NCAA CHAMPIONS THOMAS, CUNNINGHAM, MOLLICA AMONG FREESTYLE WINNERS AT EAST REGIONAL OLYMPIC TRIALS IN BROCKPORT, N.Y., APRIL 1
Three past NCAA Div. I wrestling champions were among the winners of the freestyle competition at the East Regional Olympic Trials, held in Brockport, N.Y., April 1.
Claiming gold medals were NCAA champions Sheldon Thomas (Clarion, Pa./Dave Schultz WC) at 119 pounds, Casey Cunningham (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sunkist Kids) at 152 pounds and Markus Mollica (Boston, Mass./Dave Schultz WC) at 187.25 pounds.
The winners at each weight class qualified for the Challenge Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials in Dallas, Texas, June 22-24.
Thomas was a NCAA champion for Clarion Univ. in 1996. Thomas scored a 10-0 technical fall over Mike Kusick (Baltimore, Md./unattached), in the gold-medal finals.
Cunningham claimed a NCAA title for Central Michigan Univ. in 1999. Cunningham edged former Oklahoma State NCAA champion Alan Fried (Beachwood, Ohio/Sunkist Kids), 10-9 for the title.
Mollica was a two-time NCAA champion for Arizona State, with titles in 1993 and 1995. Mollica stopped former Univ. of West Virginia NCAA champion Dean Morrison (Ithaca, N.Y./Team Excel), 3-0 in the championship match.
Two current members of Freestyle Team USA claimed individual titles: Sean Bormet (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dave Schultz WC) at 167.5 pounds and Johnny Curtis (Manassas, Va./Dave Schultz WC) at 213.75 pounds. Both hold No. 3 national team rankings in their weight class.
Bormet scored a 10-0 technical fall over Brad Dillon (Bethlehem, Pa./Lehigh WC) in the finals match. Curtis stopped former Ohio State NCAA champion Mitch Clark (Columbus, Ohio/Ohio International), 8-2.
Other individual champions were Danny Felix (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds, Don Reyes (Annapolis, Md./Dave Schultz WC) at 138.75 pounds and Airron Richardson (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Team Excel) at 286 pounds.
The Greco-Roman competition at the East Regional Olympic Trials will be held in Brockport, N.Y. on Sunday, April 2.
USA Wrestling is hosting Regional Olympic Trials in five regions: West, East, South, Central and North. The West Regional was completed last week in Corvallis, Ore.
The South Regional Olympic Trials will be held in Kenner, La., April 7-9. The competition will be held at Pontchartrain Center. For information, contact Jim Ravannack at 504-885-0051.
The Central Regional Olympic Trials are scheduled for Tulsa, Okla., April 27-29. The competition will be held at Union Intermediate School. For information, contact Archie Randall at 405-354-5417.
The "last chance" qualifying event is the North Regional Olympic Trials, set for Waterloo, Iowa, May 5-7. The competition will be held in Young Arena. For information contact Steve Wachal at 319-822-7748.
EAST REGIONAL FREESTYLE OLYMPIC TRIALS at Brockport, N.Y., April 1
54 kg/119 lbs. - 1st - Sheldon Thomas, Clarion, Pa. (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech. fall over Mike Kusick, Baltimore, Md. (unattached), 10-0, 1:57; 3rd - Lindsay Durlacher, DeKalb, Ill. (New York AC) dec. Martin Kusick, Baltimore, Md. (Coppin State), 8-4
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - 1st - Danny Felix, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) won by ref. dec. over Teague Moore, Stillwater, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, ot, 9:00; 3rd - Tyrone Fambro (unattached) dec. Mark Rusz, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 9-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - 1st - Don Reyes, Annapolis, Md. (Dave Schultz WC) pin Derek Phillips, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 1:29; 3rd - Scott Moore, State College, Pa. (Penn State WC) pin Lenny Baker, Brockport, N.Y. (Brockport), 1:35
69 kg/152 lbs. - 1st - Casey Cunningham, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Alan Fried, Beachwood, Ohio (Sunkist Kids), 10-9; 3rd - Tom Shifflet, Ithaca, N.Y. (Team Excel) dec. Kenny Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Wildcat), 6-5
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - 1st - Sean Bormet, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech. fall over Brad Dillon, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh WC), 10-0, 3:00; 3rd - Glenn Pritzlaff, State College, Pa. (Dave Schultz WC)
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - 1st - Markus Mollica, Boston, Mass. (Dave Schultz WC) dec. Dean Morrison, Ithaca, N.Y. (Team Excel), 3-0; 3rd - Damion Hahn, Lakewood, N.J. (New York AC) dec. Barry Weldon, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 5-3, ot, 7:00
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - 1st - Johnny Curtis, Manassas, Va. (Dave Schultz WC) dec. Mitch Clark, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio International), 8-2; 3rd - Tommy Rowlands, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio International) dec. Eric Mausser, Clarion, Pa. (Clarion Univ.), 6-2
130 kg/286 lbs. - 1st - Airron Richardson, Shaker Heights, Ohio (Team Excel) dec. Brian Keck, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 3-0; 3rd - Steve Mocco, Blairstown, N.J. (New York AC) won by tech. fall over Jack Leffler, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 10-0, 2:01