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Women freestyle champs dominate at World Team Trials
The common theme about the women’s freestyle tournament at the 2015 World Team Trials, June 13-14 in Madison, Wisc., was that most of the eventual champions earned a trip to the 2015 Worlds in Las Vegas by dominating their foes in the Best of 3 Championship Series.
There were technical falls or pins in all but two of the eight weight classes and WIN magazine was there to follow all the dominating action that will send previous World medalists like Alyssa Lampe, Helen Maroulis, Elena Pirozhkova and Adeline Gray back to the World Championships this September.
To read about all the great action from the 2015 World Team Trials, make sure you subscribe to WIN and receive our next issue, which will be printed July 1.
The following is a breakdown of all eight weight classes, including match highlights and comments from all eight champions.
48 KG/105.5 Pounds – Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) def. Victoria Anthony (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0; Match 1 – Lampe dec. Anthony, 9-2; Match 2 – Lampe dec. Anthony, 10-4
After dominating the U.S. Open champ in the first match, Lampe needed to score the final six points on three takedowns in the final 1:22. Anthony fell behind 4-0 in the second match but caught Lampe in a bear hug for a four-point move that tied the bout at 4-4 with 25 seconds left in the first period.
Lampe, the 27-year-old native of Tomahawk, Wisc., and 2012 and ’13 World bronze medalist, said she had to make some mental tweaks to beat Anthony, who beat here at the U.S. Open.
“I struggled because mentally I was not believing in myself and wonder if I should be wrestling,” Lampe said.
53 KG/116 Pounds – Whitney Conder (U.S. Army) def. Michaela Hutchison (Titan Mercury WC), 2 to matches to 0; Match 1 – Conder dec. Hutchison, 8-0; Match 2 – Conder won by tech. fall over Hutchison, 13-0
Conder accumulated six takedowns over the two shutouts — four in the first bout and two more in the second match, the last (a four-pointer) coming with 1:38 left in the bout — as the 27-year-old native Puyallup, Wash., qualified for her third World Team.
Conder, a 2007 Junior World champion who also qualified for the Senior Worlds in 2011 and 2014, believes she is good enough to medal after finishing ninth last year.
“I’m going out (to Las Vegas in September) to win a medal more than anything,” said Conder who competed in the Worlds in 2011 and 2014, when she finished ninth. “I’m going to train hard for the next two years.”
55 KG/121 Pounds – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) def. Sharon Jacobson, (U.S. Army), 2 matches to 0; Match 1 – Maroulis won by tech. fall over Jacobson, 12-2; Match 2 – Maroulis pinned Jacobson, 0:38
After winning the U.S. Open at 58 kilos, the two-time World medalist returned to her natural weight class and easily dominated the 31-year-old Jacobson who settled for a WTT runner-up spot for a third time in her career.
In the first match, the 23-year-old Maroulis scored five takedowns, one of which was a four-pointer, to end the bout in the first period. In the second match, Maroulis used one takedown and three tilts to lead 8-0 before finally scoring the fall.
Maroulis said she decided to drop down to 55 kilos, a non-Olympic weight, and will eventually compete at 53 kilos in 2016.
“I realize that I am capable of going 53 kilos without losing strength or killing myself to do it,” said Maroulis, who earned World silver (2012) and bronze (2014) at 55 kilos. “I don’t think this would have been the ideal time to do this right now. But in the future, that will be my decision and 55 kilos is the next best thing now.”
58 KG/128 Pounds – Alli Ragan (New York AC) def. Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) 2 matches to 0; Match 1 – Ragan dec. Campbell, 3-1; Match 2 – Ragan pinned Campbell, 2:38
Ragan qualified for her third straight Worlds when she was put on a shot clock, which led to a takedown and also put the 2012 Olympian on her back for a pin in the second bout. In the first match, Ragan clinched the victory when she scored the bout’s only takedown with 53 seconds left.
Ragan, 22, did not care that U.S. Open champion Helen Maroulis — who beat Ragan in May — chose to compete at 55 kilos in the World Team Trials.
