More than a dozen countries will be represented this weekend at USA Wrestling’s Dave Schultz Memorial International Open. The competition, Friday through Sunday, will take place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
With a nod to USA Wrestling media contact Gary Abbott for providing background information …
Greco-Roman standouts include Americans Lindsey Durlacher, Sam Hazewinkel and Harry Lester, along with Bulgaria’s Aleksander Kostadinov. Durlacher (55 kg) is a 2006 World Championships bronze medalist; Hazewinkel (55 kg) is the 2008 University Worlds champ; Lester (74 kg) is the 2006 and ’07 World bronze medalist, and Kostadinov (55 kg) is the 2007 and ’08 Junior World champion.
Incidentally, University of Kentucky graduate James Johnson, a three-time national champion, is coaching the Greco-Roman talent for the Sunkist Kids.
Top entrants in men’s freestyle include India’s Sushil Kumar and Russians Darsam Dzaparov, Magomed Zubairov and Evgeni Kolomiets. Kumar (66 kg) is the reigning Olympic bronze medalist; Dzaparov (66 kg) is the 2006 Junior World champion; Zubairov (74 kg) is the 2008 Junior World champion; and Kolomiets (96 kg) is the 2008 World University champion.
Women’s freestylers include Carol Huynh, Clarissa Chun, Iwona Matkowska-Sadowska, Patricia Miranda, Katherine Fulp-Allen, Aka Tomar, Sylwia Bilenska, Tonya Verbeek, Tatyana Lazareva, Adeline Gray, Monika Ewa Michalik and Agnieszka Wieszczek.
At 48 kg, Canada’s Huynh is the 2008 Olympic gold medalist; Team USA’s Chun is the 2008 World champion; and Poland’s Matkowska-Sadowska is the 2006 World bronze-medalist.
At 51 kg, Miranda is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist and four-time winner of the Schultz Memorial, and fellow American Fulp-Allen is the 2008 Junior World champion.
At 55 kg, India’s Tomar is the 2006 World bronze medalist; Poland’s Bilenska is the 2004 World University champion; Canada’s Verbeek is the 2004 and ’08 Olympic bronze medalist; and Ukraine’s Lazareva is the 2004 World University champion and ’08 World silver medalist.
Gray, of the U.S., is the 2008 Junior World champ at 67 kg, while Poland’s Michalik is the 2006 and ’07 World bronze medalist.
Wieszczek, also a Pole, is the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist.
* Wrestling is on tap in Lexington as well. The Lexington City Championships will take place Saturday at Tates Creek High School. Finals begin at 1:30 p.m.
Arkansas visits UK gymnasts; Hall of Fame class named
Switching from wrestling mat to floor exercise mat, Kentucky’s women will entertain third-ranked Arkansas in a Southeastern Conference meet, Friday at 7 p.m. This will be the annual “Pink Meet” at Memorial Coliseum, in support of UK HealthCare’s Markey Cancer Center.
The Cats have dropped three straight SEC meets after opening with a non-conference victory over Utah State. Arkansas is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in the SEC.
Admission is $1 for fans wearing pink, full price for others. A portion of proceeds will benefit breast cancer research, education and treatment at the Markey Cancer Center. The first 300 fans will receive a pink mug.
Friday also is designated as Girl Scouts Night, with free admission for those wearing Girl Scouts uniforms or T-shirts.
After the meet, UK’s sophomore gymnasts will sign autographs.
Last week, at No. 8 Florida, Heather Hite and Hillary Ferguson led UK on the balance beam, each scoring 9.750 to tie for second place.
Natalie Rubinstein, ranked 18th on the uneven bars, led the Cats in that event as she has all season, scoring 9.825.
Ferguson, No. 21 nationally in floor exercise, scored 9.825 at Florida to place third overall. She also took third in the all-around at 39.075.
Arkansas, coming off a win over No. 9 Alabama, is led by Casey Jo Magee. Ranked third nationally, she won her fifth all-around of the season by scoring 39.450. Ranked No. 2 on the floor, she scored 9.925 in that event.
* USA Gymnastics this week announced its 2009 class of inductees for the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
The HOFers include: 2004 Olympic all-around gold medalist Carly Patterson; 2004 rhythmic Olympian Mary Sanders; 2000 Olympian Steve McCain; and 1996 Olympian John Macready.
Also elected: two-time World Acrobatic champions Shenea Booth and Arthur Davis; trampoline and tumbling coach/judge Pat Wilson Henderson; trampolinist James Yongue; Temple University coach Fred Turoff, and the 1999 World Championships gold-medal double mini-trampoline team of Karl Heger, Mark Griffith, Byron Smith and Ryan Weston.
The Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony is set for Friday, Aug. 14, as part of the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show at Dallas, which is held in conjunction with the Visa Championships. More information is available at www.usa-gymnastics.org.