USOEC wrestler Harry Lester (red) in action
MARQUETTE—United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio) is the recipient of the Sawyer International Airport elite performance of the month award for April for his finish at the University National Championships in Akron, Ohio. The entire Greco team was also recognized for its team performance at the competition.
Despite wrestling a weight class higher and his lack of training in freestyle for the last five years, Lester took first in both the 70-kilogram class of the Greco division and the 74-kg class of the freestyle division. The Northern Michigan University senior was also named the Greco division’s outstanding wrestler.
On his way to gold, he pinned NMU junior Tim Bleau (Ishpeming) in 38 seconds in the Greco championship match. In the freestyle finals, he beat three-time NCAA All-American Travis Paulson 3-0, 0-2, 3-0.
The USOEC Greco team won the competition’s team title for the ninth consecutive year. In addition to Lester’s two first-place finishes, six other teammates won gold in their weight classes.
USOEC facility user Nate Engel (St. Helena) pinned fellow facility user Terry Allison (Pinson, Ala.) in the second period at 1:10 in the 55-kg championship match. Engel’s performance didn’t go unnoticed by USOEC coaches. He was offered a resident athlete position on the team for the 2007-08 season.
At 60 kg, NMU sophomore Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo.) defeated Donavan Depatto (U.S. Marines) 4-3, 4-0. Junior Kerry Regner (Dalington, Pa.) outmaneuvered Geoffrey Martin (MinnKota) 7-0, 6-0 in the 63-kg finals. At 66 kg, senior Marco Lara (Long Beach, Calif.) took top honors by outmatching USOEC facility user Ben Sanchez 7-0, 4-0. In the 74-kg class, junior Andrew Bisek (Chaska, Minn.) overtook freshman Talan Knox 4-0, 1-1 in the final. Senior Jacob Fisher (Platte City, Mo) defeated junior Cheney Haight (Drem, Utah) 4-0, 3-1 in the 79-kg final. At 84 kg, junior Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn.) won gold when opponent Jeremy Pederson (U.S. Marines) was unable to compete in the championship match due to an injury.
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