Team Georgia completes Oklahoma stay with freestyle
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
June 29, 2014 12:32 AM | 1231 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Team Georgia completed competition at the United States Amateur Wrestling Junior National Duals Championships on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Georgia Blue placed 14th of 37 teams in freestyle wrestling, while Georgia Red was last in the same discipline.

The event in Oklahoma served as preparation for next month’s ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

Saturday’s showing came on the heels of Thursday’s Greco-Roman competition, where Georgia Blue placed 13th of 32 teams and Georgia Red finished 30th.

The four-day event pit teams from different states against one another in a duals format. Some states, such as Georgia, had two teams participating.

Team Georgia assistant Mike Miller, also the Life wrestling coach, credited the group for wrestling tough, but he also acknowledged that the goal coming into the event was to finish among the best teams in the country.

“Finishing middle-of-the-pack isn’t OK,” he said. “We want to be among the elite. We want to be better. It will come. We just have to keep pushing. This is a chance for us to put Georgia on the mat. We want to involve the best guys in Team Georgia and help kids who want to be here.”

Among the Georgia Blue squad were Kennesaw Mountain’s Justan Rivera, Wheeler’s Aslan Kilic and Walton’s George Humphreys. Walton’s Brandon Lin wrestled for Georgia Red.

Rivera, a rising senior and three-time state champion, is in his third year with Team Georgia. He went 7-1 in freestyle, wrestling at 182 pounds.

Rivera’s accomplishments helped Georgia Blue finish fourth in Pool C at 2-2. The team received a first-round bye into the quarterfinals, where it beat Connecticut 39-32. After losing 52-14 to New Jersey in the semifinals, Georgia rebounded for a 54-15 victory over Arkansas in the consolation semifinals.

Georgia fell to Maryland 45-24 in the third-place match, qualifying it for the Bronze/Copper consolation division.

Georgia then placed sixth out of eight in the Bronze/Cooper division, beating South Dakota before dropping consecutive matches to Florida, Washington and California.

Humphreys, a rising senior, had a 2-2 record at 285, while Kilic, a rising junior, finished 4-4 at 120.

“We wrestled tough, but we’re also a young team with a lot to learn,” Miller said. “We made a few mistakes at the end that cost us matches. We didn’t know how to finish a match and that’s what we’re learning before going to Fargo.”

Lin, a rising senior, went 1-5 for Georgia Red between the 220- and 285-pound weight classes.

Georgia lost its pool matches to Illinois (61-5) and Indiana (49-14) in qualifying for the Purple consolation division. It then closed the day out with losses to Tennessee, Minnesota Red, North Dakota Blue and Louisiana.

USAW presented Team Georgia with the Sportsmanship Award at the conclusion of the event. According to Miller, the award is for “just being a good sport.”

“That includes shaking hands after matches, treating everybody the right way, no cussing on the bench or acting up,” Miller added.
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