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2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling preview in women's freestyle



2008 World Champion Clarissa Chun is the top seed at 48 kg at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Larry Slater photo.

TheMat.com will preview the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, set for April 21-22 in historic Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We will profile each of the Olympic styles over three days this week.

48 kg/105.5 lbs. Weight Class Preview
(qualified for Olympic Games)


2008 World champion and 2008 Olympian Clarissa Chun comes in as the top athlete here, after winning the U.S. Open in December. Chun has been on every World Team this Olympic cycle except for one, and has kept her edge against a deep weight class of U.S. challengers. Chun was seventh in the 2011 World Championships, just missing the medal rounds. She got the weight class qualified for the Olympics by winning the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Florida, so she also moves directly to the best-of-three series.

Placing second at the U.S. Open was two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony, who had her best Senior effort ever. She is taking a year from college to pursue to Olympics. 2007 Junior World Champion Whitney Conder was third at the U.S. Open, after making her first U.S. World Team in 2011 at 51 kg, the non-Olympic weight. Alyssa Lampe, who beat Chun to make the 2010 U.S. World Team and was second in the World Team Trials to her three times, remains a major threat at this weight class. When Lampe is wrestling well, she has beaten many top international stars.

Nicole Woody, also a past Junior World champion, who graduated after a strong career in college, placed a solid fifth at the U.S. Open, and was a runner-up there a year ago. WCWA women’s college national champion Joey Miller was sixth at the U.S. Open, and Junior World bronze medalist Erin Golston was seventh.

Jessica Medina, a 2009 and 2010 U.S. World Team member at 51 kg, is the most talented and experienced qualifier who did not place at the U.S. Open. The college ranks brings us a number of other athletes, based upon their performance at the WCWA Nationals, Emily Martin, Kristie Garr and Emily Webster. Martin won the WCWA title at 109 pounds, and was second behind Anthony at the University Nationals.

Getting into the field at the Final Olympic Trials Qualifier in Cedar Falls were champion Candace Workman, and emerging college talent Jessica Fresh. Workman has made great gains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Expected Olympic Trials participants at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.

U.S. Open champion in Trials finals– Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Other U.S. Open placewinners
2. Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (New York AC)
3.Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
4. Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
5. Nicole Woody, Austin, Texas (Gator WC)
6. Joey Miller, Woodward, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU)
7. Erin Golston, Lake in the Hills, Ill. (New York AC)
Other Qualifiers (alphabetically)
Jessica Fresh, Knoxville, Iowa (Waldorf College)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier true second
Kristie Garr, Goodrich, Mich. (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 109 lbs. runner-up
Emily Martin, Frisco, Texas (King College)
• ’12 WCWA 109 lbs. champion
Jessica Medina, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
• Past U.S. World Team member
Emily Webster, Sedalia, Mo. (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 101 lbs. champion
Candace Workman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USOTC)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion

55 kg/121 lbs. Weight Class Preview
(qualified for Olympic Games)


Young Helen Maroulis is the top athlete after placing fifth at the 2011 World Championships and winning the U.S. Open. She advances directly to the best-of-three finals series. Maroulis had a big win at the 2011 Pan Am Games, and boasts three career Junior World titles. She has made steady improvement since making her first World Team at the age of 17. Maroulis took a year off from college to concentrate full-time on her Olympic quest, and put in a full year of competition and training leading up to Iowa City.

Leigh Jaynes, a 2007 U.S. World Team member, was second behind Maroulis at the U.S. Open. Her wide-open style is dangerous and causes problems for many opponents. She is also one of the most experienced of the women wrestlers, and has maturity and confidence as a strength. Kelsey Campbell, fifth in the 2010 World Championships and a two-time World Teamer at 59 kg, was third at the U.S. Open. Campbell has been down to this weight for the second year, and has the experience to beat anybody in the field. Tatiana Padilla, a two-time World bronze medalist and three-time World Team member, has not competed in the past year due to injuries. If Padilla is capable of wrestling in Iowa City at the high level she has shown when healthy, she will be a true threat to make this team.

Katherine Fulp-Allen, a past University World champion, has made great progress after moving up to 55 kg, placing a strong fourth at the U.S. Open and competing well overseas. She won a number of other medals at top age-group events. Amy Whitbeck, a past Junior World bronze medalist who is in college, placed a strong fifth at the U.S. Open. Schuyler Brown, who made two Junior World Teams in the past, was seventh. 2011 Cadet World champion and high school star Haley Augello earned her trip to Iowa City by placing seventh at the U.S. Open.

Michaela Hutchison, a three-time WCWA women’s college nationals champion, who has also placed at the U.S. Open in the past, is in the field. Hutchison won the University Nationals as a tune-up for the Olympic Trials. WCWA national runner-up and college freshman Sarah Hildebrandt is also expected to compete well.

Getting into the field through the Final Olympic Trials Qualifier in Cedar Falls were a pair of talented challengers. Sharon Jacobson, a past U.S. Open champion, won the event, defeating 2011 World Team Trials runner-up Ashley Hudson in the finals. Hudson was a college national champion and outstanding wrestler.

Expected Olympic Trials participants at 55 kg/121 lbs.

U.S. Open champion in Trials finals – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC)
Other U.S. Open placewinners
2. Leigh Jaynes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
3. Kelsey Campbell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
4. Katherine Fulp-Allen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
5. Amy Whitbeck, Duanesburg, N.Y. (New York AC)
6. Schuyler Brown, Montpelier, Va. (Gator WC/USOEC)
7. Haley Augello, Lockport, Ill. (New York AC)
Other Qualifiers (alphabetically)
Sarah Hildebrandt, Granger, Ind. (King College)
• ’12 WCWA 123 lbs. runner-up
Ashley Hudson, Wildwood, Mo. (Gator WC)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier runner-up
Michaela Hutchison, Soldotna, Alaska (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 123 lbs. champion
Sharon Jacobson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion
Tatiana Padilla, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
• Past U.S. World Team member

63 kg/138.75 lbs. Weight Class Preview
(qualified for the Olympic Games)


2010 World silver medalist Elena Pirozhkova qualified this weight class for the Olympics by placing fifth at the 2011 World Championships. After winning the 2012 U.S. Open, she earned the right to advance directly to the best-of-three championship series in Iowa City. Pirozhkova is a past University World champion and has extensive international experience. She competed on four straight U.S. World Teams, from 2008-2011, and has a good record against her top American opponents.

Placing second at the U.S. Open was Melissa Apodaca, who had her best performance ever on the Senior level. She has showed promise in past age-group events and had to beat others with more experience on the way to her silver. She added a silver medal at the University Nationals in late March. Erin Clodgo placed third at the U.S. Open and has done very well since dropping to this division. Clodgo has looked very good on recent international tours and enters the Trials with a ton of confidence.

This weight class will be loaded with past World Team members seeking to move here and make the Olympic team. Kristie Davis, a two-time World champion and nine-time World medalist, has wrestled at 63 kg in the past year but may move up to 72 kg. Adeline Gray, who was a 2011 World bronze medalist at 67 kg, was second behind Pirozhkova at the 2011 World Team Trials at 63 kg. Gray was fifth at the 2009 World Championships and is a past Junior World champion. Deanna Betterman, who was fifth in the World at 59 kg two times, has been competed at 63 kg this season.

2011 Junior World bronze medalist Alli Ragan was fourth at the U.S. Open. Veronica Carlson, a past Women’s national team member with a Junior World bronze medal on her resume, was fifth at the U.S. Open. Carlson has had injuries, but is expected to be healthy and ready for Iowa City. Jennifer Page had a big win over Ragan in the WCWA women’s college nationals finals and placed at the U.S. Open while still in high school. Other college wrestlers who have earned a place in the field include WCWA national champions Krista Revelle and Shauna Isbell, as well at runner-up Stephanie Geltmacher.

Earning a spot in the field with a victory at the University Nationals was Trinity Plessinger, who has moved up to 63 kg recently with good results. She beat Apodaca in the University Nationals finals, her third straight title at that event.

Three athletes reached the field through the Final Olympic Trials Qualifier in Cedar Falls. Winning the title at 63 kg was Othella Feroleto, a former U.S. Open runner-up and veteran star. Some may know her from her maiden name Othella Lucas. The 63 kg runner-up was college talent Audrey Morehouse. Winning the qualifier at 72 kg, after moving up in weight, was past U.S. Open runner-up Amanda Hendey, who will drop to 63 kg for the Trials.

