A Special Wrestle-off for the No. 1 ranking at 149.75 pounds on Women's Team USA will be held between 1999 World Champion Sandra Bacher (San Jose, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) and 2000 World Champion Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) on Saturday, Nov. 4 in Phoenix, Ariz.
The best-of-three series will be held at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz. Session times for the Special Wrestle-off will be at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. If a third match is needed, it will be held at 1:00 p.m.
At stake in the battle of star World Champion wrestlers is the top ranking at the weight class and the level of National Team funding for each athlete during the 2000-2001 season.
The Wrestle-off will be held alongside the Sunkist Kids International Open, a major international wrestling event for men and women in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.
The series was originally scheduled for the Women's World Team Trials in Battle Creek, Mich. in June, but delayed by Bacher, the 2000 U.S. Nationals champion, due to injury. Bacher and Marano agreed to delayed the series until November in order that Bacher could compete in judo at the 2000 Olympic Games. Bacher participated in her third Olympic Games in judo in Sydney, Australia this summer.
Marano represented the U.S. at the weight class at the WomenÕs World Championships in September and won the gold medal. The United States has now won the weight division at the World Championships for two straight years, as Bacher was the World Champion in 1999.
At the 2000 U.S. Nationals, Bacher defeated Marano, 5-1 in the finals at 149.75 pounds. The athletes also competed in the finals of the 1998 U.S. Nationals, with Marano scoring a 4-1 victory at 165.25 pounds. The athletes also have previous meetings during their judo careers.
Bacher has won three World medals in women's wrestling, a gold in 1999, a silver in 1997 and a bronze in 1998. She won U.S. National Championships in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2000 and has won the World Team Trials the past five years.
Marano has been a World Championships finalist for five straight years, winning the gold medal in 2000 and silver medals from 1996-1999. All of her World silver medals were at 165.25 pounds. She dropped to 149.75 pounds for the first time this year. 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).
6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Weigh-in
9:00 a.m. - Match #1 of series
12:00 noon - Match #2 of series
1:00 p.m. - Match #3 of series (if necessary)