|Gray, Rix repeat as women's champions at Dave Schultz Memorial|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Adeline Gray works for the fall in the finals. Photo by Larry Slater.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Deanna Rix and Adeline Gray have both been within an eyelash of winning a medal at the World Championships.
Both wrestlers are determined to not fall short again.
Rix and Gray gained valuable momentum after winning women's freestyle championships at the Dave Schultz Memorial International on Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Rix and Gray repeated as Schultz champions.
Rix, fifth in the World in 2008 and 2009, swept China's Fengming Liu 3-0, 1-0 in the finals at 59 kg/130 lbs.
"I just had a rough tournament in Russia, so I had a lot to prove in this one," Rix said. "I gave all I had here to make up for the last one. I'm working really hard to get my offense going and it's starting to click for me."
Gray, fifth in the World in 2009, came back after dropping the first period to pin China's Yuanyuan Jiao with one second left in the second period at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
"My coaches did a really good job of refocusing me for the second period," Gray said. "I knew I had to come back strong and focus on my offense."
Past World champion Iris Smith dropped a tough finals bout to China's Dan Li at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Smith won the first period and led 1-0 in the second period before being caught and pinned with a headlock.
Smith was seeking her third Schultz title, but first since she won back-to-back titles in this event in 2000 and 2001.
Two-time World Team member Elena Pirozhkova of the U.S. dropped two straight periods to World bronze medalist Justine Bouchard of Canada in the finals at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
American Helen Maroulis, a past World Team member, placed second after falling to Canada's Brittanee Laverdure 2-1, 1-0 in the finals at 55 kg/121 lbs.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Carol Huynh of Canada fell short in her bid to win her fourth Schultz title. Huynh fell to Shasha Zhao of China in the finals at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Huynh led 1-0 before Zhao stole the period when she slipped behind Huynh for a takedown with one second left. Zhao then hit an arm throw to score three points in the second period.
Zhao was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
The three-day Dave Schultz event was held for the 12th straight year in Colorado Springs.
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Shasha Zhao (China) dec. Carol Huynh (Canada), 1-1, 3-0
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Hui Li (China) pinned Alexandra Engelhardt (Germany), 4-0, 2nd period
55 kg/121 lbs.
Brittanee Laverdure (Canada) dec. Helen Maroulis (New York AC), 2-1, 1-0
59 kg/130 lbs.
Deanna Rix (Sunkist Kids) dec. Fengming Liu (China), 3-0, 1-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Justine Bouchard (Canada) dec. Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC), 2-1, 4-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Adeline Gray (New York AC) pinned Yuanyuan Jiao (China), 0-4, 2nd period
72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Dan Li (China) pinned Iris Smith (U.S. Army), 0-1, 2nd period