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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



Cael Sanderson named 2004 John Smith Award winner, as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wres



Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) has been named the winner of the 2004 John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the second straight year that Sanderson has won this prestigious award (2003, 2004). Sanderson won the Olympic gold medal in men's freestyle wrestling at 84 kg/185 lbs. at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He was the only U.S. wrestler to win a gold medal during the Athens Games, one of six U.S. medallists in all three styles. Sanderson won five matches on the way to the title, and he defeated 2000 Olympic silver medalist Moon Eui Jae of Korea in the gold-medal finals, 3-1. His semifinal victory was a thrilling 3-2 decision over 1999 World champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero of Cuba. Sanderson scored two second-period takedowns for the margin of victory. He had lost his previous two meetings with Romero prior to the Olympic showdown. In the quarterfinals, in an exciting match, Sanderson stopped 2002 World bronze medalist Majid Khodaei of Iran, 6-5. Sanderson fell behind. and battled back with some outstanding wrestling late in the match. He also captured two matches in his pool competition, beating Magomed Kurguliev of Kazakhstan, 4-2 and Siarhei Borchanka of Belarus, 9-1. Sanderson earned his spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, winning the title at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Wrestling in Indianapolis, Ind in May. He defeated Lee Fullhart (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) in the championship series, two matches to one. Sanderson won both of his matches at the Titan Games, held in Atlanta, Ga in June. He also won a gold medal at the Manitoba Open in Canada, and a silver medal at the Ivan Yarygin International in Russia. At the Yarygin Tournament, he defeated 2000 Olympic champion Adam Saitiev. He also won a silver medal at the U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. Sanderson was named as a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Award this year, which recognizes the nation's top amateur athlete. It is the second time in his career that he has been a finalist for the award. In 2002, Sanderson achieved national attention in college at Iowa State, when he became the first athlete to go undefeated and won four NCAA Div. I wrestling titles. Sports Illustrated said it was the No. 2 achievement in college sports history. He is originally from Heber City, Utah. USA Wrestling will be announcing major award winners each day this week on TheMat.com. PAST JOHN SMITH AWARD WINNERS AS FREESTYLE WRESTLER OF THE YEAR 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
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