Maturity of motherhood helps Jaynes-Provisor capture bronze in 2015 Worlds

Updated: September 12, 2015

By Mike Finn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — At age 34, Leigh Jaynes-Provisor is the “mother” of the 2015 United States women’s World freestyle team, considering the average age of the other seven American women competing in the 2015 Worlds is just 25 … and the average age of her wrestling foes on Sept. 11 was just 22.

No wait, the native of Rancocas Valley, N.J., is actually a mother … illustrated 15 minutes after she won a bronze medal in the Orleans Arena Friday evening as she sat in the press conference with her two-year-old daughter Evelyn. The brown-haired little girl who’s mom has already been her hero for some time played with the microphone, while husband Ben smiled from his seat five rows back.

Leigh Jaynes-Provisor was 0-2 in two previous World Championships before earning a bronze medal at the 2015 Worlds in Las Vegas. (Ginger Robinson photo)

Leigh Jaynes-Provisor was 0-2 in two previous World Championships before earning a bronze medal at the 2015 Worlds in Las Vegas. (Ginger Robinson photo)

And it was that maturity that helped Jaynes-Provisor, a member of the United States Army’s World Class Athlete Program, overcome getting pinned in 18 seconds of her semifinal match and holding on to defeat Irina Petr Netreba of Azerbaijan for her bronze medal at 60k/132 pounds.

“If that (getting pinned in the semis) had happened to me 10 years ago, I would have crawled up into a ball and cried,” admitted Jaynes-Provisor, who had plenty of those sad moments earlier in her women’s freestyle wrestling career, especially when she failed to win a match in either the 2007 and ’12 World Championships.

Now, many of those past tears have turned into smiles, especially after she married Ben, a member of the United States’ 2012 Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team. Ben has been a critical support who has provided plenty of help while Leigh trained for the 2015 Worlds.


“(People say) at 34, you are past your prime and it’s pretty much over,” admitted Leigh. “I don’t really believe that. In my locker, I have a note that says, ‘Limitations are just lessons.’ I really move to the beat of my own drum.

“My family supported me, especially Ben who said I could do this and he can be brutally honest sometimes. He believes I have the ability and can be the best in the world. He believed in me long before I believed in me.”

But it wasn’t until Jaynes-Provisor knew how to handle the closing seconds of her victory over Netreba that proved on the mat what she’s learned since joining the USA Wrestling family in 2005, a few years after Terry Steiner became the U.S. National coach.

“We knew that (Netreba) had the ability to get those doubles so we practiced against them a lot,” Jaynes-Provisor said. “She got in really deep and all I thought of was that it was short time. I got that roll through, something I learned a long time ago from Terry.”

Jaynes-Provisor’s victory also clinched a third-place team finish by the American women, who earned at least three medals for a fourth straight year. On Thursday, both Helen Maroulis (55k/121) and Adeline Gray (75k/165) won gold medals.

USA’s Women’s freestyle Highlights from 2015 Worlds, Day 5

60k/132 pounds — Leigh Jaynes-Provisor (US Army WCAP/Rancocas Valley, N.J.)

1st round — won by major dec. vs. Madina Bakerbenova (Kazahkstan), 10-0

Jaynes-Provisor only needed ten seconds to score the first of three takedowns, the final coming at the 1:40 mark. The American also scored a four-point move by throwing her Kazahkstan opponent.

Quarterfinal — def. Emese Barka (Hungary), 8-5

Jaynes-Provisor clinched the victory when she stepped over a strong shot attempt by the Hungarian and scored a final takedown herself with five seconds left. The American jumped out to a 4-0 in the first 23 seconds off a takedown and two-point tilt before Barka rallied to score a takedown with 1:08 gone in the match, then tied the bout on another takedown nine seconds into the second period. Jaynes-Provisor took a 6-4 lead when she gained exposure points at the 5:40 mark before she stepped out, allowing Barka to pull within one.

Semifinal — lost by fall to Oksana Herhel (Ukraine), 0:18

The World’s third-ranked Herhel needed just five seconds to catch the American in a headlock before scoring the fall 13 seconds later.

Bronze — def. Irina Petr Netreba (Azerbaijan), 4-4 criteria

Jaynes-Provisor clinched her first World medal when she rolled through on Netreba’s final takedown in the match’s closing seconds, which also gave the American the final two exposure points and the criteria for breaking the 4-4 deadlock. The Azerbaijan wrestler led 2-0 at intermission before Jaynes-Provisor scored a takedown of her own 27 seconds into the second period.

Gold Medal Match —  Oksana Herhel (Ukraine) dec. Tserenchimed Sukhee (Mongolia), 10-7
Bronze Medal Match — Dzhanan Filipova Manolova (Bulgaria) dec.  over Yazhen Sun (China) (Dec 3-1)