Freestyle Wrestler Cael Sanderson Decides Not to Compete in the 2001 World Championships

By Heather Van | Oct. 17, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)
Freestyle Wrestler Cael Sanderson decides not to compete in the 2001 World Championships for the United States Cael Sanderson (Heber City, Utah/Sunkist Kids) has decided not to compete at 187.25 pounds for the United States at the 2001 World Freestyle Championships which will be held Nov. 22-25 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sanderson is a three-time NCAA champion for Iowa State Univ. and is undefeated going into his senior season this fall. His decision came after the rescheduling of the World Championships interfered with his collegiate wrestling schedule. The World Championships were originally scheduled for Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 26-29. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, USA Wrestling requested a postponement of the tournament. On Oct. 10, FILA, the international wrestling federation, announced the tournament would be split into two events. The 2001 Greco-Roman World Championships will be held in Athens, Greece, Dec. 6-9. The women's freestyle competition will be held in conjunction with the men's freestyle in Bulgaria. "I respect Cael's decision not to compete in the 2001 World Championships, but I do not necessarily agree with it," said National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson. "I definitely think that going to the World Championships and competing would have elevated Cael mentally and physically, and would not have hurt him in any way. I think he's missing a great opportunity to represent his country for the first time at a Senior World Championship. It may happen for him again in the future, but nothing is guaranteed. I'm pretty disappointed that he's not going to compete." Filling his spot at 187.25 pounds will be former Univ. of Minnesota wrestler Brandon Eggum (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm). Eggum placed second to Sanderson at the 2001 World Team Trials. "Brandon Eggum will be ready to compete," said Jackson. "He has been at all of the training camps we have held and he is 100% healthy right now. We will do everything in our power to get him ready to compete in his first World Championships." Eggum is entering his second year as a member of the Golden Gopher wrestling staff as a strength coordinator.