USA Wrestling USA defeats Internat...

USA defeats International All Stars 34 14 to close Titan Games wrestling competition Cuba wins tea

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 15, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)

The United States won 10 of 13 matches to dominate the International All-Stars, 34-14, to close out the wrestling competition at the 2003 Titan Games in San Jose, Calif., Feb. 15. The U.S. ended the tournament with a 1-1 record, to finish in second place. Cuba, with wins over the United States on Friday and the International All-Stars on Saturday, clinched the team title with a 2-0 record. The International All-Stars were third with a 0-2 record. A wrestler was awarded the Ultimate Titan honor for all male athletes in the competition, Cuba's freestyle wrestling star Yoel Romero shared the honor with weightlifter Shane Hamman. Romero won both of his matches, including an exciting win over American star Cael Sanderson on Friday. In the final dual meet, USA gave the large crowd much to cheer for, including an explosive pin from Greco-Roman star T.C. Dantzler and a last second comeback win by local star Eric Guerrero in freestyle. Claiming victories after tough losses to Cuba the night before were popular stars Rulon Gardner in Greco-Roman and Cael Sanderson in freestyle. The meet started with California favorite Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) scoring a convincing 6-0 decision over Alexander Kaminiski of Belarus, 6-0. Tina George (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) kept the momentum going with a 7-1 decision over Natalya Ivachko of Russia. Guerrero (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC), who attended Independence High School in San Jose, fired up the crowd with his last-second heroics at 60 kg/132 lbs. Trailing 1-0 to Prokopy Petrov of Russia, Guerrero tied the bout with nine seconds in the match with a takedown, then quickly won it with a two-point gutwrench with seven seconds on the clock for a 3-1 win. The first U.S. loss happened in a surprising fashion in women's freestyle at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Sara McMann (Colorado Springs, Colo,/Sunkist Kids) held a 3-0 lead over Lene Aanes of Norway as time was running down. Aanes tossed McMann in the closing 10 seconds of the bout to tie the match at 3-3 in regulation. In overtime, with McMann on the top working on a turn, Aanes countered the attempt and scored a two-point reversal for a 5-3 overtime win. Two former Iowa State wrestlers on the team followed with back-to-back wins. Chris Bono (Gilbert, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) defeated Russia's top athlete at the weight class, Irbek Farniev, with a solid 3-1 win. Then Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) opened up his takedown offense in an 8-1 victory over Semen Semenok of Belarus. Russian Rouslan Kokaev stopped the U.S. run with a 6-1 win over Casey Cunningham (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Winning his second match of the weekend was Tim Hartung (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) with a commanding 10-3 victory over Siarhei Borchenko of Belarus at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. America's Kerry McCoy (State College, Pa./New York AC) received a forfeit at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., as his scheduled opponent could not compete due to an infectious skin condition. The final win for the International All-Stars came in Greco-Roman at 55 kg/121 lbs., as Asset Imanbaev defeated Brandon Paulson (Anoka, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 5-0 in overtime. The U.S. responded with a 3-0 win in overtime by Jim Gruenwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) over Nurlan Koizhaignov of Kazakhstan at 60 kg/132 lbs. Dantzler s display of power and throws ignited the crowd to a frenzy at 74 kg/163 lbs. He lifted and threw Bek Mardanov of Kazakhstan for five points, plus an appreciation point, early in the bout. After a two-point turn, extending his lead to 8-0, Dantzler lifted and slammed Mardanov to the mat for an touch fall at 1:41. Gardner closed out the night with a solid 3-0 decision over Georgiy Tsurtsumia of Kazakhstan. The first period ended scoreless, and the athletes jostled for position during the clinch. After Tsurstumia locked, Gardner could not get his hands together after repeated tries. The mat official called a penalty against Gardner, but after the officiating team looked at the video, the call went against Tsurtsumia. The penalty was worth two points to Rulon, who scored the third and final point with 27 seconds left on a fleeing the mat call against his opponent. The victory against the International All-Stars gave the USA a positive finish to the exciting new event. However, the loss to Cuba troubled the team, as their Pan American rivals celebrated their team victory at the event's closing activities. Bono and Hartung won both of their matches in the tournament. Guerrero and McCoy went 1-0 on the mat, to go along with forfeit wins in their other bout. UNITED STATES VS. INTERNATIONAL ALL-STARS Saturday, Feb. 15; 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time (running team scores in parenthesis) 55 kg/121 lbs. M Freestyle Stephen Abas (USA) dec. Alexandr Kaminski (Belarus), 6-0 (3-0 USA) 55 kg/121 lbs. W Freestyle Tina George (USA) dec. Natalya Ivashko (Russia), 7-1 (6-1 USA) 60 kg/132 lbs. M Freestyle Eric Guerrero (USA) dec. Prokopy Petrov (Russia), 3-1 (9-2 USA) 63 kg/138.75 lbs. W Freestyle Lene Aanes (Norway) dec. Sara McMann (USA), 5-3, ot, 7:06 (10-5 USA) 66 kg/145.5 lbs M Freestyle Chris Bono (USA) dec. Irbek Farniev (Russia), 3-1 (13-6 USA) 84 kg/185 lbs. M Freestyle Cael Sanderson (USA) dec. Semen Semenok (Belarus), 8-1 (16-7 USA) 74 kg/163 lbs. M Freestyle Rouslan Kokaev (Russia) dec. Casey Cunningham (USA), 6-1 (17-10 USA) 96 kg/211.25 lbs. M Freestyle Tim Hartung (USA) dec. Siarhei Borchenko (Belarus), 10-3 (20-11 USA) 120 kg/264.5 lbs. M Freestyle Kerry McCoy (USA) won by forfeit (24-11 USA) 55 kg/121 lbs. M Greco-Roman Asset Imanbaev (Kazakhstan) dec. Brandon Paulson (USA), 5-0, ot, 6:20 (24-14 USA) 60 kg/132 lbs. M Greco-Roman Jim Gruenwald (USA) dec. Nurlan Koizhaiganov (Kazakhstan), 3-0, ot, 7:05 (27-14 USA) 74 kg/163 lbs. M Greco-Roman TC Dantzler (USA) pin Bek Mardenov (Kazakhstan), 1:41 (31-14 USA) 120 kg/264.5 lbs. M Greco-Roman Rulon Gardner (USA) dec. Georgiy Tsurtsumia (Kazakhstan), 3-0 (34-14 USA)