Russia beats USA 5 2 in freestyle dual in Troy N Y

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 30, 2010, 5:56 p.m. (ET)
TROY, N.Y. - Russia opened with five straight wins and went on to win 5-2 in a men's freestyle dual meet in Troy, N.Y., on Saturday.

The U.S. won the final two bouts, with victories by 2009 U.S. World Team member Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 2007 U.S. World Team member Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Varner stopped Marat Ibragimov of Russia, 4-1, 2-1 for the victory. Varner scored a takedown with 10 seconds left in the second period to secure the victory. Varner was ninth in the 2009 World Championships and is currently ranked No. 2 on Freestyle Team USA.

Rowlands wrestled with control in a two-period win over Kirill Gotovtsev, 2-0, 3-2. Rowlands was fifth in the 2007 World Championships.

"Jake looked solid. It is going to take a very very good wrestler to beat Jake Varner" said Freestyle National Coach Zeke Jones. "Tommy had a nice headlock. He got a little tired at the end of his bout, but he is improving. Day in and day out, he is getting better."

Both U.S. winners are past two-time NCAA champions, with Varner at Iowa State and Rowlands at Ohio State.

Russia's victories came from Rasul Mashezov at 55 kg/121 lbs., Rasul Murtazaliev at 60 kg/132 lbs., Magomedmurad Gadziev at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Koloy Kortoev at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Filling in at 74 kg/163 lbs. on the Russian team was Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov of Uzbekistan, the former NCAA All-American for American Univ., who defeated Nick Marable (Columbia, Mo./Missouri), 2-1, 3-0.

"The effort was good" said Jones. "The American team was out there working hard. We were flat today. That is a good Russian team."

There were two Greco-Roman matches between the USA and Italy, both won by the Italian guests.

At 84 kg/185 lbs., 2008 Olympic champion Andrea Minguzzi of Italy defeated 2010 U.S. Open champion Cheney Haight (Boise, Idaho/New York AC. At 96 kg/211.5 lbs., University World silver medalist Diagoro Timoncini of Italy defeated John Lorenz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC).

The stands were full with over 2,500 fans for the international event.The dual was held during halftime of the Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals, a major college wrestling competition.

The USA defeated Russia 6-1 in a dual meet in Hempstead, N.Y. on Nov. 19. The Russian freestyle wrestlers also participated in the New York AC International Open in New York City on Nov. 21.

In Troy, N.Y., Nov. 27

55 kg/121 lbs. - Rasul Mashezov inj dft. over Dan Dennis (USA), 0-1, 1:55
60 kg/132 lbs. -Rasul Murtazaliev (Russia) dec. Matt Valenti (USA), 2-0, 5-2
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Russia) dec. Joe Johnston (USA), 2-1, 2-1
74 kg/163 lbs. -Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan) dec. Nick Marable (USA), 2-1, 3-0
84 kg/185 lbs. -Koloy Kortoev (Russia) dec. Keith Gavin (USA), 1-0, 1-0
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Jake Varner (USA) dec. Marat Ibragimov (Russia), 4-1, 2-1
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tommy Rowlands (USA) vs. Kirill Gotovtsev (Russia), 2-0, 3-2

USA and Italy Greco-Roman bouts
84 kg/185 lbs. - Andrea Minguzzi (Italy) dec. Cheney Haight (USA)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Diagoro Timoncini (Italy) dec.John Lorenz (USA)