MARQUETTE – U.S. Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Kendrick Sanders (Homestead, Fla.) captured a first-place finish at the 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International last Saturday, Feb. 4, in Colorado Springs, Colo., and subsequently earned a trip to the U.S. Olympic Trials.
The Northern Michigan University sophomore pinned Italy’s Tiziano Corriga with 14 seconds left in the first period in the final match at 66 kilograms.
“That’s my go-to move, and that’s what I used. Once I got him up, I knew it was in my control,” said Sanders.
With the first-place finish, Sanders automatically qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa in April.
Named the meet’s Outstanding Greco-Roman Wrestler, Sanders won his first match with a 6-0, 1-0 decision followed by a pin in his second match. In the semifinals, Sanders won against Italy’s Riccardo Magni with a close 1-0, 1-0 decision.
Junior Tanner Andrews (North Aurora, Ill.) placed third in the 74 kg weight class. Andrews won a 7-0, 2-0 decision followed by a 1-0, 2-0 win against teammate senior Cory Hope (Carol Stream, Ill.). He then faced teammate junior Aaron Briggs (Turson, Ariz.), winning by a 1-0, 2-0 decision, followed by a 1-0, 6-0 decision against J Anderson. In the third-place match, Andrews lost the first period 0-1, but bounced back winning the next two periods 1-0, 2-0.
Hope and Briggs finished the tournament with records of 1-2 and 3-2, respectively.
At 55 kg, sophomore Max Nowry (Wheeling, Ill.) won his first two matches with a 0-1, 3-2, 2-1 decision and a 2-0, 1-0 decision, finishing with a record of 2-2. Senior Paul Tellgren (Anoka, Minn.) and sophomore Dmitry Ryabchinskiy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) both went 1-2 at 55 kg.
Junior Josh Castellano (Wood Dale, Ill.) lost his first match at 66 kg, but came back to win his next two matches having a 2-2 record. Junior Bo Beckman (Orem, Utah) also competed at 66 kg.
Recording 1-2 marks at the meet were sophomores Marcus Finau (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) at 96 kg and Toby Erickson (East Helena, Mont.) at 120 kg.
Seniors Chad Hemerson (Orange, Calif.), Ryan Hope (Carol Stream, Ill.), Zac Nielsen (Zimmerman, Minn.), and junior Mark Stenberg (Lockport, Ill.) all competed in the 84 kg weight class.
Sophomores Joey DeNova (Fortson, Ga.) and Jason Chudzinski (Colonie, N.Y.) both competed at 60 kg.