USA places second overall behind Russia at FILA Junior World Championships in Nantezs, France, July
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Gary Abbott (USA Wrestling)
Based upon strong performances by the men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle teams, the United States placed second overall as a nation at the FILA Junior World Championships in Nantes, France, July 3-8. The Junior World Championships feature the best wrestlers in the world ages 17 to 20 years old (born between 1980-1983). Russia was the top nation in the combined standings, followed by the United States in second and Ukraine in third. All three U.S. teams contributed to the overall effort. The U.S. women's freestyle team placed third as a team, with three medalists. Dominique Smalley (Iowa City, Iowa/Dave Schultz WC) claimed a gold medal at 165.25 pounds. Winning silver medals in the competition were Mary Kelly (Mahomet, Ill./unattached) at 94.5 pounds and Toccara Montgomery (Cleveland, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 149.75 pounds. All nine U.S. women wrestlers placed in the top 10 of their weight divisions. The Women's World Team coaches were Tadaaki Hatta of Oberlin, Ohio, a coach for the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club and Shannon Yancey of Simi Valley, Calif., a coach for the Sunkist Kids, along with National Women's Coach Mike Duroe of Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. men's freestyle team placed fourth as a team, with four medalists. Claiming silver medals were T.J. Hill (Farmington, Mo./Dave Schultz WC) at 110 pounds, Jason Powell (Lincoln, Neb./Husker WC) at 119 pounds and Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Ohio International) at 213.75 pounds. Capturing a bronze medal was Jared Lawrence (Sandpoint, Idaho/Minnesota Storm) at 152 pounds. Eight of the nine U.S. men's freestyle team members placed in the top 10 of their weight classes. The men's U.S. Junior World freestyle team was coached by Donnie McPherson of Portland, Ore., a coach for the Peninsula Wrestling Club, and Mike Duroe of Colorado Springs, Colo., the National Freestyle Developmental Coach for USA Wrestling. Joe Privitere (Binghampton, N.Y.) won a silver medal at 152 pounds in Greco-Roman, the top U.S. performance. Andy Bowlby (Corvallis, Ore./Orange Crush) placed seventh at 286 pounds, adding points to overall U.S. effort. The Greco-Roman coaches were Dan Russell of Gresham, Ore., a coach for Team Excel and Ike Anderson of Colorado Springs, the National Greco-Roman Developmental Coach. USA Wrestling is proud of the efforts of its FILA Junior World Teams, which demonstrated the strength of the age-group and developmental wrestling programs in the United States. Congratulations to all the coaches, parents and leaders who have contributed their efforts to helping build the U.S. age-group and grassroots programs.