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NLWC Member Les Sigman Makes World Team

Story Published Saturday, June 19th, 2010

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling

Les Sigman turns Tervel Dlagnev in his finals win.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Les Sigman returned to the area where he’s enjoyed most of his wrestling success to win the two biggest matches of his life.

The four-time NCAA Division II champion from Nebraska-Omaha turned in a sparkling and dominating performance in sweeping 2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev to win the U.S. World Team Trials.

Sigman, backed by a boisterous cheering section, beat Dlagnev 1-0, 2-1 in the first match before taking the second match 3-3, 4-1 on Saturday night at the Mid-America Center.

Sigman qualified for his first World Team in Council Bluffs, just across the Missouri River from where he wrestled collegiately. He competes in freestyle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

“The hard work has paid off,” Sigman said. “I have a lot of friends here supporting me. It makes it more enjoyable.”

Sigman and nine other champions from Saturday earned berths to September’s World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The other 11 Trials champions were crowned on Friday.

Sigman has made major strides this season after moving to train at State College, Pa. Sigman wrestles for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club where he is coached by Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson and past National Team member Casey Cunningham.

Sigman has beaten both returning World bronze medalists from 2009, in addition to Olympian Steve Mocco this season.

“The coaching staff is totally committed to our freestyle success,” Sigman said. “We go through a lot of situations in training. Our coaching staff does a great job peaking us for this. We know what to do when the time comes.

“This is the first year I’ve had in freestyle wrestling where I have been healthy. It is nice to be able to reach my potential. A year ago, I was pretty down after the injuries. I was able to come back and have some success. I have had my doubts. Times like this make it all worthwhile.”

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