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Stieber helps U.S. to Freestyle World Cup gold

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Apr 9, 2018 at 3:38 AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Monroeville graduate Logan Stieber went 3-1 as the U.S. National wrestling team won in the Freestyle World Cup gold medal match, 6-4, on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeyes Arena against Azerbaijan in Iowa City.

The United States had continued its dominant run through the field to the gold medal match early Sunday, finishing off Georgia, 8-2, to win Pool A.

The USA finished with a 3-0 record in Pool A, also beating India (10-0) and Japan (7-3) on Saturday.

The USA, which has won 14 World Cup titles since it was created in 1973, had not won a team title since 2003.

In the gold medal dual, Stieber was locked up in a battle of World champions when he faced Haji Aliyev, and the matchup didn’t disappoint.

Stieber led 4-1 after a double-leg takedown in the second period, but Aliyev countered with his own double for two points to pull within 4-3. In the waning seconds, Aliyev had to be aggressive.

But when he went in for an attack, Stieber made a counter duck under for a takedown as time expired for the 6-3 win.

Stieber, a 2016 World champion, looked fresh and strong in a 10-0 technical fall at 65kg (143 pounds) over Magomed Saidovi to begin his action on Sunday. The win gave the U.S. a lead in the dual it never relinquished.

“I felt good. I was able to get to my shots and obviously that’s a big part of it. I always feel good when I get on top, so it was good,” Stieber told USA Wrestling.

A four-time NCAA champion at Ohio State, Stieber shook off a tough loss on Saturday night in the dual meet against Takuto Otoguro of Japan. Otaguro took an early 8-0 lead and held off a Stieber rally to secure a 10-5 win.

“He shot right away and I down blocked,” Stieber said of the match. “I thought he was cut. Then I saw the blood and I was like, ‘oh crap.’ I got five stitches. It was tough. It’s all good.

“Yesterday was a tough match, and I lost control of it out there,” he added. “You can come back a lot of times, but I just lost control. It was no problem. I learned from it and moved on.”

To begin the tournament on Saturday, Stieber got his offense going with a 12-2 technical fall over India’s Sharvan.

Also a four-time state champion at Monroeville, Stieber won his World gold medal at 61kg — but moved up a weight with the rule change to a morning weigh-in system and two-day format for international wrestling.

“I feel good at the new weight. Hopefully, I can feel even better going forward,” Stieber said.

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