Penn Grapplers Achieve Success During Off Season

Philadelphia – Lior Zamir (Fair Lawn, N.J.), a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania won a gold and bronze medal in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, respectively, at the 17th Maccabiah Games in Israel last week, while two incoming freshmen Cesar Grajales (Bradenton, Fla.) and Matt Dragon (Lake Lehman, Pa.) earned silver medals at the Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

In the freestyle finals, Zamir faced Artor Micheli of Israel. Micheli was the Israeli representative at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Zamir won a close first period by a score of 2-1 but broke the match open in the second period. With four takedowns and a two-point turn, Zamir won the second period by technical fall to bring home the gold medal.

Zamir defeated Israeli’s Alexi Youkhananov to take the bronze in Greco-Roman competition.

Cesar Grajales and Matt Dragon rounded out a phenomenal Junior National Greco-Roman tournament with a pair of silver medals. The two along with several other members of the Class of 2009 will compete in the freestyle competition this week.

Grajales won eight matches en route to the finals at 135 lbs. The finals match against Reece Humphrey of Indiana ended regulation in a 3-3 tie. Humphrey scored the winning taken down with one second left in overtime to win a 4-3 decision.

Dragon also won eight matches on his way to the final match at 152 lbs. Marco Toledo of Florida scored a throw early in the finals match to go ahead 3-0. Dragon fought back but was unable to close the gap with the match ending in a 3-2 decision.

Written by Matt Valenti, C'07