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|USA wins Pan American Women's Championships, led by three champions|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
MARACAIBO, Venezuela - Led by three individual champions, the United States won the team title at the Pan American Women's Freestyle Championships on Friday.
Individual champions were Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Alyssa Lampe (Tomahawk, Wis./Sunkist Kids) at 51 kg/112.5 lbs and Elena Pirozkhova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC)at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Chun and Pirozkhova won the Pan American title for the second straight year.
The U.S., with six medalists, finished with 62 points, ahead of runner up Canada with 56 points. Tied in third place were Cuba and host Venezuela with 48 points.
Chun, the 2008 World champion, won three matches to capture the title, stopping Canada's Lindsay Rushton in the finals.
"She has been on lately. She wrestles with a lot of confidence and scores points when she wants to. She really believes in her stuff and she makes it look easy," said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner. "She did a good job in all her matches today. We she had to score, she put a point on the board. There is so much talent there."
Pirozkhova, a 2008 University World champion, also had three wins, including a 7-1, 6-1 win over Katherine Vidiaux Lopez of Cuba in the finals.
"The opponent from Cuba was a very good athlete," said Steiner. "She got on top and made it a par terre match, and blew her out of the water. It was a good strategy. She turned it into a match where the Cuban didn't have a chance. She took the Cuban's talent away."
Lampe, a past Junior World medalist, pinned Terri McNutt of Canada in the finals in the second period. All three of her bouts ended by pin.
"She looked really good. Her poise impressed me," said Steiner. "She had a good leg attack offense, and did a good job staying on her offense and not letting people get into the match. She is not afraid to work hard."
Steiner also praised the two silver medalists, Kelsey Campbell (Milwaukie, Ore./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs. and Jenna Pavlik (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
"Kelsey had a good tournament. She had a good win in the semifinals. For the first time being No. 1 and feeling the pressure of having a target on her back, she did well. She is feeling confidence and realizing that she belongs at this level," said Steiner.
"Jenna had a really good match with the Cuban in the semifinals," he continuned. "The Cuban was more athletic. In the second period, Jenna kept on the pressure and beat her physically and mentally. She is a hard worker and grinded her into the ground."
The performance of the Cuban team, which has not been active or successful in women's wrestling in the past, improved the level of competition this year. Cuba had an individual champion and five medalists.
"Cuba is definitely tougher," said Steiner. "They have great athletes. They are all explosive and powerful. They will get tougher as time goes on. It is great for the Pan American organization. We need developing countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia to have more people challenge for titles. That will help this side of the world get better in women's wrestling."
The Pan American Championships conclude on Saturday with the men's freestyle competition.
PAN AMERICAN WOMEN'S FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Maracaibo, Venezuela, April 24
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Clarissa Chun (USA)
Silver - Lindsay Rushton (Canada)
Bronze - Carolina Castillo Hidalgo (Colombia)
Bronze - Ingrid Xiomara Medrano Cuellar (El Salvador)
5th - Katiuska Toasa Avelino (Ecuador)
5th - Onmariel Valenzuela (Venezuela)
7th - Guadalupe Perez Tiscareno (Cuba)
8th - Flor Quispe (Peru)
9th - Lissette Valerio Rubert (Dominican Republic)
10th - Fernanda Peres (Brazil)
