LOS ANGELES -- Still stinging from a 5-3 loss to Iran the night before, Team USA's freestyle wrestling team rebounded with an 8-0 shutout of Turkey during the final round of pool action at the World Cup in Los Angeles. The win earned them a runner-up finish in their pool and put them in contention for the bronze medal. In the evening session, Team USA was impressive again, going 7-1 against Ukraine and taking a strong third.
Against Turkey, Angel Escobedo opened the meet with a first-period pin at 57 kilos, which was followed by three consecutive technical falls from Jimmy Kennedy at 61 kilos, Brent Metcalf at 65 kilos and Nick Marable at 70 kilos.
Jordan Burroughs continued the dominance by earning his third pin of the weekend over Murat Erturk at 2:17 in the first period. Clayton Foster continued his undefeated run on the weekend by beating Faith Erdin, 16-9, and J.D. Bergman followed with an 8-4 win over Ali B-onceoglu. The final match of the meet was not contested as Tervel Dlagnev won by forfeit.
USA's final opponent was not determined until the following round when Ukraine defeated Mongolia, 5-3, in a back-and-forth dual meet. Ukraine looked strong in the victory and had rallied after a poor performance in their opening bout against Russia. In the subsequent matches in yesterday's action they defeated Japan 7-1 and Georgia 5-3.
Team USA would electrify the packed crowd at the Forum throughout the evening with an aggressive tempo. It is worth noting that the audience contained an exceptionally large contingent of Iranian fans -- to an extent that the members of the Iranian team themselves were surprised by the support. However, during the bronze-medal match, the Iranian section was exceptionally loud in screaming "USA."
Angel Escobedo began his match slowly, looking for the right opportunities to strike and held a small lead going into the second period. He then smelled blood and broke the match open, scoring a tech fall just prior to the end of the bout.
Jimmy Kennedy was impressive holding a 3-1 lead after the first period against World and Olympic medalist Vasyl Fedoryshyn. He then added a takedown in the second period to win 5-1.
Clayton Foster finished unbeaten and won a World Cup gold (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)The highlight of Team USA's performance was at 86 kilos, where Clayton Foster continued his undefeated run on the weekend by beating standing World champ Ibragim Aldatov, 7-2.
Despite the dominance, Team USA was not completely pleased with their performance.
Down from 74 kilos a month ago, Nick Marable believes he has a ways to go.
"I'm still not wrestling as good as I think I can," said Marable. "I knew cutting down to 70 kilos was going to be a process. Today, I felt like my legs were under me more than they were yesterday.
"Technically, I think I'm at about seventy-five percent. Sammie (Henson) got to come overseas with me. So he got see what I'm doing right and what I'm not doing right. My goal is to get to one-hundred percent by the World Championships."
Even with two dominating performances on Sunday, Escobedo wished he had done more against standing World champion Hassan Rahimi of Iran the night before.
"He shot six times, I shot none. I think I may have overthought that. When I'm scoring points, it's tough to beat me."
And while Jordan Burroughs did feel like he was on his game, he too, wanted more.
"This is the third year in a row I've won this," said Burroughs. "It's the third year we've finished third. It's the third year in a row we've lost to Iran. It's becoming a little bit too much of a trend for me. I want us at the top of the podium."
USA 7, Ukraine 1
57 kilos: Angel Escobedo (USA) tech. fall over Sergiy Ratushny (Ukraine), 11-1
61 kilos: Jimmy Kennedy (USA) dec. Vasyl Fedoryshyn (Ukraine), 5-1
65 kilos: Brent Metcalf (USA) tech. fall over Ivan Petriv (Ukraine), 12-2
70 kilos: Nick Marable (USA) dec. Andriy Kvyatkovskyy (Ukraine), 3-2
74 kilos: Jordan Burroughs (USA) tech. fall over Giya Chykladze (Ukraine), 15-4
86 kilos: Clayton Foster (USA) dec. Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine), 7-2
97 kilos: Pavlo Oliinyk (Ukraine) dec. J.D. Bergman (USA), 4-1
125 kilos: Tervel Dlagnev (USA) won by forfeit
USA 8, Turkey 0
57 kilos: Angel Escobedo (USA) pinned Nebi Uzun (Turkey), 2:50
61 kilos: Jimmy Kennedy (USA) tech. fall over Recep Topal (Turkey), 10-0
65 kilos: Brent Metcalf (USA) tech. fall over Selahattin Kilisalayan (Turkey), 10-0
70 kilos: Nick Marable (USA) tech. fall over Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 13-0
74 kilos: Jordan Burroughs (USA) pinned Murat Erturk (Turkey), 2:17
86 kilos: Clayton Foster (USA) dec. Fatih Erdin (Turkey), 16-9
97 kilos: J.D. Bergman (USA) dec. Ali B-onceoglu (Turkey), 8-4
125 kilos: Tervel Dlagnev (USA) won by forfeit