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3 Special Wrestle-offs for U.S. Women's World Team in Evanston, August 13


Special Wrestle-offs for three positions on the 2000 U.S. Women's World Freestyle Wrestling Team have been scheduled for Sunday, August 13 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. 2000 U.S. Nationals Champion Sandra Bacher (San Jose, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) will face Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) at 149.75 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. with the 112.25 pound match. 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 and Bacher are the 2000 U.S. Nationals Women's freestyle champions at their respective weight classes. Due to injuries, both women did not compete in the U.S. Women's World Team Trials in Battle Creek, Mich., held in June But they each 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.

Bacher is the defending World Champion at 149.75 pounds. She won U.S. National Championships in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2000 and has won the World Team Trials the past five years. She placed third in the 1998 World Championships, second in 1997 World Championships, fourth in 1996 and ninth in 1995.

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, as top seed, received an extension from the trials due to injury.

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.

Marano earned the right to challenge Bacher in the Special Wrestle-off at 149.75 pounds when she defeated Toccara Montgomery (Cleveland, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) in the finals of the 2000 U.S. World Team Trials. Marano has finished second in the past four World Championships. She won the Pan American Championships in 1997 and was a Junior World Champion in 1998. Marano has won four career U.S. Nationals titles (1996-1999).

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

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