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|Maroulis, Pirozhkova strike gold to cap three-day Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Helen Maroulis captured her first Dave Schultz Memorial International title on Saturday. John Sachs photo.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – American Helen Maroulis was tired of walking away with silver and bronze from the Dave Schultz Memorial International.
So she powered her way to her first career gold medal in the prestigious wrestling event on Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Maroulis took command late in both periods to sweep China’s Yuanyuan Xiao 2-1, 1-0 in the women’s freestyle finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Maroulis finished for a takedown with 11 seconds left in the second period to seal the victory.
Maroulis, a 2012 World silver medalist, had placed third, second, third and second in the previous four years at the Schultz event.
“Finally, I got it together,” said Maroulis, who was named Outstanding Wrestler. “I wrestled (Xiao) in practice, and she’s tough. I had trouble scoring in the finals match. She didn’t shoot much and was being defensive.
“It’s important to win this tournament, and I definitely took it seriously. It was my first international tournament of the season and it was good to get a win here.”
World champion Elena Pirzohkova of the U.S. earned her third Schultz title by sweeping past World bronze medalist Justine Bouchard of Canada 2-2, 1-0 in the finals at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Bouchard beat Pirozhkova in the 2010 finals of this event.
“I had to dig deep to fight through situations out there,” Pirozhkova said. “I had to make adjustments and fight to the last point and fight to the last second.”
American Veronica Carlson finished second at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. China’s Feng Zhou recorded a second-period fall over Carlson in the finals.
World champion Adeline Gray of the U.S. finished second at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Gray, a two-time winner of this event, suffered an injury and was unable to wrestle in the finals.
China won the team title with Canada finishing second.
The highest American finisher in each weight class in the Schultz event will wrestle for the U.S. in the World Cup for women’s freestyle in March in Mongolia.
The top U.S. finishers were Alyssa Lampe (48 kg/105.5 lbs.), Jessica Medina (51 kg/112.25 lbs.), Maroulis, Alli Ragan (59 kg/130 lbs.), Pirozhkova, Carlson and Gray.
This is the final day of the three-day competition at the Olympic Training Center.
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Yanan Sun (China) pinned Jade Parsons (Canada), 3-1, 1:59
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Shasha Kong (China) pinned Cheng Xu (China), 0:07
55 kg/121 lbs.
Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) dec. Yuanyuan Xiao (China), 2-1, 1-0
59 kg/130 lbs.
Hui Li (China) won by injury default over Geeta Geeta (India)
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Justine Bouchard (Canada), 2-2, 1-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Feng Zhou (China) pinned Veronica Carlson (New York AC), 3-0, 1:38
72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Fengliu Zhang (China) won by injury default over Adeline Gray (Titan Mercury WC)