News Archive



Here, from the USOC Press Box, are the results of the U.S. National Wrestling Championships, held April 29-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.: Past World champions Sammie Henson, Dremiel Byers win titles at U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. by Gary Abbott – USA Wrestling A pair of past World champions claimed individual titles at the U.S. National Wrestling Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., April 30. Winning the gold medal at 55 kg/121 lbs. in men’s freestyle was 1998 World champion Sammie Henson (St. Louis, Mo./Sunkist Kids), and 2002 World Champion Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) won the gold medal at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in men’s Greco-Roman. Henson defeated Matt Azevedo (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Sunkist Kids), 2-0, 5-0 in the championship finals. It was Henson’s third career U.S. Nationals title. Henson was also a silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Byers defeated Russ Davie (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), 3-0, 2-0 in the championship match. It was Byers fifth career U.S. Nationals title. Byers was the Outstanding Wrestler at the 2004 U.S. Nationals after beating 2000 Olympic champion Rulon Gardner in the championship finals. Twelve weight divisions were contested on Saturday, using the new rules of international wrestling. Under the new format, each weight class is contested in a single day. There were four weight classes in each of the men’s freestyle, men’s Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle wrestling. A total of nine weight classes were contested and completed on Friday, with complete results posted on Byers was one of three defending champions with victories on Saturday night. 2004 Olympian Brad Vering (Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) defeated Keith Sieracki (Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 1-0, 1-0 to claim the 84 kg/185 lbs. title in Greco-Roman. It was Vering’s third straight U.S. Nationals title. Sieracki is a four-time U.S. Nationals champion, but won his titles at a lower weight class. Repeating as the women’s champion at 55 kg/121 lbs. was Tina George (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), who defeated Marcie Van Dusen (Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 4-0, 2-1. It was George’s third career U.S. Nationals title. George is a two-time World silver medalist. Four of the champions on Saturday night, including Henson, were former U.S. Nationals champions who have returned to champion’s row after not winning in recent seasons. A former champion who returned to the top of the awards podium was Chris Bono (Gilbert, Iowa/Sunkist Kids), who defeated top seeded Jared Lawrence (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 1-0, 1-1, 1-0 in the men’s freestyle finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. It was Bono’s second career U.S. Nationals title, to go along with a 2003 title. Bono has competed on two U.S. World Teams. Lawrence was second at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The 66 kg/145.5 lbs. division was considered one of the deepest in the field this year. Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) won her fourth career U.S. Nationals title, stopping Ali Bernard (New Ulm, Minn./Univ of Regina) in the women’s 72 kg/158.5 lbs finals, 4-2,4-0. Smith’s last U.S. Nationals title was in 2002. Bernard was a 2004 U.S. Nationals champion at one weight class below, at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) won his second U.S. Nationals title, pinning Steve Mocco (N. Bergen, N.J./New York AC) in the second period of their battle at 120 kg/264.5 pounds. Thompson won the first period, 1-0, then pinned Mocco at the last second on the clock in the second period, at the 2:00 mark. Five of Saturday night’s champions won the U.S. Nationals for the first time. At 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman, Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio/USOEC/Gator WC) won his first U.S. Nationals title, with a 3-0, 1-0 win over 2001 U.S. Nationals champion Marcel Cooper (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army). Lester became the first member of the U.S. Olympic Education Center university program at Northern Michigan Univ. to win a U.S. Nationals title. Lester was named Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman for the U.S. Nationals this year. The new 84 kg/185 lbs. champion in men’s freestyle is Muhammed Lawal (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC), who stopped defending national champion Lee Fullhart (Blacksburg, Va./Gator WC), 1-0, 1-1, 2-1. Fullhart was the Outstanding Wrestler at last year’s U.S. Nationals. Lawal placed third at the 2004 U.S. Nationals, and was third at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Capturing a first U.S. Nationals title in the 63 kg/138.75 lbs. division was Alaina Berube, (Escanaba,Mich./New York AC) who pinned Kaci Lyle (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at the 1:36 mark of the second period. Berube won the first period 1-0, then put Lyle away with a fall in the second period. Berube is a college wrestling star at Cumberland College, and was second at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Berube was named Outstanding Wrestler in the women’s division. Winning her first U.S. Nationals title in her first trip to the finals was Sara Fulp-Allen (El Granada, Calif./Menlo College), who claimed the 48 kg/105.5 lbs women’s title with a second-period pin over high school star Caitlyn Chase (Hanover Park, Ill./Gator WC). Chase won the first period, 2-0, but Fulp-Allen came back to pin Chase 1:20 into the second period. The lightest weight class in Greco-Roman also featured a new champion, as college star Sam Hazewinkel (Pensacola, Fla./Gator WC) defeated Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Hazewinkel won in two straight periods, 3-0, 3-0. It was the first time in the U.S. Nationals finals for Hazewinkel, and a third career runner-up finish for Durlacher. The Outstanding Wrestler in men’s freestyle was Michael Lightner (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids), who on the 60 kg/132 lbs. title on Friday night. Team awards were also announced in all divisions. In men’s freestyle, the team champion in Div. I was the Sunkist Kids, and the Div. II champions were the New York AC. In men’s Greco-Roman, the team champion in Div. I was the U.S. Army, and the team champion in Div. II was the Gator WC. In women’s wrestling, the team champion was the Sunkist Kids. The U.S. Nationals champion earns the top seed and advances directly to the Championship Series finals at the U.S. World Team Trials in Ames, Iowa, June 18-19. The top seven place finishers in each weight class qualify to compete in the World Team Trials. Tickets are on sale for the World Team Trials at For complete results, visit TheMat.com

Scroll To Top +