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Akin Beats Henson in Wrestling

June 19, 1999

SEATTLE (AP) _ Eric Akin got a bit of revenge against long-time nemesis Sammie Henson on Friday, beating the world champion 3-1 in the 119-pound finals on the first day of competition in the U.S. World Team Freestyle Wrestling Trials.

Akin will face 1999 national champ Lee Rosselli in a best-of-3 match Saturday for the World Team title and the chance to represent the United States in this year’s Pan American Games and World Championships.

Akin had had little success against Henson before Friday, losing two big matches in the past five years. Henson, wrestling for Clemson, beat Akin, who wrestled for Iowa, to win the 1994 NCAA title. Last year, it was Henson beating Akin in overtime in this tournament’s championship match.

``He’s taken some pretty good titles from me,″ Akin said. ``I just beat the defending world champion. Tomorrow I’m going to beat the national champion.″

Rosselli beat Akin for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in 1996.

In another match, Steve Marianetti beat Sean Bormet 2-1 in the 167 1/2-pound division in a match that lasted 10 minutes, 50 seconds. Marianetti won with a takedown. Marianetti didn’t have to wrestle in the mini-tournament last year, and went on to win this tournament

``There’s pros and cons to both sides,″ Marianetti said. ``Last year I watched all day Friday and my stomach was churning the whole time.″

Marianetti will face 1999 national champ Joe Williams on Saturday in the finals. This is Williams’ first year on the international freestyle circuit.

In the 286-pound division, defending team trial champ Kerry McCoy beat Tolly Thompson 7-1 to advance to the finals against Stephen Neal.

Also, Eric Guerrero beat Kerry Boumans 3-2 at 127 3/4 pounds; Billy Zadick beat John Fisher 7-4 at 138 3/4; Pat Santoro beat Chris Bono 6-1 at 152; Charles Burton topped Derek Jones 4-1 at 187 1/4; and J.J. McGrew beat Joel Sharratt 4-0 at 213 3/4.

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