USA Wrestling Dremiel Byers named ...

Dremiel Byers named 2002 USA Wrestling Greco Roman Wrestler of the Year

By Gary Abbott | May 06, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)

Dremiel Byers(Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) has been named the 2002 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the second time that Byers has won this award, to go along with his selection in 1999.

Byers claimed the World gold medal at 120 kg/264.5 pounds at the 2002 World Greco-Roman Championships, held in Moscow, Russia. His performance helped lead the United States to a strong fifth-place finish in the World team standings.

He became the fourth U.S. wrestler to ever win a World gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling, joining Mike Houck, Dennis Hall and Rulon Gardner in the history books. The U.S. has now won a World-level gold medal at super heavyweight for three straight years, as Gardner was the 2000 Olympic champion and 2001 World champion.

Byers had a tremendous World tournament, winning five matches and throwing each of his opponents at least once. In the gold-medal finals, he defeated veteran Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary, who has won two World silver medals.

Byers also captured gold medals at the 2002 U.S. Nationals and the 2002 World Team Trials to claim the No. 1 position in the nation. In the U.S. Nationals, he pinned Billy Pierce in the gold-medal match. At the World Team Trials, he defeated Corey Farkas in the championship series.

He was also the 2002 Dave Schultz Memorial International champion. Other major medals won were the silver medal at the 2002 Pan American Championships and the bronze medal at the Pytlasinski Tournament in Poland.

Other honors that Byers claimed this past year were the U.S. Olympic Committee Male Wrestler of the Year, as well as the Armed Forces Male Athlete of the Year.

Byers serves in the U.S. Army, and is based at Fort Carson, Colo., where he is a part of the Army's World Class Athlete Program. Byers is originally from Kings Mountain, N.C., where he was a state high school champion. He also attended North Carolina A&T.

USA Wrestling will be announcing major award winners each day this week on TheMat.com.

PAST GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS 2002 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army 2001 - Rulon Gardner, Cascade, Colo., Sunkist Kids 2000 - Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo., Sunkist Kids 1999 - Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Army 1998 - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids 1997 - Rulon Gardner, Gilbert, Ariz., Sunkist Kids 1996 - Dennis Hall, Stevens, Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids 1995 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids 1994 - Dennis Hall, Stevens Point, Wis., Sunkist Kids 1993 - James Johnson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids