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Marano named 2006 USA Wrestling Women’s Wrestler of the Year

Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

Kristie Marano (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) has been named the 2006 Women's Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the fourth time that Marano has won this prestigious award (1998, 2000, 2002, 2006).

Marano captured a bronze medal at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China, Oct. 1. She was one of two U.S. women wrestlers to win a World bronze medal this year, along with Patricia Miranda.

Marano won her eighth career World medal, the most of any U.S. women's wrestler in history. She made it a perfect eight-for-eight, winning a medal every time she has competed at the World Championships. Marano won World gold medals in 2000 and 2003, won World silver medals from 1996-99 and won bronze in 2002 and 2006.

Marano rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to five-time World Champion Kyoko Hamaguchi of Japan to win three straight matches in the wrestleback rounds. The clincher came when Marano beat Canada's Ohenewa Akuffo 1-1, 4-0 in her bronze-medal match.

She opened with a 3-0, 2-1 win over Dasha Kopenenko of Kazakhstan, then fell to Hamaguchi in her second match. Her next win was a third-period pin over Ochirbat Burmaa of Mongolia. After an injury default over Svitlana Saenko of Ukraine, Marano stopped Akuffo in the bronze-medal match.

Marano qualified for the U.S. team by winning a gold medal at the Women's World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., beating Stephany Lee of the Sunkist Kids in the finals in two straight matches, by pin in the first match and a 2-0, 1-0 win in the second match.

She won her eighth U.S. Nationals title with a second-period pin over Lee in the championship finals in Las Vegas, Nev. in April.

Marano was a gold-medalist at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs, Colo. and also captured a gold medal at the Vehbi Emre Grand Prix in Turkey, both held in February. She also won the title at the Klippan Ladies Golden Grand Prix in Sweden in March, and claimed a bronze medal at the World Cup in Japan in May.

Marano is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. She is originally from Albany, N.Y., where she competed on the wrestling team at Colonie Central High School.

Marano is a three-time winner of the U.S. Olympic Committee Female Wrestler of the Year (2000, 2003, 2006).

USA Wrestling will be announcing major award winners each day this week on

2006 - Kristie Marano, Colorado Springs, Colo., New York AC
2005 - Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. U.S. Army
2004 - Sara McMann, Lock Haven, Pa., Sunkist Kids
2003 - Patricia Miranda, Colorado Springs, Colo., Dave Schultz WC
2002 - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
2001 - Toccara Montgomery, Cleveland, Ohio, Sunkist Kids
2000 - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
1999 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1998 - Kristie Stenglein, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
1997 - Sandra Bacher, San Jose, Calif., Dave Schultz WC
1996 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Vickie Zummo, Hamburg, N.J., New York AC
1994 - Shannon Williams, Ontario, Calif., Sunkist Kids
1993 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
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