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Maroulis earns spot on 11th Senior World Team with victory at Final X Special Wrestle-off at 57 kg

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

Helen Maroulis and Xochitl Mota-Pettis at the 2023 Final X Special Wrestle-off

Photo: Helen Maroulis wrestles Xochitl Mota-Pettis in the second match of the Final X Special Wrestle-off best-of-three series at 57 kg. (AJ Grieves/

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Helen Maroulis has claimed the 57 kg spot on the 2023 Senior World Team, defeating Xochitl Mota-Pettis two matches to none in a Final X Special Wrestle-off best-of-three series.
In the first match of the series, Maroulis gained a 2-0 advantage in the first period, scoring a takedown in a tough scramble. The second period saw Maroulis go behind Mota-Pettis for two and adding a turn to lead 6-0. A big four-point move by Maroulis to put Mota-Pettis on her back ended the match by 10-0 technical fall.
The second match saw Maroulis pick up a quick 4-0 lead by getting Mota-Pettis to her back just seconds into the match on the edge. Mota-Pettis responded with a takedown to cut the lead to 4-2. Another takedown by Maroulis put her up 6-2 before she was able to lock Mota-Pettis up for the win by fall.
Maroulis will compete at the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, slated for September 16-24. This will be her 11th trip to the World Championships at the senior level. The other 29 berths on the Senior World Team were determined at Final X in June.
Maroulis is the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling and the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic medals, winning a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Games. She has also won three World titles and is a six-time World Medalist at the Senior level and looks to add another medal to her resume with the World Team berth.
Mota-Pettis, a 2023 Pan American Champion and a 2022 Pan American bronze medalist, takes the second spot on the 2023 Senior National team.

At Colorado Springs, Colo.

Women’s freestyle results

57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids WC) vs. Xochitl Mota-Pettis (Rise RTC)
Bout One: Maroulis tech. fall Mota-Pettis, 10-0
Bout Two: Maroulis pins Mota-Pettis, 2:12
Maroulis wins series 2 matches to 0 and makes World Team