USA Wrestling Burroughs named 2013...

Burroughs named 2013 John Smith Award winner, USA Wrestling’s Freestyle Wrestler of the Year

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | June 18, 2014, 9:35 a.m. (ET)

Photos of Jordan Burroughs at the 2013 World Championships by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) has been named the winner of the 2013 John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the third straight year that Burroughs has won this prestigious award.

The award is named in honor of two-time Olympic champion and four-time World champion John Smith.

Burroughs won a gold medal at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in September at 74 kg/163 lbs. It was his third straight gold medal at the highest level, to go along with a 2011 World gold medal and a 2012 Olympic gold medal. It was the top performance of any U.S. wrestler, regardless of style, at the World Championships.

His achievement was even more amazing because he competed in the World Championships less than one month after breaking his ankle in training. Burroughs wrestled with a plate and five screws in his ankle.

He outscored his five opponents at the Worlds by a combined 34-3 total. He opened with 9-2 technical fall over Gamid Dzhalilov of Tajikistan, 7-0, then defeated Narsingh Yadav of India by technical fall, 7-0. In the quarterfinals, he beat past World medalist Jabrayil Hassanov of Azerbaijan by technical fall, 7-0. His semifinal victory was over Ali Shabanau of Belarus by disqualification in 5:19. Burroughs kept his composure in earning a solid 4-0 win over Iran’s Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei in the finals.

Burroughs became only the second American to win three or more World or Olympic titles in a row, joining John Smith who won six straight World and Olympic golds from 1987-1992. After his World title in Budapest, Burroughs’ career record on the Senior level was an amazing 67-0.

He qualified for his second U.S. World Team with a victory at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials in June in Stillwater, Okla., defeating Kyle Dake in the championship finals in two straight matches, 7-0 and 9-6 in overtime.

He also won his second U.S. Open title in Las Vegas, Nev. in April, defeating David Taylor in the finals, 3-1, 1-0.

Burroughs won the gold medal at the 2013 Freestyle World Cup in Tehran, Iran in February, winning all five of his matches in the event and helping lead the USA to a third-place finish.

He also won gold medals at two other major international events in 2013, the Stepan Sarkissian International in Vandazor, Armenia in August and the Alexander Medved International champion in Belarus in March.

Burroughs won two matches in major international exhibitions matches as well during World Wrestling Month in May. He stopped Saba Khubezhty of Russia at the Rumble On the Rails in New York City, 1-1, 5-0, 7-3. At United 4 Wrestling in Los Angeles, under the new rules of international wrestling, Burroughs beat Khubezhty, 14-3.

Burroughs was a two-time NCAA champion for the University of Nebraska (2009 and 2011), and the winner of the 2011 Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation’s best college wrestler. While in college, Burroughs was 10th at the 2008 Junior World Championships.

Originally from Sicklerville, N.J., Burroughs was a 2006 New Jersey state high school champion for Winslow Township High School.

PAST JOHN SMITH AWARD WINNERS AS FREESTYLE WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
2013 - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2012 - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2011 – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2010 – J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio, New York AC
2009 – Jake Herbert, Evanston, Ill., New York AC
2008 - Henry Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2007 - Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla., Gator WC
2006 - Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo., Gator WC
2005 - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2004 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2003 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2002 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2001 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2000 - Brandon Slay, Amarillo, Texas, Dave Schultz WC
1999 - Stephen Neal, Bakerfield, Calif., Dave Schultz WC
1998 - Sammie Henson, Norman, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1997 - Les Gutches, Corvallis, Ore., Sunkist Kids
1996 - Kendall Cross, Raleigh, N.C., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Kevin Jackson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1994 - Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1993 - Terry and Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Team Foxcatcher
1992 - John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids