Ruiz wins Greco gold and USA wins team title at Pan Am Championships in Mexico
MONTERREY, Mexico - Justin Ruiz (Boise, Idaho/New York AC) won a gold medal at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., the top performance for the United States in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Pan American Championships on Friday.
Ruiz won four straight matches in his five-athlete round-robin competition, including a clutch victory over defending Pan American champion and eventual runner-up Yasmany Lugo of Cuba.
Ruiz was a 2005 World bronze medalist, and has now won three career Pan American Championships titles, as well as the 2007 Pan American Games gold medal. He returned to competition after taking the 2009 season off, and most recentlywon the U.S. Open in Cleveland last weekend.
The United States claimed the team title with 60 points, ahead of runner-up Cuba with 54 points and Mexico with 48 points.
Two other 2010 U.S. Open champions to earned a spot in the finals and placed second, Jake Fisher (Boise, Idaho/New York AC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Brandon Rupp (Colorado Springs, Colo. /New York AC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Fisher won his first two matches, before losing in the finals to Mayli Raul Consuegra of Cuba in three periods.
Rupp also won his first two matches, before being edged by Rafael Barreno of Venezuela in three periods in the gold-medal match.
The other four U.S. wrestlers in the field won bronze medals, including
- Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs.
- Jimmy Chase, Carol Stream, Ill. (New York AC) at 60 kg/132 lbs.
- Ellis Coleman, Oak Park, Ill. (New York AC/USOEC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
- Cheney Haight (Boise, Idaho/New York AC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Cuba won the most individual gold medals with four champions.
For more information and results, visit USA Wrestling at themat.com.