Iran defeats U S 17 14 in a World Dual meet in Tulsa Okla

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 08, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)
Iran defeats the U.S., 17-14, in a World Dual meet in Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 8

Iran defeated the United States, 17-14, in front of over 5,000 fans at a World Dual Meet held at the new Donald Reynolds Center on the campus of the Univ. of Tulsa, Feb. 8.

Both nations are among the best in the world in freestyle wrestling. The United States was second in the 1999 World Championships, and claimed World team titles in 1993 and 1995. Iran was the 1998 World team champion, and placed fourth in the 1999 World Championships.

1998 World Champion Sammie Henson (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) lost a close decision to 2000 World Cup champion Bayman Tayebi at 119 pounds, 5-3. Tayebi was a 1998 Goodwill Games and 1998 World Cup champion.

Henson won two NCAA titles at Clemson, but lives and trains in Norman, where he assists with the Univ. of Oklahoma program.

Eric Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids), a three-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma State, lost by a decision at 127.75 pounds to Ali Reza Dabir, 4-2. Dabir is a 1998 World Champion and won a silver medal at the 1999 World Championships.

Guerrero placed seventh in the 1999 World Championships, and second at the 1999 Pan American Games.

T.J. Jaworsky (Chapel Hills, N.C./Sunkist Kids), who won four Oklahoma State titles for Memorial High School in Edmond, Okla., got the first win for that U.S. at 138.75 pounds. Jaworsky decisioned Akbar Behtari of Iran, 7-1. He started his college career at Oklahoma State, but transferred to the Univ. of North Carolina, where he won three NCAA titles.

"This is the best dual meet I have wrestled in," said Jaworsky after his win. "USA Wrestling and the local organizing committee should be commended. It's great to wrestle in a great event like this, especially in my old home territory."

Alan Fried (Cleveland, Ohio/Sunkist Kids), a 1994 NCAA Champion for Oklahoma State, lost 4-0 to Mehdi Baraati at 152 pounds. Fried is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation at his weight class.

At 167.5 pounds, Tyrone Lewis (Stillwater, Okla./Cowboy WC) lost to Ramazanali Oliaeinejad, 7-4. Lewis is a true freshman at Oklahoma State Univ. He was a two-time state champion and a two-time state runner-up at El Reno High School in Oklahoma.

Dan St. John (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) brought the U.S. back into the match at 187.25 pounds with a decision over Mehdi Sarijlu, 5-3. St. John was second in the 1999 Dave Schultz Memorial International and is a three-time Sunkist Kids International Open champion (1991, 1995 and 1998).

Melvin Douglas (Mesa, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) wrestled at 213.75 pounds and lost a 5-1 decision to 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Heidari. Douglas won two NCAA titles for the Univ. of Oklahoma. He was a 1993 World Champion, and has won four career World medals. Douglas was seventh in the 1996 Olympic Games.

Tom Erikson (W. Lafayette, Ind./Sunkist Kids) closed the match with a pin for the U.S. over Ali Reza Rezaei in 4:32. Erikson was a two-time All-American for Oklahoma State Univ. Erikson was fourth in the 1997 World Championships, and placed second in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials three times.

Rezaei was a 1999 Asian Championships champion and was fifth in the 1998 Goodwill Games.

The event was promoted by local hero Kenny Monday of Tulsa, a 1988 Olympic gold medalist and 1989 World Champion. Monday qualified for three U.S. Olympic teams, winning a gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a silver in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and sixth place at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The U.S. team was coached by Joe Seay of Perry, Okla.


Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 8

Iran 17, U.S. 14

54 kg/119 lbs. - Bayman Tayebi, Iran, dec. Sammie Henson, Norman, Okla., 5-3

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Dabir, Iran, dec. Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla., 4-2

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - T.J. Jaworsky, Chapel Hill, N.C., dec. Akhbar Behtari, Iran, 7-1

69 kg/152 lbs. - Mehdi Baraati, Iran, dec. Alan Fried, Cleveland, Ohio, 4-0

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Ramezanali Oliaeinejad, Iran, dec. Tyrone Lewis, Stillwater, Okla., 7-4

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Dan St. John, Colorado Springs, Colo., dec. Mehdi Sarijlu, Iran, 5-3

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Heidari, Iran, dec. Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz., 5-1

130 kg/286 lbs. - Tom Erikson, W. Lafayette, Ind., pinned Ali Reza Rezaei, Iran, 4:32