Mango named Outstanding Wrestler as five repeat at University Greco Roman Nationals in Akron Ohio

By Gary Abbott | April 14, 2008, 3:29 p.m. (ET)
AKRON, OHIO - Spenser Mango (Mo./Gator WC/USOEC) won the 60 kg/132 pound division and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the University Greco-Roman National Championships, held at the Univ. of Akron on Friday. Mango defended his University Nationals title from last year, one of five repeat champions who claimed titles during the finals round.

Mango was competing up one weight class from his normal 55 kg/121 lbs. He defeated Donovan DePatto (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) in the gold-medal finals, 5-1, 4-0. It was the second straight year that Mango defeated DePatto in the final round at the University Nationals.

"I am up a weight class," said Mango. "The coaches felt it was best for me to go at 60 kg and go down to 55 kg for the U.S. Nationals. At Northern Michigan, I wrestle guys at 60 kg all the time. This is nothing new. We do this in training."

For the second straight year, Mango won a USA Wrestling national title alongside his younger brother, who defended his crown at the FILA Cadet Nationals held side-by-side during the day. Mango finds it harder helping coach his brother than competing.

"It is hard. For my matches, I am calm and confident. With him, I'm always nervous. I am pacing around during his matches. I want him to do well," said Mango.

The other four returning champions who won for the second straight year are teammates with Mango at the U.S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan Univ. Repeating as champions were Kerry Regner (USOEC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., Andrew Bisek (Minn. Storm/USOEC) at 74 kg/163 lbs., Jacob Fisher (NYAC/USOEC) at 79 kg/174 lbs and Chas Betts (Minn. Storm/USOEC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Kerry Regner defeated unattached Chad Vandiver in the finals, 3-0, 6-0. Bisek defeated Kyle Bounds of Oregon, 7-0, 5-0 in the finals. Fisher stopped USOEC teammate Chad Hemerson in the finals, 5-0, 6-0. Betts beat Zak Nielsen of the Minnesota Storm, 3-0, 2-2.

Champions in the seven Olympic weight classes qualified for a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in Las Vegas, Nev., June 13-15. At the University Nationals, there are 10 weight classes, so the three non-Olympic weight classes do not advance to the Olympic Trials. Mango, Bisek and Betts won Olympic weight classes and earned a trip to Las Vegas.

"This is a good event to win coming into the hard part of our season," said Bisek. "I don't think I have ever wrestled my finals opponent before. One of my teammates wrestled him and did pretty well, even though he lost. I felt pretty confident going in."

"It is nice to have this event now," said Betts. "We have been training hard. It is a good time to have this before the U.S. Nationals. You get to try your technique that you have been working on."

Also winning Olympic weight divisions to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials were Nikko Triggas (Moraga, Calif./Ohio State) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Bo Beckman (Orem, Utah/USOEC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Peter Gounaridis (Leominster, Mass./USOEC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Erik Nye (Red Bluff, Calif./Northern Xtreme) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Triggas, a two-time Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champion who competes for Ohio State, scored a technical fall over Paul Tellgreen of the Minnesota Storm, 6-0, 6-0.

Beckman stopped Calvin Miller of the Road RunnerWC, 4-0, 6-0 in the finals.

Gounaridis, who was second at the University Nationals last year, beat his USOEC teammate Michael Rossetti, 3-0, 3-0.

Nye, who has placed fifth at the FILA Junior World Championships the last two years, pinned 2008 Armed Forces champion David Arendt Jr of the US Marines in 1:59 in the finals.

The University Nationals also serves as a qualifying event for the 2008 University World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 23-24. The University World Championships will be held in Greece in July.

Nye, who competes for Sierra College in California, is excited about the chance to try out for the University World Team for another chance to compete against top foreign opponents.

"It would be very exciting to make the University World Team. Maybe the Russian will be there this time, so I can have a chance to beat him."

The other individual champion at 70 kg/154.25 lbs was Jon Drendel of USOEC, giving the USOEC program eight individual champions.

Two returning champions were defeated and did not qualify for the championship finals, Robby Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Kenny Lester (Oviedo, Fla./Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Smith finished third and Lester placed fifth.

At Akron, Ohio, April 11

55 kg/121 lbs
1st - Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) tech fall over Paul Tellgreen (Minnesota Storm), 6-0, 6-0
3rd - Miguel Pena (US Marines) dec. Mark McKnight (The New Age Gladiators), 3-0,4-0
5th - Tyler Moore (US Air Force) pin Dustin McKinney (All-Navy), 8-1,0:34
7th - Ryan Hall (USOEC) dec. Fred Santaite (Graybird Wrestling Club), 2-3, 4-2, 3-1

