Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
One title was not enough for Sam Hazewinkel.
About 18 hours after winning the Sunkist Kids International Open title in Greco-Roman at 55 kg/121 lbs., Hazewinkel was back on the mat early Sunday morning and trying to add a second title in freestyle.
The past four-time All-American from Oklahoma and U.S. Nationals champion in Greco-Roman is jumping into his first full season of international wrestling after his college career concluded last March.
Another past collegiate star, two-time NCAA champion Cole Konrad, is wrestling in both styles this weekend at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Konrad placed third in Greco-Roman on Saturday. Konrad was second at the 2007 U.S. Nationals in freestyle.
Askren downs Lackey in battle of NCAA champions
Two-time Hodge Trophy winner and two-time NCAA champion Ben Askren downed past NCAA champion Matt Lackey 5-3, 6-0 in the first round at 74 kg/163 lbs. on Sunday morning.
Askren is jumping into international wrestling full-time after just finishing his brilliant collegiate career at Missouri, where he was a four-time NCAA finalist.
Kolat sweeps Ware in opening round at 66 kg
Past World medalist Cary Kolat, who returned to the mat briefly last year, started Sunday?s competition with a 5-0, 2-0 first-round win over two-time NCAA champion Teyon Ware at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Kolat was a World silver medalist in 1997, a World bronze medalist in 1998 and placed fourth in the World in 1999. He did not place at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Kolat placed fourth at the 2007 U.S. Nationals. He retired after the 2000 Olympics and came back briefly in 2003 before returning to competition last April.
Paulson twins both wrestling freestyle at 74 kg
Twins Trent and Travis Paulson, who both finished as three-time All-Americans at Iowa State, are both wrestling in freestyle at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Travis is on the top side of the bracket and Trent, a 2007 NCAA champion, is on the bottom side.
The twins have never met in competition, either wrestling in different classes or having one twin forfeit to the other if they wind up being paired together in the same class.
Division II national champions hit the mat
You don?t have to wrestle at the NCAA Division I level to excel internationally.
Just ask Les Sigman, Tervel Dlagnev, Todd Meneely and Tom Meester. Four of the best Division II wrestlers in recent years are all competing in freestyle at the Sunkist Kids event.
Sigman, a four-time D-II champion at Nebraska-Omaha, is competing at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. along with Dlagnev, a Nebraska-Kearney senior who won his first D-II title last season. Sigman beat Dlagnev in the 2006 D-II national finals. Sigman placed fourth at the 2007 U.S. World Team Trials and Dlagnev was fourth at the 2007 U.S. Nationals.
Meneely, a junior at Nebraska-Omaha, is wrestling at 60 kg/132 lbs. He placed fifth at the 2007 U.S. World Team Trials. He won a D-II national title at 149 last season. Meester was a two-time D-II champion for Augustana.