No U S freestyle medals on day one of University World Championships in Italy

By Gary Abbott | Oct. 27, 2010, 10:59 a.m. (ET)
TORINO, Italy - All four U.S. men's freestyle wrestlers competing on Tuesday fell short of the medal rounds at the 2010 FISU University World Championships, held at the Pala Ruffini arena.

Three of the four U.S. competitors won their first match, but were beaten in the quarterfinals: Angel Escobedo (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Marty Usman (Colorado Springs, Colo./GRIT Athletics) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Zach Rey (Hopatcong, N.J./Lehigh Valley AC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Escobedo opened with a win over Scott Gregory of Great Britain, 7-0, 0-1, 1-0, then was defeated by Alexandru Chirtoaca of Moldova, 0-4, 3-0, 0-3. When Chirtoaca failed to reach the finals, Escobedo was not eligible for the repechage rounds. Escobedo finished eighth in the final standings.

Escobedo was a NCAA champion at Indiana Univ., and is currently ranked No. 2 in the USA on the Senior level.

Usman opened with a victory over Alex Burke of Canada, 2-1, 7-1, then lost to eventual champion Piotr Ianulov of Moldova, 0-3, 0-3. When Ianulov reached the finals, Usman was drawn back into the repechage, where he lost his next bout to Giedrius Morkis of Lithuania by pin.

Usman, a 2010 NCAA Div. II champion for Nebraska-Kearney, finished eighth in the final standings.

Rey opened with a victory over Iliya Enev of Bulgaria, 3-0. 4-0, then lost to H. Sheyda Khangheshlaghi of Iran, 0-4, 0-2. When the Iranian failed to reach the finals, Rey was not eligible for the repechage rounds.

Rey, an All-American for Lehigh, finished seventh in the final standings.

Kevin LeValley (Hugo, Colo./Bison WC) dropped his only bout at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., losing to Zhan Safian of Belarus, 1-2, 1-0, 1-3. Safian did not make the finals, eliminating LeValley. In the final standings, LeValley, an All-American for Bucknell, placed ninth.

Coaching the U.S. team is Bruce Burnett, the head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Lou Rosselli, the assistant coach at The Ohio State University. Burnett is a former USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach and Rosselli has been a U.S. Senior World Team coach.

Three other U.S. men's freestyle wrestlers will compete on Wednesday, Reece Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio (New York AC) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Jon Reader (Davison, Mich. (Iowa State) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Sonny Yohn (Alamosa, Colo./Minnesota Storm) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Humphrey, a past NCAA runner-up at Ohio State, was a University World silver medalist in 2008.

Two women's freestyle wrestlers also compete on Wednesday, Gabrielle Henry (Columbus, Ohio/Univ. of the Cumberlands) at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. and Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Pirozhkova was a 2010 Senior World silver medalist and is a past University World champion.

At Torino, Italy, Oct. 26

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Muslim Gabibov (Russia)
Silver - Murat Mert (Turkey)
Bronze - Farid Dezhamkhoyshahgoli (Iran)
Bronze - Azer Pasayev (Azerbaijan)
5th - Manabu Suto (Japan)
5th - Alexandru Chirtoaca (Moldova)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Ishida Tomotsugu (Japan)
Silver - Kurtev Nicolay Kertev (Bulgaria)
Bronze - Somirsho Vokhidov (Tajikistan)
Bronze - Zaur Efendiev (Russia)
5th - Semen Radulov (Ukraine)
5th - Vladimir Gotisan (Moldova)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Piotr Ianulov (Moldova)
Silver - Taras Luzhnyy (Ukraine)
Bronze - Serdar Boke (Turkey)
Bronze - Anton Vlasenkov (Russia)
5th - K. Samardzhiev (Bulgaria)
5th - Giedrius Morkis (Lithuania)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Yuri Belonovskiy (Russia)
Silver - Yevhen Dziubac (Ukraine)
Bronze - Daniel Ligeti (Hungary)
Bronze - H. Sheyda Khangheshlaghi (Iran)
5th - Riza Yildirim (Turkey)
5th - A. Podsevalnicov (Moldova)

U.S. freestyle performances

55 kg/121 lbs. - Angel Escobedo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 8th
WIN Scott Gregory (Great Britain), 7-0, 0-1, 1-0
LOSS Alexandru Chirtoaca (Moldova), 0-4, 3-0, 0-3

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Kevin LeValley, Hugo, Colo. (Bison WC), 9th
LOSS Zhan Safian (Belarus), 1-2, 1-0, 1-3

84 kg/185 lbs. - Marty Usman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (GRIT Athletics), 8th
WIN Alex Burke (Canada), 2-1, 7-1
LOSS Piotr Ianulov (Moldova), 0-3, 0-3
LOSS Giedrius Morkis (Lithuania), pin

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Zach Rey, Hopatcong, N.J. (Lehigh Valley AC), 7th
WIN Iliya Enev (Bulgaria), 3-0. 4-0
LOSS H. Sheyda Khangheshlaghi (Iran), 0-4, 0-2

Women's draws for Wednesday

51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gabrielle Henry, Columbus, Ohio (Univ. of the Cumberlands)
vs Lubov Salnikova (Russia)

67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
vs. Mariana Kolic (France)