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Grey, Dieringer, Snyder reach Junior World freestyle semifinals in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Three U.S. wrestlers have advanced to the semifinals in men’s freestyle at the Junior World Championships, as Team USA went an impressive 8-1 during the Saturday morning session.

Advancing to the semifinals are Mark Grey (Rockaway, N.J./Titan Mercury WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs. , Alex Dieringer (Port Washington, Wis./Cowboy WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./OTC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

Grey started on fire, scoring a quick takedown and multiple turns for a 7-0 technical fall over Aaron Maher of Australia in just 22 seconds. His next match was also dominant, a first period pin over Adrian Kranitz of Hungary in which he opened up his offense again.

Grey had a tougher time in the quarterfinals, falling behind 3-1 in the first period to Germany’s Alexander Semisorow. He came out and took control in the second period, scoring a big three point throw to take a 4-3 lead, then adding another two-point takedown to close out the 6-3 win.

Grey will face Nomin Batbold of Mongolia in the semifinals, which begins at 4:00 p.m. Sofia time. Batbold was a 2013 Asian Senior Championships bronze medalist and a 2010 Asian Junior runner-up.

In 2011, while still in high school, Grey placed fifth at the Junior World Championships at 55 kg/121 lbs. Grey trained this year in Ithaca, N.Y., and will attend Cornell University this year.

In the first round Dieringer had a tough first draw, 2103 Junior European bronze medalist Lasha Gigashvili of Georgia, and was very sharp. With a series of takedowns, Dieringer scored a 7-0 technical fall in just 2:25 to put him away. He was in control of all situations with an aggressive attack.

Dieringer followed with what may be the match of the tournament, a 12-11 see-saw battle with crafty Azerbaijan star Bakhtiyar Israfilli of Azerbaijan, who was second in the 2013 European Junior Championships.

Israfilli scored six points on one exchange to open the match, turning Dieringer three times on defense from the same attack. Dieringer battled back and took the lead on Israfilli by the break, although the U.S. coaches felt that some of his points were not awarded towards the end of the first period. The second period did not have as fast of a pace, but had some tremendous exchanges. Dieringer kept his lead, and was able to hold onto the one point edge as the desperate Israfilli could not get to his legs as time ran out.

Dieringer was in command in his quarterfinals, tossing Tekhron Khodjiev of Uzbekistan twice and securing the pin in 1:27.

Dieringer will face Gheorghe Bodisteanu of Romania in the semifinals, whose best finish was seventh at the 2012 Cadet European Championships.

Dieringer is competing in the Junior World Championships for the second straight year. Dieringer was third at the 2013 NCAA Championships for Oklahoma State as a freshman.

Snyder was in the top bracket, meaning he had only two matches in the first session. He opened in the round of 16 with a strong 9-2 technical fall over Radu Balaur of Moldova in 2:20. Snyder gave up the opening score, then ran off nine straight points for the victory with a variety of attacks.

He had an amazing match in the quarterfinals against Yusup Malachmagomedov of Russia, earning a 3-1 victory with some tremendous poise and skill. Giving up the first point to the Russian, Snyder scored a takedown late in the second period for a 2-1 lead. In the second period, the Russian took a series of attacks at Snyder, but was unable to get through his solid defense. A one-point counter takedown in the third gave Snyder the 3-1 lead, and his conditioning was clearly a factor in shutting down the rugged Russian towards the end.

Snyder will face Robin Michael Ferdinand of Germany in the semifinals. Ferdinand was fifth in the 2012 Junior World Championships and ninth in the 2011 Junior World Championships.

Snyder was recently named the 2013 ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year after his junior year for Good Council High School in Maryland. Snyder will be training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center during his senior year in high school concentrating on freestyle wrestling. Snyder has made a verbal commitment to attend Ohio State in 2015.

By reaching the semifinals, the three Americans have clinched a finish in the top five. All will be featured in medal matches. If they win their semifinal, they go for gold. If they lose their semifinal, they go for bronze.

Competing at 50 kg/110 lbs. was high school wrestler Ethan Lizak (Schnecksville, Pa./LVAC) who lost to Ruslan Gasimov of Azerbaijan by technical fall, 11-4 in 4:35 during the first round. Lizak was eliminated from the repechage, when Gasimov lost his next match and failed to reach the finals.

At Sofia, Bulgaria, August 17, 2013

U.S. men’s freestyle performances so far

50 kg/110 lbs. – Ethan Lizak, Schnecksville, Pa. (LVAC)
LOSS Ruslan Gasimov (Azerbaijan), tech fall, 11-4 (4:35)

60 kg/132 lbs. – Mark Grey, Rockaway, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Aaron Thomas Maher (Australia) tech. fall 7-0 (0:22)
WIN Adrian Kranitz (Hungary), pin (1st period)
WIN Alexander Semisorow (Germany), 6-3
Semifinal vs. Nomin Batbold (Mongolia)

74 kg/163 lbs. – Alex Dieringer, Port Washington, Wis. (Cowboy WC/Oklahoma State University)
WIN Lasha Gigashvili (Georgia), tech. fall, 7-0 (2:25)
WIN Bakhtiyar Israfilli (Azerbaijan), 12-11
WIN Tekhron Khodjiev (Uzbekistan), pin 1:27
Semifinal vs. Gheorghe Bodisteanu (Romania)

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (OTC)
WIN Radu Balaur (Moldova) tech. fall 9-2 (2:20)
WIN Yusup Malachmagomedov (Russia), 3-1
Semifinal vs. Robin Ferdinand (Germany)
Untitled Document
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