“I wasn’t necessarily bitter (about the U.S. Open loss),” said Ragan, who finished ninth in the 2013 Worlds and fifth in last year’s World Championships. “It was more like now I have things to work on. Sometimes you get complacent in your training. And once you lose, you feel like you’re no longer the best so you have to keep working and progressing.”
60 KG/132 Pounds – Leigh Jaynes-Provisor (U.S. Army) def. Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0; Match 1 – Jaynes-Provisor dec. Page, 7-5; Match 2 – Jaynes-Provisor dec Page, 8-8 (criteria)
A four-point takedown halfway through the first period of the second bout provided the winning criteria for Jaynes-Provisor, who led 6-0 before Page rallied to tie the bout with 20 seconds left. In the first match, Jaynes-Provisor trailed 4-2 in the second period when she scored a four-point move off a counter to lead 6-4 with 25 seconds left.
Jaynes-Provisor, who was also on the 2007 and ’12 World Teams, had at least 40 fans in the stands cheering for her, including her mother and brother who got to see her wrestle at this level for the first time.
“I look forward to medaling (at the 2015 Worlds) especially since I have a family now and daughter who counts on me,” said Jaynes-Provisor, who is married to Greco-Roman wrestler Ben Provisor and together have a two-year-old daughter Evelyn. “It’s nice that I don’t have to go too far from home and miss her. She can be there with me as I try to achieve my goals.”
63 KG/138.75 Pounds – Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids) def. Amanda Hendey (Titan Mercury WC) 2 matches to 1; Match 1 – Hendey pinned Clodgo, 5:01; Match 2 – Clodgo dec. over Hendey, 2-1; Match 3 – Clodgo won by tech. fall over Hendey, 10-0
Clodgo defeated Hendey in a rematch of the U.S. Open but not until 24-year-old native of Richmond, Vt., overcame a sloppy moment in the first match where Clodgo led 8-0 before Hendey caught Clodgo in a step-over and scored a pin with a minute left. In the second match, Clodgo scored the bout’s only takedown with 2:12 left in the match before Clodgo easily dominated Hendey with three takedowns in the deciding bout.
“It feels great,” said Clodgo, who settled for second in three (2010, ’13, ’14) World Team Trials. “I wanted to get it in the first two (matches) but you can’t rush it or get too greedy. I got too greedy in the first match because I wanted a tech-fall and get that first match out of the way. I said to myself, ‘I’ll just run behind her and finish this,’ which I did but then I pinned myself.”
69 KG/152 Pounds – Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC) def. Tamyra Mensah (Titan Mercury WC) 2 matches to 0; Match 1 –Pirozhkova won by tech. fall over Mensah, 12-2; Match 2 – Pirozhkova won by tech. fall over Mensah, 10-0
The 2012 World champion and four-time World medalist at 63 kilos had no trouble competing at this higher weight class as she scored two takedowns and four gut-wrenches to dominate the first match before she followed a similar attack in the second match when she needed just one takedown and four straight guts to end the bout at the 2:24 mark.
Pirozhkova, 28, said she hopes to remain at 69 kilos for the 2016 Olympics and hopes her experience at this new weight class at the 2015 Worlds convinces her not to drop back to 63 kilos.
“The challenge is that there is a whole new strategy,” she said. “The girls have a different strength and arm length and I’m facing opponents that I’ve never faced before. There are a lot of challenges and the unknown.”
75 KG/165 Pounds – Adeline Gray (New York AC) def. Jackie Cataline (Titan Mercury WC) 2 matches to 0; Match 1 – Gray pinned Cataline, 2:18; Match 2 – Gray won by tech. fall over Cataline, 10-0
Gray, the two-time World champion, had no trouble in this rematch of the U.S. Open as the 24-year-old native of Chatfield, Colo., scored a first-bout pin shortly after scoring the only takedown in that match; before ending the second match on a two-point tilt with 1:28 left.
Gray wants to continue that domination beginning at this year’s Worlds in Las Vegas.
“I want set myself apart from any opponent,” Gray said. “I want to make sure there is that gap and people will have a little fear when they step on that mat with me going into that Olympic year. That’s the goal for me: strike fear.”