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gold - Alyssa Lampe (USA)
Silver - Terri McNutt (Canada)
Bronze - Romina Gonzalez (Argentina)
Bronze - Maria Sarmiento Trompiz (Venezuela)
5th - Yuliana Alzate (Colombia)
5th - Jenny Vanessa Mallqui Suaro (Peru)
7th - Harry Casero Riveau (Cuba)
8th - Tania Regina (Brazil)
9th - Karina Elizabeth Villenda Sanchez (El Salvador)
10th - Enid del Carmen Rivera Valasquez (Puerto Rico)
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Marcia Andrade Mendoza (Venezuela)
Silver - Idirmis Acea Garcia (Cuba)
Bronze - Helen Maroulis (USA)
Bronze - Wendy Iomara Martinez Martinez (Mexico)
5th - Sandra Patricia Amado Castillo (Colombia)
5th - Jillian Gallays (Canada)
7th - Susana Arely Valencia (El Salvador)
8th - Camila Fama Tristao (Brazil)
9th - Daney Lisbeth Cespedes Rojas (Peru)
59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold - Yamilca Del Valle Alvarez (Cuba)
Silver - Kelsey Campbell (USA)
Bronze - Gloria Rivas (Colombia)
Bronze - Joice Silva (Brazil)
5th - Yuri Adelayda Mata Mejia (El Salvador)
5th - Mirna Hernriquez (Venezuela)
7th - Amanda Gerhardt (Canada)
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold - Elena Pirozkhova (USA)
Silver - Katherine Vidiaux Lopez (Cuba)
Bronze - Stacie Anaka (Canada)
Bronze - Vanessa Torres (Dominican Republic)
5th - Ana Talia Betancur (Colombia)
5th - Diana Paulina Miranda Gonzales (Mexico)
7th - Dailane Gomes Dos Reis (Brazil)
8th - Maried de los Angeles Bracho Colina (Venezuela)
67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gold - Martine Dugrenier (Canada)
Silver - Gloria Zavala Lugo (Venezuela)
Bronze - Aline Ferreira (Brazil)
Bronze - Candida De Armas Sardina (Cuba)
5th - Sheila McCabe (USA)
6th - Lil Azucena Canales (El Salvador)
72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold - Pamela Wilson (Canada)
Silver - Jenna Pavlik (USA)
Bronze - Lisset Echevarria Medina (Cuba)
Bronze - Rosangela Conceicao (Brazil)
5th - Alexandra Wallens (Colombia)
5th - Osleidy Arteaga (Venezuela)
7th - Gloria Wendolline Moreno Sotelo (Mexico)
1 UNITED STATES, 62
2 CANADA, 56
3 CUBA, 48
3 VENEZUELA, 48
5 COLOMBIA, 40
6 BRAZIL, 35
7 EL SALVADOR, 25
8 MEXICO, 22
9 PERU, 11
10 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, 10
11 ARGENTINA, 8
12 ECUADOR, 6
13 PUERTO RICO, 1
U.S. women's freestyle performances
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Katiuska Toasa Avelino (Ecuador), 6-0, pin in 2nd period
WIN Carolina Castillo Hidalgo (Colombia), 4-1, 6-0
WIN Lindsay Rushton (Canada), 3-0, pin in 2nd period
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Alyssa Lampe, Tomahawk, Wis. (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Yuliana Alzate (Colombia), pin in 1st period
WIN Romina Gonzalez (Argentina), 2-2, pin in 2nd period
WIN Terri McNutt (Canada), 2-0, pin in 2nd period
55 kg/121 lbs. - Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Susana Arely Valencia (El Salvador), 6-1, 5-1
LOSS Marcia Andrade Mendoza (Venezuela), pin in 1st period
WIN Sandra Patricia Amado Castillo (Columbia), 5-0, pin in 2nd period
59 kg/130 lbs. - Kelsey Campbell, Milwaukie, Ore. (Sunkist Kids), 2nd
WIN Mirna Henriquez (Venezuela), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Joice Silva (Brazil), 1-0, 0-3, 1-0
LOSS Yamilca Del Valle Alvarez (Cuba), 0-1, 0-4
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Elena Pirozkhova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 1st
WIN Diana Paulina Miranda Gonzales (Mexico), 6-0, 6-3
WIN Vanessa Torres (Dominican Republic), 1-0, 4-1
WIN Katherine Vidiaux Lopez (Cuba), 7-1, 6-1
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Sheila McCabe, San Diego, Calif. (OCU Stars), 5th
LOSS Martine Dugrenier (Canada), 0-6, 0-6
LOSS Candida De Armas Sardina (Cuba), 1-5, 0-6
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Jenna Pavlik, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 2nd
WIN Alexandra Wallens (Colombia). pin in 1st period
WIN Lisset Echevarria Medina (Cuba), 0-1, 5-0, 6-2
LOSS Pamela Wilson (Canada), 0-2, 1-3