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Final X Special Wrestle-off between Maroulis and Mota-Pettis slated for August 12 at U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado

by USA Wrestling

Helen Maroulis (left) and Xochitl Mota-Pettis (right)

Photo: Helen Maroulis (left) and Xochitl Mota-Pettis (right). (Tony Rotundo/

The Final X Special Wrestle-off between 2022 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) and 2023 U.S. Open champion Xochitl Mota-Pettis (Humble, Texas/Rise RTC) is coming up on August 12 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It will be held alongside the 2023 U15 Pan American Team Trials, also at Air Force Academy Cadet Fieldhouse that weekend.
Maroulis and Mota-Pettis will compete for the 57 kg women’s freestyle berth on the 2023 Senior world team. The first match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. MT. The second match in the best-of-three series will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first match. If needed, a third match will take place 30 minutes following the conclusion of the second match. This will be the first-ever matchup between Maroulis and Mota-Pettis.
Maroulis has one of the deepest resumes in USA Wrestling history. She 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. Maroulis has also won three World titles and is a six-time World Medalist at the senior level, among many accolades in international competition.
Mota-Pettis came through the USA Wrestling age-group programs as a major talent from Texas, winning state titles and a Junior Nationals title along the way. Instead of signing with a college, Mota-Pettis has chosen to remain in Texas to train. She began competing at the Senior level, placing second at the 2020 Senior Nationals and again in 2022. She moved up, winning the U.S. Open earlier this year. Mota-Pettis is a 2023 Pan American Champion and a 2022 Pan American bronze medalist.
The Final X Special Wrestle-off at 57 kg in women’s freestyle will be held during the weekend of the USA Wrestling Board of Directors meeting and the annual State Leaders Conference, both hosted in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The winner of this Final X Special Wrestle-off will represent the Team USA at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 16-24. The other 29 berths on the Senior World Team were determined in Final X.
On June 7, Maroulis received a delay of her 57 kg women’s freestyle Final X series for medical reasons. Maroulis was scheduled to face Mota-Pettis in Final X at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Saturday, June 10.
Maroulis followed all of the proper procedures under the Athlete Selection Procedures, 2023 Senior World Team, 2023 Senior Pan American Games – Women’s Freestyle, 1.2.2, which includes the following:
Only a 2022 Senior World Championship medalist who earned an automatic berth into Final X or a 2022 Senior Women’s Freestyle World Championship medalist who relinquished their automatic berth by who wins the 2023 U.S. Open in the same weight category, can request a delay of the Final X for medical reasons. This request must be submitted as set forth below at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled weigh-in time (no request for delay will be allowed or granted otherwise).
For more information on the 2023 Team Selection Procedures, visit: