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Champion quotes from the U.S. Nationals



QUOTES

FREESTYLE -

54 kg - Sammie Henson - "This win helps in some ways for the Olympic Trials, because I get to rest, but then, I don't get the competition. He gets the advantage. Any competitor has to look at it as getting the advantage. He gets to wrestle. I get to sit. I was nervous. You work hard but the nerves get to you. This is my life. This is my job. It's like going to pick up your paycheck."

57 kg - Kerry Boumans - "I had fun out there. I had to change my entire training routine. I knew that I was good enough to win this tournament. The hard work has paid off. It feels good and is a great accomplishment, but it is only a stepping stone."

63 kg - Cary Kolat - I'm gonna watch and see who wins the mini-tournament and think about what they are doing. I felt the competition was really good. Since I came in as the top seed, I had the easy side of the bracket. I think Shawn Charles and TJ Jaworsky wrestled very well."

76 kg - Brandon Slay - "My main plan was to stay patient and not force anything. Joe is one of the best guys in the world with a counter attack. I just had to stay patient with him. This is my 18th year of wrestling and these are the most important months of my life. It will be extra special at the trials, since I am a native Texan. I could be the first native Texan to make the Olympic team and doing it in Dallas will be special. This is the fifth time I've wrestled him and the first time I've beaten him. I watched a lot of video and had the experience to figure out how to beat. He comes back real hard. He takes a lot of shots. He's so quick, he usually gets them."

85 kg - Les Gutches - "I had a hard time getting motivated this year. It's my sixth time in the finals, my fifth title. It's not that the competition is any less. I mean, it was tough and just because I make the team in 1996 doesn't mean I'll make it in 2000. I guess I've been looking ahead to the Olympic Finals instead of the National finals. This was a wakeup call. The next step is to take a break. Having the No. seed is huge. This time against Burton I think I wrestled my best, but a 3-0 match says something for Burton, he's tough."

97 kg - Melvin Douglas - "I was mentally tired last year. It was tough to wrestle because all my friends in wrestling had mostly retired. This year, I got in really good shape. The other guys used to try to tire me out. When I was in training, I wanted the other guys to see me training hard this year."

130 kg - Kerry McCoy - "My next step is to take two weeks off. Then I'll go to Colorado Springs to train for the Trials. I kept moving against Neal, so I couldn't get taken down. We have a great relationship. He is a great guy. The key for me is that I have been eating well and training very well."

GRECO-ROMAN

54 kg -Brandon Paulson - "I've never won a national championship. It was my goal to win last year, and the next two years. This win controls my Olympic berth. It's now up to me. I didn't want it on anyone else's hands. I didn't wrestle my best, but I wrestled hard. I showed my shape was there. The most important thing to know is you are going to win every time you take the mat. If nothing else, I knew confidence was going to help me. You gotta know you are going to win."

58 kg - Dennis Hall- "My conditioning wasn't as good as I would have liked it to have been. I tore some cartiledge back in March. I had Terry Brands in my corner. He has helped me keep my focus.

63 kg - Kevin Bracken - "Coach Anatoly Petrosyan has helped me out with technique and strategy. All the international competition this year has helped me. With Lewis, I had to be more patient. I had to make him wrestle me in my kind of match."

69 kg - Heath Sims -"I feel great. I have controlled my weight very well. With my break from competition last year, I have stayed fresh mentally.

76 kg - Matt Lindland- "I didn't dominate. I feel I can dominate in the whole world, so I should be able to dominate in my own back yard. We know each other so well, Sieracki and I, and it makes it tough. He's a good competitor. As far as the Trials, the difference between now and 1996, I am taking each event one at a time. I focused on the nationals, now I'll focus on the Pan Ams. My next step is to qualify this weight at the Pan Ams."

85 kg - Quincey Clark - "This win sets me up to be able to recover better before I wrestle again. Dan will be there, I know he will. I will end up wrestling him again. I wrestled Dan in the semis last year and it was the hardest match I ever had. I'm not going to go out so slow next time. He is a very clever technician. That is what I have to look out for. He's not afraid to use his moves. Most guys come out and feel you out at first. Next time, I'll attack right away."

WOMEN

46 kg - Tricia Saunders - "Every national championship is fun to win. This win was as much fun as my first national championship, my fifth, my seventh and so on. It's a great tournament and I had a lot of fun. Clarrisa Chun is real talented. I'd never wrestled her before or even watched her wrestle. She was coached real well. I wasn't worried going out. She looks smaller but she's a lot stronger than I though. She's very solid."

51 kg - Stephanie Murata- "I think it is my turn at the Worlds. I am very confident. Being a coach has really helped me in my wrestling. (note: Murata is the new women's coach at Cumberland College)."

69 kg - Sandy Bacher - "This was something that was really tough for me. She is very talented. I was really anxious about this match. I had to keep my composure in order to win."

76 kg - Iris Smith- "I want to go to the World Championships. I want to win the World Team Trials. As soon as this becomes an Olympic sport, I will be happy."

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