Dlagnev gets gold, Ramos silver and Metcalf, Herbert bronze at Pan American Olympic Qualifier

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 05, 2016, 9:19 p.m. (ET)
Tervel Dlagnev of the USA scores takedown on Canada’s Korey Jarvis in the 125 kg finals of the Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Wrestlers.

FRISCO, Texas – Two-time World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC) returned home to the Dallas area and gave his family and friends a great show, winning the gold medal at 130 kg/275 lbs. at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier on Saturday night.

Dlagnev got his offense going on the way to a 10-0 technical fall over Canada’s Korey Jarvis in the finals. Leading 3-0 at the break, Dlagnev was able to convert a number of takedowns in the second period to secure the technical fall.

“I started a little slow but got it rolling. He had a bit of weird feel at first so I had to adjust. Those are the things I like to take away from the match. The adjustments were big. There were some set-ups that I had when I could've finished but didn't. It felt good though. I'm happy,” said Dlagnev.

In the morning session, his fans didn’t get to cheer for him. Dlagnev qualified the USA for the Olympics without having to wrestle at all. In his quarterfinal match, Edguardo Lopez Morell of Puerto Rico forfeited his bout to Dlagnev. In the semifinals, Jesse Ruiz Flores of Mexico also did not show up, forfeiting the match to Dlagnev.

“It was cool to hear the applause. There were a lot of people that came out to see me wrestle so they finally got to,” said Dlagnev.

"It was pretty interesting that they came and didn't wrestle (Tervel this morning). He did wrestle well tonight. I'm really proud of his effort. More importantly, he was able to move and looked good and scored a lot of points in heavyweight which is not the most common there. Really proud of the fact that we got to hear the national anthem there at the end."

Dlagnev was a two-time Texas state high school medalist for nearby Arlington High School. He won two NCAA Div. II titles for Nebraska-Kearney and has been one of the world’s best heavyweights for many years.

Two-time World team member Tony Ramos (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) won a silver medal at 57 kg/125.5 lbs., losing in the finals to 2014 World bronze medalist Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez of Cuba by a 0-10 technical fall.

Bonne had beaten Ramos twice last season, once at the Beat the Streets Dual in New York City and also at the World Cup in Los Angeles.

“When you're at this elite level, the athletes tend to do what they do best. Sometimes when you wrestle other elite talent, you have to make adjustments. I promise you, with Tony, he will make those adjustments. You're talking about winning an Olympic Gold medal and the Gold medal has to go through Bonne then that’s what has to happen. However, he has to wrestle him different. He has to wrestle him smarter. I know it didn't look like it at times but there was progress in that match," said Burnett.

In the morning session, Ramos qualified the weight class for the USA with two dominant wins. He opened with an impressive 25 second pin over Jefferson Mayea Figueroa of Ecuador. In his semifinal, Ramos hit five straight ankle laces to secure a 13-2 technical fall over Pedro Mejias Rodriguez of Venezuela.

Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC/Hawkeye WC) won the bronze medal at 65 kg/143 lbs., earning an injury default victory over Hernan Guzman Ipuz of Colombia in just 28 seconds. Guzman went down with an injury while the athletes were on their feet, and could not continue.

After his bronze-medal match, Metcalf talked about his controversial 7-9 loss to Puerto Rico’s Franklin Gomez in the quarterfinals, which did not allow him to qualify the weight class for the Olympics. It appeared that he had a takedown in the final 15 seconds of the match which was not awarded. The USA could not issue a challenge because they had a failed challenge earlier in the match.

“It’s frustrating, it’s wrong on all levels. I can critique myself and say, ‘hey don’t give up so many points, don’t find yourself in a hole 9-0’ but the fact of the matter was, however it worked out whether it was four on the edge or maybe two on the takedown, those are controversial calls. That was a takedown for 15 seconds and then the guy was flat on his belly, takedown and there was still time on the clock. I mean it’s just crookedness, blatant cheating in front of this whole world and the board of whoever is standing up here watching this. It’s frustrating for me because we’re in the United States and that’s why we’re here because we do things right,” said Metcalf.

“And I’m not taking anything from Franklin Gomez because he came out and took it to me but the fact of the match was the way that it was. I won this match. That’s not to degrade or take anything from him, kudos to him for doing what he did but it’s very tough to swallow. You expect those things when you go to Russia,in Mongolia, that’s going happenand I’m gonna have to walk off the mat and just deal with it. But I guess I had to here too. That’s too bad. It’s frustrating on a ton of levels but what are you going to do?” Metcalf continued.

Winning another bronze medal for the USA was 2009 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) at 86 kg/189 lbs. He defeated Canada’s Tamerlan Tagziev in the bronze-medal match.

Herbert lost a tough 1-2 semifinal match against three-time World medalist Reineris Salas of Cuba. All of the points were scored on pushouts in the first period. Salas now has five career wins over Herbert, including three since Herbert made his comeback to wrestling in 2015. This was their closest match ever.

