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Cooper wins gold medal at 2001 Pan American Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships, in Santa Domingo,



Marcel Cooper (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) claimed a gold medal, leading the United States to a second place team finish at the Pan American Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, which completed May 18. Held three of every four years during the non-Pan American Games years, the Pan American Championships features the best wrestlers in North, Central and South America. Cooper, a 2001 U.S. Nationals champion, scored a 3-0 victory over Fernando Izquierdo of Colombia in the gold-medal finals at 152 pounds. Cooper lost a match to Izquierdo, 3-1, in his pool competition. He won two matches in a repechage to earn a spot in the semifinals, where he defeated Cuban veteran Cecilio Rodriguez, 8-4. After beating Izquierdo in the finals, Cooper's record for the tournament was 6-1. Five U.S. wrestlers claimed silver medals, all losing to opponents from Cuba in the finals. Olympian Jim Gruenwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) was defeated in the finals at 127.75 pounds, dropping an 8-4 decision to veteran Roberto Monzon of Cuba. Gruenwald finished sixth in the Sydney Olympics. 2001 U.S. Nationals champion Keith Sieracki (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was defeated in the gold-medal finals at 167.5 pounds by two-time Olympic champion Filiberto Ascuy of Cuba, 7-5. 2000 Olympian Quincey Clark (New Brighton, Minn./Minnesota Storm) dropped a 4-1 decision in the gold-medal finals at 187.25 pounds to 1999 World Champion Luis Mendez of Cuba. 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Garrett Lowney (Freedom, Wis./Minnesota Storm) was defeated in the gold-medal finals at 213.75 pounds by Ernesto Pena of Cuba, 6-1. Paul Devlin (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was handed a 10-0 technical fall loss in the 286-pound finals by Mijial Copez of Cuba. 2001 U.S. Nationals champions Jeff Cervone (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) placed third at 119 pounds. He had a 3-1 record in the meet, and scored a 10-0 technical fall over Julio Mardonado of Guatemala in the bronze-medal match. 2000 Olympian Kevin Bracken (Colorado Springs, Colo./NYAC) finished fifth at 138.75 pounds, finishing with a 1-2 record. He opened with a 6-4 loss to Olympic silver medalist Juan Maren of Cuba. Bracken placed sixth in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Cuba claimed the team title with 77 points, followed by the United States in second place with 69 points and Venezuela in third place with 63 points. A total of 13 nations competed in the tournament.
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