Expected Olympic Trials participants at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

U.S. Open champion in Trials finals– Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
Other U.S. Open placewinners
2. Melissa Apodaca, Chugiak, Alaska (New York AC/USOEC)
3. Erin Clodgo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
4. Alli Ragan, Carbondale, Ill. (New York AC/King College)
5. Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
6. Randi Beltz, Chesterfield, Mo. (Team St. Louis)
7. Vanessa Oswalt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
Other Qualifiers (alphabetically)
Deanna Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
• Past U.S. World Team member
Kristie Davis, Yukon, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU)
• Past U.S. World Team member
Othella Feroleto, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion
Stephanie Geltmacher, Kahalui, Hawaii (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 136 lbs. runner-up
Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
• Past U.S. World Team member
Amanda Hendey, Beaumont, Calif. (King College)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion at 72 kg
Shauna Isbell, Flagstaff, Ariz. (Lindenwood)
• ’12 WCWA 130 lbs. champion
Audrey Morehouse, Moreno Valley, Calif. (OCU/Gator WC)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier runner-up
Jennifer Page, Orangevale, Calif. (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 143 lbs. champion
Trinity Plessinger, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
• '12 University Nationals champion
Krista Revelle, Meriden, Kan. (King College)
• ’12 WCWA 136 lbs. champion

72 kg/158.5 lbs. Weight Class Preview
(qualified for the Olympic Games)


By winning a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships, 2008 Olympian Ali Bernard not only qualified the USA to compete at the Olympics at 72 kg, but she also earned a spot in the best-of-three championship series at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Bernard was fifth at the 2008 Beijing Games, and also competed at the 2009 World Championships. She won two Junior World titles and a University World title on the age-group levels, and has beaten many of the world’s top competitors.

2005 World champion Iris Smith won the U.S. Open title, an event which Bernard did not enter. She makes her third attempt to make a U.S. Olympic team, after a successful career which includes five U.S. Open titles, a number of U.S. World Teams and a World Military title. Smith beat two-time U.S. World Team member Stephany Lee in the U.S. Open finals. Lee is a two-time University World champion, and is a dangerous pinner who has had success at every level. Lee looked strong winning the recent Pan American Championships.

Two-time World champion and nine-time World medalist Kristie Davis wrestled in two weights at the U.S. Open, falling short at 63 kg but taking third at 72 kg. She won a number of World medals early in her career at the highest division. Davis brings tremendous experience and skill to this division if she enters here.

College wrestlers Brittany Roberts and Julia Salata placed fourth and fifth at the U.S. Open. Salata added a University Nationals title in March to her record, beating Roberts in the final. Christen Dierken, who made a Junior World team at 67 kg, was sixth at the U.S. Open and has competed well at this division. Kendra Lewis, also coming from the college ranks, was seventh at the U.S. Open and has been competitive in recent seasons.

Earning spots based upon their success at the WCWA women’s college nationals were Brittany Delgado and Sydney Nelson. Delgado was a college national champion as a senior. Joining the field with a true second at the Final Olympic Trials Qualifier in Cedar Falls was college wrestler Christina Zamora.

Expected Olympic Trials participants at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.

’11 World Medalist in Trials Finals - Ali Bernard, New Ulm, Minn. (Gator WC)
2012 U.S. Open placewinners
1. Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
2. Stephany Lee, Colo. Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
3. Kristie Davis, Yukon, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU)
4. Brittany Roberts, Santa Fe, Texas (Gator WC/OCU)
5. Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (King College)
6. Christen Dierken, Fullerton, Calif. (Cumberlands)
7. Kendra Lewis, Houston, Texas (Lindenwood)
Other Qualifiers (alphabetically
Brittany Delgado, Fountain Inn, S.C. (Oklahoma City)
• ’12 WCWA 191 lbs. champion
Sydney Nelson, Kingsland, Ga. (Cumberlands)
• ’12 WCWA 155 lbs. runner-up
Christina Zamora, Orange County, Calif. (Jimmie WC)
• Final Olympic Trials Qualifier true second


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