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Army Wrestlers Retain Armed Forces Title

By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service

QUANTICO MARINE CORPS BASE, Va., March 16, 1996 – Army captured 11 gold and seven silver medals to win its seventh straight armed forces wrestling championship here March 14-16.


Soldiers grappled to four freestyle and seven Greco-Roman titles in claiming the 1996 championship. Army finished with 79 team points, 22 ahead of Marine Corps. Navy took third (54 points), followed by Air Force (33).


The Greco-Roman competition allowed Army to pull away from Marine Corps. Although they captured five of 10 freestyle title, the Marines could muster only one crown in Greco-Roman -- a wrestling form requiring athletes to use only their hands, arms and upper body.


Marines captured five silver and three bronze medals in the discipline, but Army's Greco-Roman success (seven gold and three silver) gave it a 44-27 edge in the competition's final day.


In retaining their championship, three Army wrestlers successfully defended their 1995 titles and a fourth earned gold in a heavier weight class. Spc. Miguel Spencer, the 1995 freestyle champ at 149.5 pounds, claimed the 163-pound freestyle title. He edged Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Stewart.


Sgt. Derrick Waldroup captured the Greco-Roman title at 198 pounds, taking his third straight Greco-Roman gold medal. Sgt. Shon Lewis captured the 136.5 pound class for the third straight year, and Capt. Jeffrey Green won his third consecutive freestyle unlimited title. Green also won the unlimited Greco-Roman title.


Spc. Keith Idelburg and Spc. Laurence Jackson won both freestyle and Greco-Roman titles in their respective weight classes. Although losing both bouts to defending champion Petty Officer 3rd Class Bobby Demeritt, Idelburg earned enough overall points to win both 114.5 pound categories.


Jackson then captured both 149.5 titles, defeating Navy Lt.j.g. Nick Melfi for the freestyle crown and Marine Corps Cpl. Marcel Cooper for the Greco-Roman championship.


In other Army victories, Spc. Jason Tolbert captured the 125.5 Greco-Roman title and Spc. Kenny Owens took the 180 pound Greco-Roman championship.


In taking second place, the Marines claimed six gold medals. Cpl. Jeremy Walker was the only Marine Corps double gold medalist, successfully defending his 105.5 pound freestyle title and adding the Greco-Roman championship.


Also successfully defending freestyle titles were Marine Cpl. Duaine Martin and Cpl. Anthony Esposito. Martin edged out Army Spc. Matthew Dickey for the 125.5 pound crown, while Esposito outwrestled Spc. Keith Sieracki for the 180 pound title.


1st Lt. Jay Antonelli won the freestyle gold at 136.5 pounds, while teammate 2nd Lt. Dan Hicks captured freestyle gold at 220 pounds.


Navy wrestlers captured three titles -- with two going to Lt.j.g. Tom Storey. Storey captured the freestyle championship at 198 pounds, upsetting Waldroup during the Army-Navy dual competition. He then won the Greco-Roman title at 220 pounds.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathaniel Jackson won Navy's third gold medal, capturing the Greco-Roman title at 163 pounds.


105.5 pounds - 1. Cpl. Jeremy Walker (MC, Marine Corps Base,

Quantico, Va.) 2. Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Kimmerly (N, USS

Gunston Hall), 3. Spc. Rafael Mejia (A, Fort Benning, Ga.)

114.5  - 1. Spc. Keith Idelburg (A, Fort Benning), 2. Petty

Officer 3rd Class Robert Demeritt (N, USS Kitty Hawk), 3. Sgt.

George Williams (MC, Quantico) 4. Senior Airman Marquet Johnson

(AF, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.).

125.5 - 1. Cpl. Duaine Martin (MC, Quantico), 2. Spc. Matthew

Dickey (A, Fort Benning), 3. Seaman Brian Richardson (N, Norfolk

Naval Base, Va.) 4. Senior Airman Anthony Hamlet (AF, Tyndall Air

Force Base, Fla.)

136.5 - 1. 1st Lt. Jay Antonelli (MC, Quantico), 2. Ensign Mike

Clayton (N, Norfolk Naval Base), 3. 2nd Lt. Steve Horton (AF,

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.), 4. 1st Lt. Reynold Arrendondo (A,

Fort Benning).


149.5 - 1. Spc. Laurence Jackson (A, Fort Benning), 2. Lt.j.g.

Nick Melfi (N, Whiting Field Naval Air Station, Fla.) 3. 1st Lt.

