2004 Olympian Brad Vering (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) placed fifth at 84 kg/185 lbs. at the respected Pytlasinski Tournament in Raciborz, Poland, August 19-22.
The 2005 U.S. Greco-Roman World Wrestling Team is using this as a tuneup competition for the team, which will represent the United States at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 26-Oct. 2.
Vering won his first two matches in the tournament, beating Kupatadze of Georgia by disqualificationin the third period, and stopping Mantyla of Finland, 1-1, 2-1. Kupatadze was disqualified for an illegal head butt.
In the quarterfinals, Vering lost a 1-0, 1-2, 1-2 decision to 2001 World silver medalist Alexander Dazagav of Ukraine. Dazagav was sixth at the 2004 Olympic Games. When Dazagav made the gold-medal finals, Vering qualified to compete in the wrestleback rounds.
Vering defeated Garcia of Spain, 3-1, 7-0 to advance to the bronze-medal match. Vering was defeated in the bronze-medal bout by 2005 Junior World silver medalist Rezai Ghassem of Iran, 1-1, 1-1, 0-3, and finished fifth.
T.C. Dantzler (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) went 1-1 in his competition at 163 pounds and did not earn a place in his division.
Dantzler opened with a second period pin of Blaha of Czech Republic. In the second round, Dantzler lost 0-4, 0-3 to 2003 World silver medalist Konstantin Schneider of Germany. When Schneider did not make it to the gold-medal match, Dantzler was eliminated under the new FILA bracketing system, not eligible for the wrestleback rounds.
Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Justin Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. have weighed in and will compete on Sunday.
Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio/USOEC/Gator WC) will not compete at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. after aggravating an injury.
U.S. wrestlers, representing the U.S. Marines Corps team, are also competing in the tournament. Three U.S. Marines entered the competition on Saturday and did not earn a place: Joseph Zinkin at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Jeremy Peterson at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Ryan Cunningham at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Coaching the U.S. squad at the Pytlasinski Tournament is USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2005 U.S. World Team Coaches Jay Antonelli (Dumfries, Va.), Rich Estrella (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Dale Oliver (Stanley, N.Y.), plus coaches Dan Hicks (Quantico, Va.) and Shon Lewis (Colorado Springs Colo.)
This event has traditionally been a strong indication of how athletes may perform at the World Championships or Olympic Games. Last year, two U.S. wrestlers won medals at the Pytlasinki Tournament, champion Rulon Gardner at 120 kg/264.5 lbs and runner-up Garrett Lowney at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
The U.S. athletes participated in a training camp with the Polish National Team for more than a week prior to the start of the competition in Raciborz.
The official webpage of the Pytlasinski Tournament is: http://www.zapacy.org.pl/pytlasinski/