TOBIN WINS GOLD MEDAL AT PAN AMERICAN FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, MAY 25; ALBARRACIN, SCHATZMAN AND SIMPSON PLACE SECOND
Ryan Tobin (Brandon, S.D./Husker) claimed a gold medal at 213.75 pounds at the 1997 Pan American Freestyle Wrestling Championships at the Pedrin Zorrilla Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 25.
The tournament featured the top wrestling athletes from nations in North, South and Central America. This event is held three out of every four years, and is not held the year that the Pan American Games are hosted.
Tobin scored an impressive 10-0 technical fall in just 2:53 over Josue Garcia of Puerto Rico in the gold-medal finals.
Tobin is taking a redshirt year from the Univ. of Nebraska, where he was an NCAA All-American in 1995 and 1996.
Cuba won seven of the eight weight classes to win the team title with 56 points. The United States was second with 52 points and host Puerto Rico was third with 32 points. Fifteen nations participated in the championships.
Three other U.S. wrestlers placed second: Eric Albarracin (Scottsdale, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 119 pounds, Scott Schatzman (Chesterfield, Mo./Wildcat) at 138.75 pounds and Aaron Simpson (Wellton, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds.
Albarracin dropped a 6-1 bout in the finals to two-time World Champion Alexis Vila of Cuba. Albarracin is a former competitor for Arizona State Univ.
Schatzman fell in the gold-medal match to veteran Carlos Ortiz of Cuba, 5-0. Schatzman is taking a redshirt season from Northwestern Univ., where he was an All-American in 1996.
Simpson was defeated in the finals by Ariel Ramos of Cuba, 7-1. Simpson is a student at Arizona State.
The other four U.S. team members won bronze medals: Dwight Hinson (Lawton, Okla./Cyclone) at 127.75 pounds, Chris Bono (Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla./Cyclone) at 152 pounds, Charles Burton (Boise, Idaho/Cyclone) at 167.5 pounds and Billy Pierce (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 275.75 pounds.
Hinson and Bono were teammates from Iowa State Univ., where Bono was an NCAA Champion and Hinson was an NCAA runner-up. Hinson beat David Ortiz of Venezeula, 5-0, in the bronze-medal match, while Bono stopped Alex Coriano of Puerto Rico, 6-0, in the third-place bout. Bono also beat Coriano, a student at Purdue Univ., in a preliminary bout on Saturday.
Burton, a former All-American from Boise State, pinned Olgeri Sabuan of Dominican Republic in 3:21 to claim the bronze medal.
Pierce, a former star at the Univ. of Minnesota, pinned Alfredo Far of Panama in 1:45 in the bronze-medal match. Pierce beat Far on Saturday in a preliminary match.
All eight members of the 1997 U.S. Pan American Championships freestyle team were champions at the 1997 University Nationals, which features the best U.S. athletes who are 24 years old and below. None of the U.S. freestyle wrestlers have competed in a previous Pan American Championships.
The U.S. team was coached by Keith Mourlam of Blacksburg, Va. and Mike Duroe of Deerfield, Ill.
PAN AMERICAN FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPSat San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 25
54 kg/119 lbs. - 1st - Alexis Vila, Cuba, dec. Eric Albarracin, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-1; 3rd - Ulises Valentin, Dominican Republic, dec. Arnel Kernizian, Puerto Rico, 5-1; 5th - Alexis Ledsema, Panama; 6th - Jose Restrepo, Colombia; 7th - Abel Contreras, Ecuador; 8th - Henry Colmenares, Venezuela
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - 1st - Yoendri Albear, Cuba, won by tech. fall over Edgar Castillo, Panama, 10-0, 3:49; 3rd - Dwight Hinson, Lawton, Okla., dec. David Ortiz, Venezeula, 5-0; 5th - Luis Cortes, Colombia; 6th - Fazal Anwar, Canada; 7th - Faustino Ozuna, Dominican Republic; 8th - Javier Sanchez, Mexico
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - 1st - Carlos Ortiz, Cuba, dec. Scott Schatzman, Chesterfield, Mo., 5-0; 3rd - Edison Hertado, Colombia, dec. Eric Veitia, Panama, 5-0; 5th - Fernando Zaveras, Dominican Republic; 6th - Eddy Asuaja, Venezuela; 7th - Eduardo Avila, Mexico; 8th (tie) - Cristian Cortez, Chile and Neil Ewers, Canada
69 kg/152 lbs. - 1st - Yosmani Sanchez, Cuba, won by tech. fall over Eloy Urbano, Mexico, 10-0, 1:11; 3rd - Chris Bono, Pontre Vedre Beach, Fla., dec. Alex Coriano, Puerto Rico, 6-0; 5th - Leonardo Gonzales, Panama; 6th - Fernando Navarro, Ecuador; 7th - Angelo Brea, Dominican Republic; 8th - Mauricio Hernandez, Colombia
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - 1st - Leonardo Diaz, Cuba, dec. Manuel Garcia, Puerto Rico, 7-1; 3rd - Charles Burton, Boise, Idaho, pin Olgeri Sabuan, Dominican Republic, 3:21; 5th - Arthur Jerez, Venezuela; 6th - Felipe Guzman, Mexico; 7th - Gonzalo Palaez, Argentina; 8th - Humberto Gaviria, Colombia
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - 1st - Ariel Ramos, Cuba, dec. Aaron Simpson, Wellton, Ariz., 7-1; 3rd - Paul McConnell, Canada, dec. Daniel Iglesias, Argentina, 6-2; 5th - Alberic Colon, Puerto Rico; 6th - Juan Delgado, Mexico; 7th - Jose Diaz, Venezuela; 8th - Angel Salvador Bautista, Dominican Republic
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - 1st - Ryan Tobin, Brandon, S.D., won by tech. fall over Josue Garcia, Puerto Rico, 10-0, 2:28; 3rd - Arnulfo Hernandez, Colombia, dec. Edgar Becerra, Venezuela, 5-1; 5th - Javier Broschini, Argentina
125 kg/275.5 lbs. - 1st - Alexis Rodriguez, Cuba, won by tech. fall over Adrian Gilmore, Canada, 2:53; 3rd - Billy Pierce, Minneapolis, Minn., pin Alfredo Far, Panama, 1:45; 5th - Edwin Millet, Puerto Rico; 6th - Rafael Barrero, Venezuela
Team Standings: 1. Cuba, 56 pts.; 2. United States, 52 pts.; 3. Puerto Rico, 32 pts.; 4. Venezuela, 23 pts.; 5. Colombia, 21 pts.; 6. Panama, 20 pts,; 7. Dominican Republic, 19 pts.; 8. Canada, 16.5 pts.; 9. Mexico, 16 pts.; 10. Argentina, 11 pts.; 11. Ecuador, 5 pts.; 12. Chile, 0.5 pts.; 13. (tie) Guatemala, Jamaica and Uruguay, 0 pts.