Wes Winterstein (Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.), 4.Sgt. Felipe

Perez (MC, Quantico).


163 - 1. Spc. Miguel Spencer (A, Fort Benning), 2. Petty Officer

3rd Class Kenneth Stewart (N, London, England), 3. Staff Sgt.

Maurice Evans (AF, Stuttgart, Germany), 4. Cpl. Michael Kelly

(MC, Okinawa, Japan).

180.5 - 1. Cpl. Anthony Esposito (MC, Camp Lejeune, N.C.), 2.

Spc. Keith Sieracki (A, Fort Benning), 3. Airman 1st Class Shawn

Thomas (AF, Patrick AFB, Fla.), 4. Chief Petty Officer Larry

Wilski (N, San Diego Naval Base).


198 - 1. Lt.j.g. Tom Storey (N, USS South Carolina), 2. Sgt.

Derrick Waldroup (A, Fort Benning), 3. Airman 1st Class Jeff

McCoy (AF, Peterson AFB), 4. Cpl. William Tesdahl (MC, Twentynine

Palms, Calif.).

220 - 1. 2nd Lt. Dan Hicks (MC, Quantico), 2. 1st Lt. Jerry

Jackson (A, Fort Benning), 3. SSgt. Russell Putney (AF, Peterson

AFB), 4. Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Murphy (N, Norfolk Naval



UNL  - 1. Capt. Jeffrey Green (A, Fort Benning), 2. Seaman

Matthew Lamb (N, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla.) 3. Airman

Corey Farkas (AF, Peterson AFB).


Army def. Air Force 33-4

Marine Corps def. Navy 22-16

Army def. Navy 23-16

Marine Corps def. Air Force 28-13

Army def. Marine Corps 23-17

Navy def. Air Force 25-15


105.5 - 1. Walker, 2. Mejia, 3. Kimmerly.

114.5 - 1. Idelburg, 2. Demeritt, 3. Williams, 4. Johnson.

125.5 - 1. Spc. Jason Tolberg (A, Fort Benning), 2. Martin, 3.

Petty Officer Steven Mays (N, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla.),

4. Hamlet.

136.5 - 1. Sgt. Shon Lewis (A, Fort Benning), 2. Antonelli, 3.

Horton, 4. Seaman David Standish (N, USS Blue Ridge).

149.5 - 1. L. Jackson, 2. Cpl. Marcel Cooper (MC, Quantico), 3.

Melfi, 4. Winterstein.

163 - 1. Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathaniel Jackson (N, Bethesda

Naval Medical Center, Md.), 2. Spc. Rodney Smith (A, Fort

Benning), 3. Sgt. Keith Wilson (MC, Quantico), 4. Maj. Chris

Brown (AF, Washington).

180.5 - 1. Spc. Kenny Owens (A, Fort Benning), 2. Sgt. Chris Vike

(MC, Camp Lejeune, N.C.), 3. Senior Airman Jeremy Edwards (AF,

Peterson AFB), 4. Petty Officer 3rd Class Dion Wright (N, USS


198 - 1. Waldroup, 2. Esposito, 3. Wilski, 4. McCoy.

220 - 1. Storey, 2. Sgt. Keith Williams (A, Fort Benning), 3.

Lance Cpl. Peter Pool (MC, Quantico), 4. Putney.

UNL - 1. Green, 2. Lamb, 3. Farkas, 4. Cpl. Brian Inman (MC,

Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii).


Army def. Air Force 36-3

Marine Corps def. Navy 26-12

Army def. Navy 23-13

Marine Corps def. Air Force 32-4

Army def. Marine Corps 31-8

Navy def. Air Force 29-10

Team Results

Marine Corps302757
Air Force161733
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarine Corps 1st Lt. Jay Antonelli maneuvers for points in his first-round match against Ensign Mike Clayton at the armed forces wrestling championships. Antonelli defeated Clayton 3-1 and went on to win the 136.5 pound freestyle title. Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarine Corps wrestling coach Dan Mello checks an injury to Marine Cpl. Mike Kelly during opening action at the 1996 armed forces wrestling tournament. Kelly, wrestling at 163 pounds, finished fourth in freestyle competition. Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarine Corps Cpl. Mike Kelly finds himself in trouble during his first-round match against Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenny Stewart. Stewart defeated Kelly 10-5 and took second place in the armed forces wrestling tournament's 163 pound freestyle competition. Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA  
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