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USA Wrestling

Henson wins gold Cunningham and Fullhart win silver medals at the Cerro Pelado International in Mat

By John Fuller | March 03, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
2000 Olympic silver medalist Sammie Henson (State College, Pa./Sunkist Kids) captured the gold medal at 55 kg/121 lbs. at the 36th Cerro Pelado International in Matanzas, Cuba, Feb. 26-28. Henson defeated Ivan Dzorev of Bulgaria in the gold medal finals by an 11-0 technical fall. In the semifinals, Henson downed 2002 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up Teague Moore (Norman, Okla./Gator WC) 4-2. Henson also defeated 2002 World Champion Rene Montero of Cuba in pool competition. Henson defeated Montero 4-2 to win his pool. Casey Cunningham (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sunkist Kids) and Lee Fullhart (Chattanooga, Tenn./Gator WC) were the only other two American wrestlers to win medals at the event. Both won silver medals. Cunningham lost to Daniel Gonzalez of Cuba 4-1 in the finals at 74 kg/163 lbs. In the semifinals, Cunningham defeated five-time World medalist Alexander Leipold of Germany, 5-4. Fullhart injury defaulted to five-time World and Olympic medalist Yoel Romero of Cuba in the 84 kg/185 lbs. finals. Fullhart's injury is not known at press time. Bill Zadick (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) won his pool at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. before losing a quarterfinal match to two-time World Champion (1998, 2001) Serafim Barzakov of Bulgaria 4-1. Zadick placed fifth in his weight class. At 120 kg/264.5 lbs., Brian Keck (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) placed fourth after winning his pool matches by 5-0 and 2-0 scores before losing to five-time World and Olympic medalist Alexis Rodriguez of Cuba 4-0. The three medals won by the United States helped them to place second in the tournament to Cuba, which won 12 medals overall.