60 kg/132.25 lbs
1st - Spenser Mango (USOEC) dec. Donny DePatto (US Marines), 5-1, 4-0
3rd - David Armstrong (Cleveland State) tech. fall Andrew Perez (US Air Force), 6-0, 6-0
5th - Aaron Navarrete (Titan Wrestling Club) won by pin over Dean Maraj (US Air Force), 6-0,1:47
7th - Andrew Smith (Clarion WC) won by injury default over Norman Richmond (Penninsula)

63 KG/138.75 lbs
1st - Kerry Regner (USOEC) dec. Chad Vandiver (Unattached), 3-0, 6-0
3rd - Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. Gabriel Mooney (MinnKota), 3-2, 5-0
5th - Anthony Jerome (Bearcats) dec. Eric Luke (Y.E.S Greensboro), 4-0, 8-0
7th - Joe Murphy (Minnesota Storm) pin Frank Sade (Your Moms Wrestling Academy), 1-1, 7-3, 1:53)

66 kg/145.5 lbs
1st - Bo Beckman (USOEC) dec. Calvin Miller (RoadRunnerWC), 4-0, 6-0
3rd - Ben Sanchez (USOEC) dec. Sal Lascari (Clarion WC), 5-0, 6-0
5th - Lance Gallegos (Northern Colorado) pin Brian Graham (Valley Wrestling), 0-6, 7-4, 0:41
7th - Nic Remer (All Navy) pin Dustin Leutz (Rock Head Wrestling Club), 0:27

70 kg/154.25 lbs
1st - Jon Drendel (USOEC) dec. Aaron Briggs (USOEC), 2-3, 4-1, 2-1
3rd - Aaron Drain (US Air Force) dec. Joe Grygelko (Minnesota Storm), 2-1, 2-1
5th - Carlo Ferrandino (Graybird Wrestling Club) dec. Mike Cubillos (Graybird Wrestling Club), 6-0, 2-0
7th - Tyler Davis (Cowboy Wrestling Club) dec. Greg Lewis (Clarion WC), 8-2, 3-1

74 kg/163 lbs
1st - Andrew Bisek (Minnesota Storm) dec. Kyle Bounds (Oregon), 7-0, 5-0
3rd - Jacob Curby (USOEC) dec. Chris Bullins (Y.E.S Greensboro), 3-2, 7-0
5th - Peter Hicks (US Air Force) dec. Auton Gottfredson (USOEC), 1-1, 2-1
7th - Bulla Tuzon (River City Wrestling) tech fall Tony Bradberry (Firebird Freestyle), 6-0, 6-0

79 kg / 174 lbs.
1st - Jake Fisher (USOEC) dec. Chad Hemerson (USOEC), 5-0, 6-0
3rd - Talan Knox (USOEC) pin Rob Schoner (Aww Schmidt WC), 7-0, 0:29
5th - Kaleb Young (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall John Sinchok (Campbellsville Univ), 8-0, 6-0
7th - Todd Noel (Titan Wrestling Club) pin Dan Kennedy (Graybird Wrestling Club), 6-0, 0:57

84 kg/185 lbs
1st - Chas Betts (Minnesota Storm) dec. Zak Nielsen (Minnesota Storm), 3-0, 2-2
3rd - Cheney Haight (USOEC) dec. Alex Piasecki (SWAT), 3-1, 6-0
5th - Brent Eidenschenk (Minnesota Storm) inj. dft. Jacob Ison (Bobcat Wrestling Club)
7th - Ian Murphy (Titan Wrestling Club) dec. Walter Hoffman (US Air Force), 4-0, 1-5, 2-1

96 kg/211.5 lbs
1st - Peter Gounaridis (USOEC) dec. Michael Rossetti (USOEC), 3-0, 3-0
3rd - Robby Smith (NYAC) pin Jon Schmidt (Aww Schmidt WC), 1:12
5th - Andrew Moore (La Crosse Wrestling) dec. Levi Wofford (Sunkist Kids), 4-3, 5-0
7th - Moises Hernandez (US Marines) dec. Nader Maghribi (US Air Force), 4-1, 6-0

120 kg/264.5 lbs
1st - Erik Nye (Northern Xtreme) pin David Arendt Jr (US Marines), 1:59
3rd - Peter Kowalczuk (USOEC) dec. Charlie Alexander (Oregon), 6-0, 4-0
5th - Kenny Lester (Sunkist Kids) won by forfeit over Jarod Trice (Chippewa Wrestling Club)
7th - Brendan Herlihy (Penn State) dec. Ivan Muller (Citadel Old Timers), 1-1, 3-0

True Second Place Matches
(for placement at University World Team Trials)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Paul Telllgeen (Minnesota Storm) dec. Miguel Pena (U.S. Marines), 3-1, 5-0

60 kg/132 lbs.
Donny DePatto (U.S. Marines) dec. David Armstrong (Cleveland State), 5-0, 1-1

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Ben Sanchez (USOEC) dec. Calvin Miller (Road Runner WC), 4-0, 3-0

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Mike Rossetti (USOEC) dec. Robby Smith (New York AC), 1-1, 1-1