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Two Wrestle-offs for US Women's World Team in Evanston, Ill. on August 13



Two Special Wrestle-offs for the No. 1 position on the 2000-2001 Women's Team USA will be held Sunday, August 13 at the Bloomquist Gym at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

At 112.25 pounds, 2000 U.S. Nationals Champion Stephanie Murata (Williamsburg, Ky./Sunkist Kids), will face Patricia Miranda (Saratoga, Calif./Dave Schultz WC).

2000 U.S. Nationals runner-up Malissa Sherwood (Rocklin, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) will wrestle Tina George-Wilson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 123.25 pounds.

Each Special Wrestle-off will be a best-two-out-of-three series, with the winner qualifying to compete in the 2000 Women's World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept. 1-3. The first session of Wrestle-offs will begin at 10:00 a.m. The second round will begin at 1:00 p.m. If a third match is required it will be conducted during the second round, after the athletes have received their required one-hour rest period.

Murata was the 2000 U.S. Nationals Women's freestyle champions at her weight class. Due to an injury, she did not compete in the U.S. Women's World Team Trials in Battle Creek, Mich., held in June.

Sherwood placed second at the 2000 U.S. Nationals but was given the top seed after National Champion Mabel Fonseca (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Sparta) competed for Puerto Rico in the Pan American Championships in May. By competing for a country other than the U.S., Fonseca became ineligible to compete for a spot on the U.S. World Team. Sherwood did not compete in the U.S. Women's World Team Trials due to injury.

Sherwood and Murata received extensions on their championship series. Only the 2000 U.S. Nationals Champion or the top seed at the World Team Trials has the right to request an extension in the championship series to a later site and date because of injury. Murata is a five-time U.S. Nationals champion and a five time World Team Trials champion. She has finished fourth in the past two World Championships. In 1998, Murata won a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships. Sherwood has placed second in the U.S. National Championships five times. She was a 2000 Dave Schultz Memorial Champion and was named Women's Outstanding Wrestler at the competition.

To qualify for the Special Wrestle-off, Miranda defeated Jenny Wong (Stillwater, Minn./Sunkist Kids) in the finals of the 2000 World Team Trials. She was second in the 2000 U.S. Nationals and finished third in the 1999 World Team Trials. Miranda wrestles for Stanford University.

George-Wilson defeated Erin Tomeo (Volant, Pa./TAPS) in the finals of the 2000 World Team Trials to qualify for the Special Wrestle-off at 123.25 pounds. George-Wilson was a member of the 1998 and 1999 U.S. World Teams. She finished sixth in the 1999 World Championships.

Murata defeated Miranda in the finals of the 2000 U.S. Nationals in April by an 8-2 margin. She also scored a 9-0 win over Miranda in the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February.

Sherwood and George-Wilson have competed twice this season. Sherwood defeated George-Wilson by a 10-0 technical fall during the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February. George-Wilson defeated Sherwood, 8-6, at the Women's University Nationals in April.

The U.S. Women's World Team is the defending World Champions going into the competition in Bulgaria.

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