By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Sitting atop the 51 kg/112.25 lbs. division is Jessica Medina of the Sunkist Kids, the 2009 U.S. World Team member. Medina followed up last season with a competitive performance in international events this winter, then captured her first U.S. Open title in Cleveland. She is looking for a return trip to the World Championships for another attempt at her first World medal.
In last year’s World Team Trials, Medina beat 2004 Olympic silver medalist and multiple World medalist Patricia Miranda of the Sunkist Kids in the finals. Miranda has not competed since last year’s World Team Trials.
Placing second behind Medina at the U.S. Open is college star Amy Whitbeck of the New York AC, who has had a marvelous season on the age-group levels. Whitbeck was a WCWA runner-up for Missouri Baptist Univ., then followed up with the University Nationals title. This past weekend, she earned a spot on the FILA Junior World Team with a victory at the Body Bar FILA Junior Nationals.
The WCWA college national champion this year was Katherine Fulp-Allen of Menlo College, who beat Whitbeck in the finals. Fulp-Allen, who competes for the New York AC, is a past University World champion and was second in the 2009 U.S. Open.
Gabrielle Henry, who was fourth in last year’s World Team Trials, won a bronze medal at the U.S. Open this year. Joey Miller, a talented freestyler who wrestles for Oklahoma City Univ., claimed fourth at the U.S. Open.
High school star Kayla Brendlinger was a strong fifth at the U.S. Open in Cleveland. She won FILA Cadet YOG Qualifier and the Girls Junior Folkstyle Nationals this spring, and was second at the ASICS Junior Nationals last summer. Also qualifying by placing in the top seven at the U.S. Open are Milagros Zamora and India Walker, both who wrestle for the Univ. of the Cumberlands.
This weight class does not offer the kind of depth that many of the other women’s divisions boast. Medina should be pushed hard by Whitbeck and Fulp-Allen, while the rest of the field will attempt to crack into the top few spots by winning some upsets.
2010 U.S. Open results at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. in women’s freestyle
1st - Jessica Medina, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Amy Whitbeck, Duanesburg, N.Y. (New York AC), 3-0,5-1
3rd - Gabrielle Henry, Columbus, Ohio (Cumberlands) dec. Joey Miller, Woodward, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU), 1-0,5-0
5th - Kayla Brendlinger, Slippery Rock, Pa. (Draw Team) dec. Milagros Zamora, Miami Fla. (Cumberlands), 2-0, 5-0
7th - India Walker, Cleveland, Ohio (Unattached) dec. Rashona Colbert, Flowery Branch, Ga. (Missouri Valley WC), 4-1, 7-0
World Team Trials qualifiers at 51 kg/112.25 pounds in women’s freestyle
U.S. Open Champion - Jessica Medina, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
U.S. Open, second place – Amy Whitbeck, Duanesburg, N.Y. (New York AC),
U.S. Open, third place - Gabrielle Henry, Columbus, Ohio (Cumberlands)
U.S. Open, fourth place – Joey Miller, Woodward, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU),
U.S. Open, fifth place – Kayla Brendlinger, Slippery Rock, Pa. (unattached)
U.S. Open, sixth place - Milagros Zamora, Miami Fla. (Cumberlands)
U.S. Open, seventh place - India Walker, Cleveland, Ohio (Unattached)
Past U.S. Olympic Team member – Patricia Miranda, Colo. Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
WCWA Nationals Champion – Katherine Fulp-Allen, Half Moon Bay, Calif. (Menlo College)