Past NCAA champions J.J. McGrew (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids) and John Kading (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Wildcat WC) were individual champions at the 2000 North Olympic Regional Trials in freestyle wrestling at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa, May 6.
This was the "Last Chance" Olympic Trials qualifying event, the fifth of five Olympic Regional Trials held across the nation this spring. The winners at each weight class qualified for the Challenge Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials in Dallas, Texas, June 22-24.
McGrew, who won a NCAA title for Oklahoma State in 1994, claimed the 213.75-pound title, scoring an 11-1 technical fall over Robert Pritchett (New Castle, Del./Dave Schultz WC), in the finals. It was the second straight Regional Trials win for McGrew, who also captured the Central Regional in Tulsa, Okla. last weekend. McGrew is ranked No. 2 on the 1999-2000 Freestyle Team USA.
Kading, a 1996 NCAA champion for the Univ. of Oklahoma, won the 286-pound title, beating Jack Leffler (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Central Michigan), 8-7 in the finals. Kading usually competes at 213.75 pounds.
Former Team USA member John McGovern (Colorado Springs, Colo./Dave Schultz WC) claimed the 187.25-pound title, defeating Ken Bigley (Athens, Ohio /New York AC) by technical fall, 10-0. McGovern attended Central College in Iowa, where he won three NCAA Div. III national titles.
Among the champions were veteran freestyle wrestlers Jeff Bedard (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 127.75 pounds, Adam DiSabato (Columbus, Ohio/Ohio International) at 152 pounds and Sean Harrington (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 167.5 pounds.
Bedard pinned high school star Chris Rodriguez (Marietta, Ga./unattached) in 4:53 in the finals. DiSabato stopped W.R. Groves (Columbus, Ohio/Ohio International), 7-5. Harrington defeated Colothdian Tate (Ames, Iowa/Cyclone WC), 8-2.
Other individual champions were Lee Pritz (Colombia, Mo./Tiger USA WC) at 119 pounds and Jason Mester (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Central Michigan) at 138.75 pounds.
The Greco-Roman competition at the North Regional Olympic Trials will also be held in Waterloo on Sunday, May 7.
NORTH REGIONAL FREESTYLE OLYMPIC TRIALS at Waterloo, Iowa, May 6
54 kg/119 lbs. - 1st - Lee Pritz, Colombia, Mo. (Tiger USA WC) dec. Pablo Ubasa, Iowa City, Iowa (HawkeyeWC), 6-2
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - 1st - Jeff Bedard, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) pin Chris Rodriguez, Marietta, Ga. (unattached), 4:53; 3rd - Eric Keller, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Cat WC) won by tech. fall over Ahmad Sanders, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 10-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - 1st - Jason Mester, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan) dec. Juan Venturi, Colorado Springs, Colo. (PFW), 4-3; 3rd - Derek Phillips, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan) pin Jordan Webster, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 2:18
69 kg/152 lbs. - 1st - Adam DiSabato, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio International) dec, W.R. Groves, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio International), 7-5; 3rd - Joe Calavitta (Thunder) dec. Ty Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 7-6
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - 1st - Sean Harrington, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) dec. Colothdian Tate, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC), 8-2; 3rd - Matthew Lackey (unattached) won by default over Jeff Freidhof (Luther).
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - 1st - John McGovern, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech. fall over Ken Bigley, Athens, Ohio (New York AC), 10-0; 3rd - Jeff Panghorn, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan) dec. Anthony Porcelli (unattached), 6-4
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - 1st - J.J. McGrew, Stillwater, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) won by tech. fall over Robert Pritchett, New Castle, Del. (Dave Schultz WC), 11-1; 3rd - Brett Faustman, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan) won by forfeit over Jareck Horton (Wisconsin)
130 kg/286 lbs. - 1st - John Kading, Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Wildcat) dec. Jack Leffler, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Central Michigan), 8-7; 3rd - LeRoy Gardner (KWC) dec. Darrin Vincent (unattached), 8-2