with his selection in 1999 and 2002.
Byers won a silver medal at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. at the 2009 World Championships in Herning, Denmark. It was the top U.S. Greco-Roman performance, and the only medal won by the USA in Greco-Roman at the World meet.
The medal gave Byers three career Greco-Roman World medals, to go along with a gold medal in 2002 and a bronze medal in 2007. He joins past U.S. heavyweight Matt Ghaffari with the most World medals in U.S. Greco-Roman history with three. He also becomes the first American to win a World medal of every kind in Greco-Roman, a gold, silver and bronze.
Byers won four matches in a row to qualify for the World finals. He opened with a win over Lukasz Banak of Poland, then stopped four-time World silver medalist Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary. In the quarterfinals, Byers stopped Jalmar Sjoeberg of Sweden. Byers avenged a loss to Sjoeberg at the 2008 Olympic Games.
His semifinal win was over Nico Schmidt of Germany. In the gold medal finals, Byers fell to three-time World champion and 2008 Olympic champion Mijian Lopez of Cuba.
Byers earned a spot on the U.S. team with a victory at the 2009 World Team Trials, defeating Brandon Rupp in the final series in Council Bluffs, Iowa in June. He also claimed his eighth career U.S. Open title, beating Rupp in the finals in Las Veags, Nev. In April. Byers claimed a gold medal at the 2009 Armed Forces Championships as well.
He had a great international season, winning titles at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, the Grand Prix of Slovenia, the New York AC International and the Vaanta Cup in Finland.
Byers also claimed silver medals at two prestigious events, the Heydar Aliyev FILA Golden Grand Prix final in Azerbaijan and the Granma Cup in Cuba.
Byers was a 2008 U.S. Olympian. He is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, and a member of the Army World Class Athete program. He is originally from Kings Mountain, N.C., where he was a state wrestling champion, and attended North Carolina A&T before he joined the Army.
PAST GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
2009 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2008 - Adam Wheeler, Colorado Springs, Colo., Gator WC
2007 - Brad Vering, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2006 - Joe Warren, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2005 - Justin Ruiz, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2004 - Rulon Gardner, Wellsville, Utah, Sunkist Kids
2003 - Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2002 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
2001 - Rulon Gardner, Cascade, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2000 - Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo., Sunkist Kids
1999 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army
1998 - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
1997 - Rulon Gardner, Gilbert, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1996 - Dennis Hall, Stevens, Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1994 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids
1993 - James Johnson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids