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|U.S. World Team Trials preview in Women's Freestyle at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.|
By Richard Immel USA Wrestling
The 72 kg/158.5 lbs weight class for women’s freestyle at the 2013 World Team Trials could prove to be one of the most exciting weights of the tournament as it is possible three world champions could make a return to the mat to take on a group of talented young wrestlers.
2012 World Champion Adeline Gray will be making her first return to competition since injuring herself in the semifinals of the Dave Schultz Memorial International in January. In addition to her World gold medal at 67 kg/147.5 lbs, Gray has won World championships at the University and FILA Junior levels. She also placed third at the 2011 World Championships.
Gray may not be the only World Champion at 72 kg/158.5 lbs as one of the most decorated wrestlers in history, Kristie Davis, has registered and could have a comeback of her own. Davis won nine World medals, taking home the gold in 2000 and 2003, the most of any American wrestler, tied with the great Bruce Baumgartner.
Davis made the decision in 2009 to wrestle in college at Oklahoma City University at the age of 30 and won two WCWA College National Championships, in 2011 and 2012. She was fourth in the Olympic Team Trials one year ago.
A third World champion, 2005 World champion Iris Smith, who was second at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, has not competed lately, but would be an immediate contender if she enters.
Even though there could be three World champions at 72 kg/158.5 lbs, neither Gray, Davis, nor Smith will stake claim to the top seed and therefore the automatic bye to the finals. This honor will go to the upstart Brittney Roberts.
Roberts won the 2013 U.S. Open Champion in Las Vegas in April. She also brought home a silver medal from the 2013 Pan American Championships, a University National Championship and a second place finish at the 2013 WCWA College Nationals.
Roberts recently defeated former World Champion Katerina Burmistrova of Ukraine at the Battle at the Falls exhibition in Niagara Falls during World Wrestling Month. Roberts will be a top contender to win this weight, especially since she will not have to navigate a brutal challenge bracket.
The runner-up to Roberts at the U.S. Open was Jackie Cataline, who is making a comeback of her own. Cataline was a 2006 Pan American Champion and U.S. National Champion, but has been out of the wrestling circuit for a number of years until returning at the 2013 U.S. Open in Las Vegas in April. With a top-level tournament under her belt, Cataline has the potential to be a surprise finalist at this weight.
The third place match at the U.S. Open featured two college stars, Sydney Nelson and Lilia Gudzyuk, who are looking to make a big run through this weight class and establish themselves as a top contender for years to come. Nelson defeated Gudzyuk for third place in Las Vegas.
Veteran wrestler Melissa Simmons will add even more depth to an already loaded weight. Simmons finished fifth at the U.S. Open in April, but has been a contender at this weight for many years. She finished third in the World Team Wrestle-off last year as well as the 2011 World Team Trials. Simmons also boasts titles from the 2011 University Nationals and 2008 WCWA Women’s College Nationals.
Other All-American’s from the U.S. Open that will be competing in Stillwater include Mary Westman who finished sixth and Anastasia Lobsinger who came in seventh.
College standout Julia Salata could also be a major factor at 72 kg/ 158.5 lbs. Salata has had a successful 2013 campaign thus far competing at both 67 kg/147.5 lbs and 72 kg/158.5 lbs, winning this year’s Body Bar National Championships and placing second at both University Nationals and WCWA College Nationals. Last year Salata was on both the Junior and University World Teams.
Additional WCWA College All-Americans Christina Zamora, Demi Strub, Brittany David and Lorrie Ramos could be in action in Stillwater.
Two-time World Team member Stephany Lee is also eligible to compete at this weight. Her suspension for a past doping test in now over. Should she decide to enter she will instantly become a player to win the entire tournament.
Only the four Olympic weights will be in action in Stillwater next week. Those who have qualified for The Trials at a non-Olympic weight have the option to compete in Stillwater at an Olympic weight or wait to compete at a non-Olympic weight later this summer.
Expect some athletes from the 67 kg/ 147.5 lbs weight class to transition up to 72 kg/158.5 lbs to compete for the World Team spot.
2013 U.S. OPEN WOMEN’S FREESTYLE RESULTS 72 KG/158.5 LBS
1st – Brittney Roberts, Santa Fe, Texas (OKCU Gator RTC) dec. Jackie Cataline, Alhambra, Calif. (Sunnyside Scorpion WC), 5-1, 1-0
4th –Sydney Nelson, Kingsland, Ga. (UC Women’s Wrestling) dec. Lilia Gudzyuk, Lake Tapps, Wash. (Jimmie WC), 4-0, 2-0
5th – Melissa Simmons, Ridgefield, Wash. (OKCU Gator RTC) pin Mary Westman, Cattaraugas, N.Y. (Jimmie WC), 5-1, 1:18
7th – Anastastia Lobsinger, Martinez, Calif. (Walnut Creek WC) pin Victoria Francis, St. Charles, Mo. (Lindenwood Women’s WC), 0:42
2013 U.S. WORLD TEAM TRIALS QUALIFIERS AT 72 KG/158.5 LBS IN WOMEN’S FREESTYLE
’12 Olympic Team Trials second place –Ali Bernard, New Ulm, Minn. (Gator Wrestling Club)
’12 Olympic Team Trials third place –Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
’13 WFS U.S. Open Champion – Brittney Roberts, Santa Fe, Texas (OKCU Gator Women’s RTC)
’13 WFS U.S. Open second place – Jackie Cataline, Alhambra, Calif. (Sunnyvale Scorpion WC)
’13 WFS U.S. Open third place – Sydney Nelson, Kingsland, Ga. (UC Women’s Wrestling)
’13 WFS U.S. Open fourth place – Lilia Gudzyuk, Lake Tapps, Wash. (Jimmie Wrestling Club)
’13 WFS U.S. Open fifth place – Melissa Simmons, Ridgefield, Wash. (OKCU Gator Women’s RTC)
’13 WFS U.S. Open sixth place – Mary Westman, Cattaraugas, N.Y. (Jimmie Wrestling Club)
’13 WFS U.S. Open seventh place – Anastasia Lobsinger, Martinez, Calif. (Walnut Creek Wrestling Club)
’13 WFS University National Champion – Brittney Roberts, Santa Fe, Texas (OKCU Gator Women’s RTC)
’13 WFS University National second place – Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (New York AC)
’13 Northern Plains Regional Champion – Christen Dierken, Williamsburg, Ky. (Williamsburg)
’13 WCWA Nationals second place at 155 - Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (King College)
’13 WCWA Nationals third place at 155 – Christina Zamora, Orange County, Calif. (Jamestown College)
’13 WCWA Nationals fourth place at 155 – Demi Strub, Guilford, Ind. (Oklahoma City)
’13 WCWA Nationals second place at 170 – Brittney Roberts, Santa Fe, Texas (Oklahoma City)
’13 WCWA Nationals third place at 170 – Brittany David, Brentwood, Calif. (Lindenwood)
’13 WCWA Nationals fourth place at 170 – Lorrie Ramos, Orlando, Fla. (King College)
’12 Henri Deglane Challenge Champion – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Past World Team Member- Stephany Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Past World Team Member- Kristie Davis, Oklahoma City, Okla.