USA Wrestling

Sep 29 U S freestylers to compete in three international tours in October

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 29, 2010, 5:35 p.m. (ET)
Top U.S. men's freestyle wrestlers will compete in three different international competitions in October, at the start of the new international wrestling season.

There will be two teams which will compete in events in Russia, and a third team competing in Armenia.

A group of eight athletes will wrestle in the Ramzan Kadirov Cup for prizes of Adlan Varaev, which will be held at Grozny, Russia, October 9-10.

Included in this event are Keith Gavin (Pittsburgh, Pa./Lehigh Valley AC), who is currently ranked No. 2 in the USA at 84 kg/185 lbs., along with 2007 U.S. World Team member Tommy Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Another group of U.S. freestyle wrestlers will participate in the Intercontinental Cup, a major dual meet tournament held in Khasavyurt, Russia, October 15-17.

Four of the team members are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation at their weight class: Gavin, plus Shawn Bunch (Columbus, Ohio/Gator WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Dlagnev was third at the 2009 World Championships. Bunch and Varner were also members of the 2009 U.S. World Team. Another athlete on the team who competed in the 2009 World Championships is Trent Paulson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs.

The final event is the Stepan Sarkissian International, set for Yerevan, Armenia, Oct 22 - 24. The U.S. will enter five athletes, including Paulson, Varner and Dlagnev, plus 2008 U.S. Olympic team member Andy Hrovat (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. Hrovat is currently living and training in Russia.

"The first and the third event will feature a combination of Senior National Team athletes and some developmental athletes who aim to be future World and Olympic Team members" said National Coach Zeke Jones. "The second event is a dual meet tournament and we have put together a team to win it. There are quite a few National Team members competing there."

Jones believes that these events will be competitive challenges for the U.S. athletes.

"We have a lot of improvement to make. We are getting back on the horse and moving forward" said Jones. "We have to get at it and have a lot of work to do. We need to see where we are at. Many of the National Team athletes on these tours are hoping to be on our next U.S. World Team, and this is the start of their new season."

The coaches and officials on the tours are still being finalized at this time.

U.S. FREESTYLE TEAM TOURS IN OCTOBER

Ramzan Kadirov Cup for prizes of Adlan Varaev

at Grozny, Russia, October 9-10
55 kg/121 lbs. - Nick Simmons, Corvallis, Ore. (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Matt Valenti, Philadelphia, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Joe Johnston, Columbia, Mo. (MWF)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Nick Marable, Columbia, Mo. (unattached)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Keith Gavin, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Pat Cummins, Reinholds, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tommy Rowlands, Hilliard, Ohio (Sunkist Kids)

Intercontinental Cup
at Khasavyurt, Russia, October 15-17

55 kg/121 lbs. - Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Shawn Bunch, Columbus, Ohio (Gator WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Joe Johnston, Columbia, Mo. (MWF)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Trent Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Keith Gavin, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids)

Stepan Sarkissian International
at Yerevan, Armenia, October 22-24

55 kg/121 lbs. - Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Trent Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids)

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