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U.S. Pan American Games women’s team to train in Fargo, N.D., July 15-20 prior to leaving for Brazil

Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

The members of the 2007 Pan American Games team in women's freestyle wrestling will hold a training camp on the campus of North Dakota State Univ. in Fargo, N.D. from July 15-20.

The four-member team will train for five days in Fargo, prior to their departure for Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where they will compete in the Pan American Games on July 26 at the Riocentro Sports Complex. The women's wrestling competition will be in the four weight classes contested in the Olympic Games.

Leading the training camp will be USA Wrestling National Women's Coach Terry Steiner and Pan American Games Women's Wrestling Coach Tadaaki Hatta of Elyria, Ohio.

The U.S. women's freestyle team is led by two-time World champion Kristie Marano (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Marano has won eight World medals, the most of any U.S. women's wrestler in history.

Competing at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. will be 2001 World silver medalist Stephanie Murata (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids). Marcie Van Dusen (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) will wrestle at 55 kg/121 lbs.

McMann is the only team member with past Pan American Games experience, as she won a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games.

Four training partners will join the Pan American Games team members and staff for the camp, which will be held in the North Dakota State wrestling room.

"We have to put our focus on beating Canada, as well as working on individual strengths and weaknesses," said Steiner. "Venezuela has a few tough wrestlers to prepare for, as well as some other individuals. This is a short camp. Along with getting our weight down, we have to get our timing right."

Steiner points back to the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the first time that women's wrestling was included in the Pan American Games. The United States swept all four gold medals in the women's wrestling competition.

"We need to start showing our dominance again. If you look at 2003, we rode this performance into success at the World Championships. We have had the right attitude this year. Now is the time to get the job done," said Steiner.

The Pan American Games training camp will be held alongside the All-American Camp for state Junior Women's Teams, also held at NDSU from July 15-21. Athletes from Junior National Teams from six states will train in preparation for the ASICS/Vaughan Junior National Championships and the Women's Junior National Duals, to be held at NDSU on July 23-24. The camps will be directed by U.S. Olympic Education Center coaches Shannyn Gillespie and Tony DeAnda.

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Stephanie Murata, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Marcie Van Dusen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Sara McMann, Iowa City, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Kristie Marano, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
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