BEAT THE STREETS “SALSA IN THE SQUARE” – Thoughts, highlights & interviews.

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What a great event Beat the Streets put on at ‘Salsa in the Square’! And while there was a lot of great wrestling, the environment and atmosphere was equally as electric. If I were a promoter, I’d be getting some big ideas for future events like this in other public venues. Most participants and spectators and wrestlers that I spoke with preferred Duffy Square over Grand Central Station and the Intrepid. It’s unlike any other wrestling environment that I have seen – the distractions were aplenty. How many wrestlers have ever had to focus while a fire truck or ambulance siren screams past before going on the mat or during a wrestling match? Wrestlers that thrive here are the very picture of focused athletes. With the cold weather, a few drops of rain, screaming sirens and maybe the toughest commute from the warm-up area to the competition area in any senior level event it speaks to the level of focus by both teams competitors
Several Americans put on great shows,: Taylor, Miller, Maroulis and Dlagnev won via Tech Falls. All I see is gold won by fall in the last match of the event.

USA 9, CUBA 4
Women’s freestyle
69 kg/152 lbs. – Randi Miller (USA) tech. fall 11-0 over Yudari Sanchez Rodriguez (Cuba). Total dominance by the Bronze Medalist, Miller. We talked for a while after her match. She’s one of the nicest people I met at the event.
60 kg/132 lbs. – Yekelin Stornell Elastigue (Cuba) tech. fall 11-0 over Rosemary Flores (USA). Rosemary is the first graduate of Beat the Streets to get on a world team. She was eaten up by Elastigue’s blast doubles.

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun (USA) decision over Yusneylis Guzman Lopez (Cuba). Chun a World Champion and Bronze Medalist looked dominant against Lopez but couldn’t quite get to a tech.

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) tech. fall 10-0 over Yamilka del Valle Alvarez (Cuba). Maroulis’s opponent used a lot of big moves to try and counter Helen’s superiority. It was no use as Maroulis was aggressive and technically sound throughout the match.
Special Challenge Match
NCAA Div. I champion Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) 9-0 decision over NCAA Div. II champion Joey Davis (Notre Dame College). After a tight and close first period A.D. figure out a nice take down and exposure combination. It was closer than the score indicates. Dieringer is a stud, no debating, but I’m left wondering if Davis had a tougher room and workout partners, what would he be able to do? Rumor is that there might be news on this front soon. Dieringer interview.

Greco-Roman
75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek (USA ) 4-1 decision over Yurisandi Hernandez Rios (Cuba). Bisek had a nice exposure in the 2nd period that sealed the deal and got the crowd going. Fear the ‘stache. The real question about this weight class happens during next year’s Olympic cycle – does Dake come here and compete with Bisek? Stay tuned to True-Wrestling for scoop.

59 kg/130 lbs. –Maykel Anache Lamout (Cuba) 6-4 decision Spenser Mango (USA). Mango didn’t get to his attacks and seemed less than his best tonight. I’ve seen him explode on quality opponents before but tonight he was caught and thrown early. He’s lost to Anache Lamout before and even with the early throw it was a close match.
Men’s freestyle
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev (USA) 10-0 tech. fall Andres Ramos Dinza (Cuba). I really appreciate Dlagnev, a 2 x DII champ that is really peaking at the senior level. He totally dominated the young Cuban. I’ve talked with Tervel a couple of times and his demeanor always strikes me as a great wrestler not defined solely by wrestling.
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) 14-1 tech. fall Tony Ramos (USA). This was a much anticipated rematch and was much closer than the score indicated with Bonne Rodriguez scoring 2 big counter throws late in the match. Ramos was in deep on shots but couldn’t finish them. If he finishes two of them he’s the winner. Ramos looked like he might have created separation from other Americans. We’ll see at the World Team Trails very soon.
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (USA) 4-0 decision over Javier Cortina Lacerra (Cuba). Kyle Snyder is the now. He beat a tough #6 ranked wrestler in the world. Cortina Lacerra looked like a weight class bigger but by the end of the match Snyder had broken his spirit. I’m not saying the Snyder is always going to beat Jake Varner but I think that he’s hungrier than Varner right now. He’s leaning heavily towards an Olympic Redshirt. He’s done OK this senior season winning the U.S. Open against former Gold Medalist JakeVarner and beating #6 Cortina Lacerra decisively without a Redshirt. It’s great for American wrestlers to see this young college wrestler doing very good things at the senior level so early in his career.

65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) 8-5 decision over Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba). Brent didn’t blow his unranked wrestler out but was in control during the match. Castillo scored off of Metcalf’s offensive mistakes. Post match Metcalf seemed more relaxed than he used to be. Not overlooking the World Team Trails but also focused on performing at the World Championships in September.
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) 18-7 tech. fall Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba). This is Taylor’s biggest senior level victory. The Cubans moved Lopez Axcuy away from Burroughs. That didn’t work out for them. Taylor dominated the mat all but for 20 seconds. He got his attacks going from the opening whistle. He seems like a different wrestler right now, a little more focused and relaxed with himself. America is stacked at 74 KG’s, it’s too bad for them but makes great viewership for the public. Taylor out of college for a year is now at another level. We’ll see at the World Team Trails.
86 kg/189 lbs. – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) 8-4 decision over Jake Herbert (USA). This was a closer match than the score. Herbert was in deep on several shots but couldn’t finish. Salas Perez has very strong hips/core and can scramble unlike any other big guy I’ve seen. I think that Herbert has taken a step up in his performance since his 2 years off. I think that he’s the guy for USA at World’s in September. We’ll see. Interview
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) Fall 4:50 Luis Esteban Quintana Martinez (Cuba). What can be said about JB that hasn’t already been said? He’s got the total package: smarts, technique, athleticism, mental toughness and showmanship. He’s got the best attributes of boxing great Muhammad Ali mixed in with his own level headedness and smarts. His wrestling speaks for itself, he’s loved around the globe except for those at 74 KG. The most unique attribute that Burroughs has is his drive. He’s still hungry after Gold medals and World Championships. So few athletes can keep that drive at the same high level. Life gets in the way. Burroughs is in such exclusive territory that once in a generation isn’t enough of a moniker. Legend.

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