SHERWOOD, MACARI, SMITH WIN PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN'S GOLD MEDALS, LEADING THE USA TO THE TEAM TITLE IN CALI, COLOMBIA, MAY 24
Three U.S. wrestlers claimed gold medals, leading the United States to the team title at the Pan American Women's Wrestling Championships in Cali, Colombia, May 24.
The U.S. individual champions were Malissa Sherwood (Rocklin, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 123.25 pounds, Melanie Macari (Fremont, Calif./Viking WC) at 149.75 pounds and Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 165.25 pounds.
Sherwood won three matches in the tournament, including a forfeit victory over Mabel Fonseca of Puerto Rico in the semifinals. Sherwood lost a one-point match to Fonseca in the finals of the 2000 U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
"I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to avenge my loss at the Nationals," said Sherwood. "I was ready for her this time."
Macari won three matches, all by pin, in the round-robin format. Macari attends Missouri Valley College, one of the three women's varsity college programs in the United States.
"I needed to know that I could come here and wrestle with these girls, and I did it in my first international tournament," said Macari. "It was great for my confidence."
Smith won two matches on Tuesday to clinch the gold-medal.
"I came in here and didn't feel any stress," said Smith. "I am excited to wrestle here."
Claiming silver medals for the USA were Sara McMann (Lock Haven, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 136.5 pounds and Clarrisa Chun (Kapolei, Hawaii/Viking WC) at 101.25 pounds.
McMann was defeated by Unise Hurtado of Venezuela, 6-3 in the finals. Chun had a 2-2 record in the tournament, but claimed the silver based upon classification points in the round-robin format.
Winning a bronze medal for the United States was Jenny Wong (Stillwater, Minn./Sunkist Kids) at 112.25 pounds, who had a 2-2 record in the round-robin format.
The United States won the team title. followed by Venezuela and Mexico.
"I'm very proud of these women," said U.S. head coach Jack Griffin of Evanston, Ill. "This bodes well for the future of USA Wrestling. We had a very good young team here."
The Pan American Championships features the best wrestlers in North, Central and South America. The United States is the reigning World Team champion in women's wrestling.
PAN AMERICAN WOMEN'S WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS at Cali, Colombia, May 23-24
46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Gold - Maria Barazza (Mexico); Silver - Clarissa Chun (USA); Bronze - Ingrid Medrano (El Salvador)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Gold - Marcia Andrade (Venezuela); Silver - Magdelena Orellano (Mexcio); Bronze - Jenny Wong (USA)
56 kg/123.75 lbs. - Gold - Malissa Sherwood (USA); Silver - Mabel Fonseca (Puerto Rico); Bronze - Yulianny Orellano (Venezuela)
62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Gold - Unise Hurtado (Venezuela); Silver - Sara McMann (USA); Bronze - Jackelin Reynoso (Mexico)
68 kg/149.75 lbs. - Gold - Melanie Macari (USA); Silver - Xiomera Guevara (Venezuela); Bronze - Daniela Leanos (Mexico)
75 kg/165.25 lbs. - Gold - Iris Smith (USA); Silver - Ana Hernandez (Venezuela); Bronze - Mayerly Ruiz (Colombia)
U.S. women's team matches
46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Clarissa Chun, Kapolei, Hawaii, 2nd- pin Ingrid Medrono (El Salvador), 0:14; pin Nidia Banol (Colombia), 1:42; lost dec. to Mayerlis Carapa (Venezuela), 14-3; lost dec. to Maria Barza (Mexico), 9-8
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Jenny Wong, Stillwater, Minn., 3rd - won by tech. fall over Yensi Serrano (El Salvador), 10-0; won by tech. fall over Rita Mateus (Colombia), 11-0; lost dec. to Marcia Andrade (Venezuela), 10-0; lost pin to Magdelena Orellano (Mexico), 2:20
56 kg/123.75 lbs. - Malissa Sherwood, Rocklin, Calif., 1st - pin Saira Martinez (El Salvador), 1:03; pin Luiz Castillo (Mexico), 0:40; won by injury forfeit over Mabel Fonseca (Puerto Rico)
62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Sara McMann, Lock Haven, Pa., 2nd - won by tech. fall over Jacqueline Reinoso (Mexico), 12-1; dec. Amanda Patino (Colombia), 11-0; lost dec. to Unise Hurtado (Venezuela), 6-3
68 kg/149.75 lbs. - Melanie Macari, Fremont, Calif., 1st - pin Carmen Narvaez (Colombia), 0:10; pin Xiomera Guerara (Venezuela), 2:52; pin Daniela Lenos (Mexico), 0:50
75 kg/165.25 lbs. - Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1st - pin Mayerly Ruiz (Colombia), 0:47; dec. Ana Henendez (Venezuela)
Teams - 1. United States, 56 pts.; 2. Venezuela, 53 pts.; 3. Mexico, 40 pts.; 4. Colombia, 34 pts.; 5. El Salvador, 21 pts.; 6. Puerto Rico, 9 pts.