“I didn’t do what I came here to do, so no matter how good I wrestle. It’s upsetting when I felt like I wrestled my best but I felt like it wasn’t enough to get the job done. Nothing I can do but learn, move on, and focus on making it on the Olympic team. I’m representing the greatest country in the world. I should have gotten the job done so that’s two times I’ve failed to qualify this weight. So I’m upset with myself. There is nothing I can do know but focus on the positives and the next step in five weeks, road to Rio in Iowa City. I have got to make that team.”

The United States has now qualified four of the six men’s freestyle wrestling weight classes for the Rio Olympic Games. The USA had already qualified at 74 kg/163 lbs. and 97 kg/213 lbs. after Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder won gold medals at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.

The U.S. will have two more weight classes left to qualify (65 kg and 86 kg). First, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be held in Iowa City, Iowa, April 9-10. Then, the USA will have two more chances to qualify those two weight classes, in Ulaanbaattar, Mongolia, April 22-24 and in Istanbul, Turkey, May 6-8.

"We certainly have our work cut out for us in Mongolia. But that’s what we'll do. We'll pack back up and continue down that road to Rio,” said Burnett.

Cuba came into the tournament without having qualified any weight classes for the Olympics. Today, the Cubans qualified an athlete for the Rio Olympics in five of the six weight classes, and won gold medals in all five of those divisions.

The Greco-Roman competition is on Sunday, the final day of the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier. The preliminaries and repechage round starts at 10:00 a.m., with the medal match finals at 5:00 p.m.

At Frisco, Texas, March 5, 2016

Men’s freestyle medal match pairings

57 kilos/125.5 lbs.
Gold medal – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) tech fall Tony Ramos (USA), 10-0
Bronze medal – Pedro Mejias Rodriguez (Venezuela) dec. Jefferson Figueroa (Ecuador), 8-0
Bronze medal – Wber Cuero Munoz (Colombia) dec. Agustin Destribats (Argentina), 8-0

65 kilos/143 lbs
Gold medal - Alejandro Valdes Tobier (Cuba) def. Franklin Gomez (PUR), 8-3
Bronze medal – Brent Metcalf (USA) inj. def. Hernan Guzman Ipuz (Colombia), 0:28
Bronze medal – Haislan Garcia (Canada) tech fall Jeffry Avila (Dominican Republican), 10-0

74 kilos/163 lbs.
Gold medal – Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba) forfeit over Carlos Mendez (Colombia)
Bronze medal – Eduardo Meneses (Chile) tech fall Asnage Castelly (Hati), 11-0
Bronze medal – Pedro Soto Cordero (Puerto Rico) dec. Yoan Reinoso (Ecuador), 4-4

86 kilos/189 lbs.
Gold medal – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) dec. Jamie Espinal (Puerto Rico), 6-4
Bronze medal – Jake Herbert (USA) dec. Tamerlan Tagziev (Canada), 3-0
Bronze medal – Pool Ambrocio Griefo (Peru) pin fall Edixon Paladines Alberca (Ecuador), 0:32

97 kilos/213 lbs.
Gold medal – Javier Cortina Lacerra (Cuba) dec. Jose Diaz Robertti (Venezuela), 3-1
Bronze medal – Arjun Gill (Canada) dec. Nathanael Rose (Trinidad & Tobago), 9-1
Bronze medal – Jarlys Mosquera (Colombia) tech fall Paulo Santos De Souza (Brazil), 10-0

125 kilos/275 lbs.
Gold medal – Tervel Dlagnev (USA) tech fall Korey Jarvis (Canada), 10-0
Bronze medal – Jesse Ruiz Flores (Mexico) forfeit over Edgardo Lopez (Puerto Rico), forfeit
Bronze medal - Luis Vivenes Urbaneja (Venezuela)

U.S. men’s freestyle performances

57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), silver medal
WIN Jefferson Mayea Figueroa (Ecuador), pin 0:25
WIN Pedro Mejias Rodriguez (Venezuela), 13-2
LOSS Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba), tech. fall 10-0

65 kg/143 lbs. - Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC), bronze medal
LOSS Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico), 7-9
WIN Hernan Guzman Ipuz (Colombia), 3-0

86 kg/189 lbs. - Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC), bronze medal
WIN Pedro Ceballos Fuentes (Venezuela), 9-7
LOSS Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba), 1-2
WIN Tamerlan Tagziev (Canada), 3-0

125 kg/275 lbs. - Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC), gold medal
WIN Edguardo Lopez Morell (Puerto Rico), forfeit
WIN Jesse Ruiz Flores (Mexico), forfeit
WIN Korey Jarvis (Canada), tech. fall 10-0

Olympic Qualification in men’s freestyle from the Pan American Olympic Qualifier today
57 kg/125.5 lbs.– Cuba, United States
65 kg/143 lbs. – Cuba, Puerto Rico
74 kg/163 lbs. – Cuba, Colombia
86 kg/189 lbs.– Cuba, Puerto Rico
97 kg/213 lbs – Cuba, Venezuela
75 kg/165 lbs. – United States, Canada

Updated Olympic Qualification in men’s freestyle for Pan American Nations
Cuba, 5 (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
United States, 4 (57 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg)
Puerto Rico, 2 (65 kg, 86 kg)
Colombia, 1 (74 kg)
Venezuela, 1 (97 kg)
Canada, 1 (125 kg)