Zadick brothers achieve rare feat by landing spots on 2006 World Team
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - It was only fitting that former Iowa Hawkeyes Bill and Mike Zadick became the first set of brothers to make a U.S. World Team in 11 years.
The last duo to accomplish the feat - former Hawkeyes Tom and Terry Brands - coached the Zadicks at the University of Iowa and still coach them at the freestyle level. Tom Brands works with Mike Zadick in Iowa City and Terry Brands coaches Bill Zadick in Colorado Springs.
A day after Mike Zadick won the 132-pound freestyle championship, older brother Bill followed suit by sweeping Jared Frayer of the Gator Wrestling Club in two straight matches in the 145.5-pound finals Sunday afternoon before 2,500 fans at the Tyson Events Center.
The two brothers will journey to the Far East together in four months when they compete at the World Championships on Sept. 26-Oct. 2 in Guangzhou, China.
"I don't think it's a coincidence - it's purposeful training," Bill Zadick said of making the team along with his brother. "We talked about doing this all the time. Mike started wrestling when he was five and I was six when I started. We were very serious, very early. It has always been a dream."
The story of the Zadicks capped a wild day that started with a number of upsets which saw past World and Olympic Team members Joe Williams and Brad Vering upset in the Challenge Tournament with past World Team members Mo Lawal and Chris Bono also falling.
Bill Zadick, who competes for the Gator Wrestling Club, was one of seven champions crowned as the two-day event concluded Sunday at the Tyson Events Center.
The remainder of the freestyle winners on Sunday included Donny Pritzlaff (163) and Andy Hrovat (185) of the New York Athletic Club, and Tolly Thompson of the Sunkist Kids (264.5).
Greco-Roman champions crowned on Sunday included Lindsey Durlacher (121) and Joe Warren (132) of the New York Athletic Club (121), and Jacob Clark of the U.S. Marines (185).
Zadick took charge early in the finals en route to making his second World Team and first since 2001, when he placed seventh at the World Championships. He moved up a notch when it counted most after placing second at the U.S. Nationals last month in Las Vegas.
Zadick peppered Frayer with an array of leg attacks in rolling to the victory in the championship series. Zadick has thrived while training under Terry Brands at the Olympic Training Center. Terry Brands has been USA Wrestling's Freestyle Resident Coach for just over a year.
"Ever since Terry got there, the program spiraled upward," Bill Zadick said. "More and more elite people come out to train there. He's an elite student of the sport. We are training for a purpose."
Thompson, a 2005 World bronze medalist, registered one of the most dramatic moments of the tournament when he pinned Steve Mocco of the New York Athletic Club in the second match of their best-of-3 series to clinch a spot on his second World Team.
Thompson beat Mocco by winning a pair of coin flips and gaining takedowns on leg clinches in the first match. The second match was scoreless until Thompson shot in late in the first period. Mocco tried to counter and turn Thompson to his back. But Mocco then got caught on his own back and Thompson alertly capitalized to record the fall with one second left in the period.
The normally low-key, laid-back Thompson jumped up, did a little dance and pumped his left fist in the air three times after recording the pin.
"(Mocco's) a tough competitor," Thompson said. "Every time we are wrestling, it is a battle royale. I got him onto his back and took advantage of it."
Thompson didn't have to wrestle until the final series Sunday since he was a returning World medalist and won the U.S. Nationals. The rest of the field at heavyweight battled through a Challenge Tournament earlier in the day.
"Of course, this is an advantage," Thompson said of having the bye to the finals. "I felt real strong, real good out there."
Thompson, who turns 33 next month, didn't make his first World Team until last year but cashed in by winning a bronze medal last year at the Worlds in Budapest, Hungary.
"I had a bronze last year, but you always want to do better," Thompson said. "You get that bronze and build on that. I want to win the gold."
The best post-match finals celebration belonged to Durlacher after he swept Sam Hazewinkel in the finals. The 31-year-old Durlacher executed a perfect backflip on the elevated mat after making his second straight World Team. Durlacher lettered in gymnastics in high school.
"This is a tough tournament," Durlacher said. "You don't sit out as a national champion. They want to make sure everybody is wrestling. I believe I'm the hardest-working guy on the team. I'm older so I have to put more energy into it to win a tournament like this. This is upset city here this year. I am doing the extra things to represent our country in China. They want to make sure they have the right person on the team."
The titles continued for the New York Athletic Club when Andy Hrovat concluded a memorable and remarkable performance when he beat training partner and good friend Clint Wattenberg of the New York Athletic Club to make his first World Team.
"This feels amazing," Hrovat said. "This is something I knew I could accomplish. We train together in Chicago, at the Overtime Club with Sean Bormet. Our goal was to get to the World Team Trials finals. We did that. Unfortunately, one of us had to lose. I want to thank him for helping me get here. I also want to thank Donny Pritzlaff."
The fifth-seeded Hrovat pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament when he pinned 2005 World Team member and top seed Mo Lawal in the first period of their semifinal match. Lawal beat the reigning World champion, Revaz Mindorashvili of Georgia, just over two months ago in the finals of the Uzbekistan Independence Cup.
