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|Woody wins record fourth title, Padilla takes No. 3 at Junior Women’s Nationals|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Fargo Special Section
FARGO, N.D. - Nicole Woody of Maryland made history, winning her fourth career ASICS/Vaughan Junior National title with an impressive effort at 102 pounds at the FargoDome.
Woody, a 2006 Junior World champion, took her fourth Junior gold medal with a 2-0, 8-1 victory over 2007 FILA Junior Nationals champion Amy Whitbeck of New York. Woody opened up her offense in the second period to score the technical fall. She was named Outstanding Wrestler in the tournament for her effort, the second time in her career.
She is a graduated senior who will attend Oklahoma City University in the fall.
"A four-time national champion and two-time Outstanding Wrestler. Not too bad! I am very excited," said Woody. "It seemed like half the ASICS First Team was in my weight class. It was a tough bracket."
Becoming only the fourth wrestler to win three Junior National titles was Tatiana Padilla of California, the champion at 132 pounds. Padilla dominated California teammate Samantha Phillips, 5-0, 7-0 in the finals.
Previous three-timers included Woody, Deanna Rix of Maine and Caitlyn Chase of Illinois. Padilla, who is going into her senior year of high school, has a chance to become the second four-timer with a victory next summer. Padilla was named ASICS Girls High School Wrestler of the Year in ceremonies before the finals.
"I take them one at a time and get everything out of it," said Padilla. Of course, you come here to win. I only have one more year after this."
Padilla is currently ranked No. 2 on the Senior level after taking second at the 2007 U.S. World Team Trials in Las Vegas in June.
California won the Wells Fargo Financial Services Cup for the team title with 70 points, ahead of runner-up Texas with 46 points. Michigan was third with 33 points, New York fourth with 28 points and Florida fifth with 23 points. The tournament had a record number of entries, with 194 wrestlers.
Winning second career Junior Nationals titles were Michaela Hutchison of Alaska (116), Brittany Delgado of South Carolina (190) and Lakia Henderson of Florida (220). Hutchison and Delgado were also champions in 2006, while Henderson won her other title back in 2005.
Hutchison pinned Jazzy Green of California in just 39 seconds to win her title. Delgado also won her finals bout by pin, stopping Heather Miracle of Wisconsin at the 1:09 mark of the second period. Henderson won her three-athlete round robin, pinning both of her opponents during the tournament.
A pair of 2006 runners-up, Veronica Carlson of Illinois (139) and Paige Rife of Michigan (153) captured their first Junior Nationals titles.
Carlson stopped Marina Picollotti of California, 7-0, 4-0 in the finals. Rife defeated Lindsey Brooks of Texas, 4-1,3-2.
Adeline Gray of Colorado, who was third last year, defeate another runner-up from last year Erin Clodgo of Connecticut, 1-1, 0-1, 1-0 in the finals at 146 pounds. The match went down to the clinch, with Gray scoring the point for the victory. Clodgo had won FILA Cadet and FILA Junior titles earlier this year.
Puerto Rico got its first Junior Nationals women's champion when Dayanara Rivera defeated Jami Moore of Texas, 4-1, 3-1 at 165 pounds.
Other first-time champions included Hanna Martin of Oklahoma (95), Helen Maroulis of Maryland (109) and Randi Beltz of Missouri (124).
Martin scored a technical fall over Kristi Garr of Michigan, 10-3, 6-0. Maroulis pinned Candace Workman of Utah at the 44 second mark of the second period. Beltz needed three periods to stop Ashley Hudson of Oklahoma, 1-3, 4-3, 5-2.