"Lawal's one of the best wrestlers in the World, but I stuck to my game plan," Hrovat said. "Lawal took a shot, and I got my body lock on him. I always believed I had the best front headlock, body lock in the World. I was able to get it there."
The top-seeded Pritzlaff pulled out a gritty, three-period win over No. 3 Tyrone Lewis of the Gator Wrestling Club in the final round. Pritzlaff shot in for the winning takedown with 50 seconds left in the third match and then held off Lewis in the closing stages. Pritzlaff, a two-time NCAA champ for Wisconsin, made his first World Team.
"Tyrone wanted it as bad as I did," Pritzlaff said. "When it is like that, it always comes down to the last few seconds. He was a tough competitor. He's quite quick, very explosive - a true competitor."
Warren made his second straight World Team by sweeping Jeremiah Davis of the U.S. Olympic Education Center/Sunkist Kids in the finals.
"When you start looking past people, you get beat," Warren said. "I can't look past those Northern Michigan - they are gunning for me. It's not hard to get motivated at this level. I can get focused any time I step on the mat."
The only other finals series that went three matches came at 185 when Clark continued the momentum he gained from winning the U.S. Nationals to win in Sioux City. Clark dropped the first match with Aaron Sieracki of the U.S. Army before rebounding to win the last two.
Clark saluted the fans on both sides of the arena after his win.
"It's great for both me and Aaron to represent both services here on Memorial Day weekend," Clark said. "Nothing better than taking home a title for the Marine Corps. I owe it to them.
"The salute, it was for Memorial Day weekend. It is my way of representing, to thank everybody. To represent myself, the military, all the people serving overseas. It is my way to show I respect them."
The morning session produced a rash of upsets with past World Team members in Lawal, Williams (163) and Bono (145.5) falling in freestyle, and past World and Olympic Team member Vering (185) being upset in Greco-Roman.
Williams, a two-time World bronze medalist and 2004 Olympian, fell to Trent Paulson of the Sunkist Kids in the quarterfinals. Lawal was caught and pinned by Hrovat in the semis, Bono fell to Frayer in the semis and Vering lost to Sieracki in the semis.
The seven champions from Sunday join the seven champions who were crowned Saturday at the World Team Trials.
The Saturday winners included freestyle competitors in Zadick, Sammie Henson of the Sunkist Kids (121) and Daniel Cormier of the Gator Wrestling Club (211.5) along with Greco-Roman wrestlers Harry Lester of the U.S. Olympic Education Center/Gator Wrestling Club (145.5), T.C. Dantzler of the Gator Wrestling Club (163), Justin Ruiz of the New York Athletic Club (211.5) and Dremiel Byers of the U.S. Army (264.5).
The World Team Trials for women are set for June 30 in Colorado Springs. That event is being held at a later date since the women competed at the World Cup recently in Japan.SUNDAY'S FINAL ROUND RESULTS66 KG/145.5 LBS. FREESTYLE
Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC) vs. Jared Frayer, Cambridge, Mass. (Gator WC)
Match 1: Zadick dec. Frayer 3-0, 3-1
Match 2: Zadick dec. Frayer 1-0, 2-055 KG/121 LBS. GRECO-ROMAN
Lindsey Durlacher, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) vs. Sam Hazewinkel, Pensacola, Fla. (Gator WC)
Match 1: Durlacher dec. Hazewinkel 3-2, 2-0
Match 2: Durlacher dec. Hazewinkel 4-1, 4-0 74 KG/163 LBS. FREESTYLE
Donny Pritzlaff, Northport, N.Y. (New York AC) vs. Tyrone Lewis, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)
Match 1: Pritzlaff dec. Lewis 0-2, 2-0, 1-0
Match 2: Lewis dec. Pritzlaff 1-1, 2-1
Match 3: Pritzlaff dec. Lewis 0-2, 1-1, 1-160 KG/132 LBS. GRECO-ROMAN
Jeremiah Davis, El Cajon, Calif. (USOEC/Sunkist Kids) vs. Joe Warren, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Match 1: Warren dec. Davis 3-0, 6-0
Match 2: Warren dec. Davis 3-0, 7-184 KG/185 LBS. FREESTYLE
Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC) vs. Clint Wattenburg, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
Match 1: Hrovat dec. Wattenberg 2-0, 0-3, 1-1
Match 2: Hrovat dec. Wattenberg 3-0, 4-284 KG/185 LBS. GRECO-ROMAN
Jacob Clark, Quantico, Va. (U.S. Marine Corps) vs. Aaron Sieracki, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Match 1: Sieracki dec. Clark 1-1, 1-1
Match 2: Clark dec. Sieracki 5-0, 4-0
Match 3: Clark dec. Sieracki 3-2, 1-1 120 KG/264.5 LBS. FREESTYLE
Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) vs. Steve Mocco, N. Bergen, N.J. (New York AC)
Match 1: Thompson dec. Mocco 1-0, 1-0
Match 2: Thompson pins Mocco 1:59