USA Wrestling

Dec 20 McMann named TheMat com Athlete of the Week

By Gary Abbott | Jan. 29, 2004, 12 a.m. (ET)
Sara McMann (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) was named TheMat.com Athlete of the Week for the week of January 20-26. Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday. McMann claimed the individual gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. at the Olympic Testing Event in Athens, Greece, January 23-24. The event was being held to test the venue which will house the Olympic wrestling competition this summer at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. The competition featured many of the greatest women wrestlers in the world. McMann was dominant in her performance, winning all of her matches by technical fall or pin. In the semifinals, she defeated Aurora Fajardo of Spain by a 12-2 margin. In the gold-medal finals, McMann dominated Alena Kartashova of Russia, 12-1. McMann advanced from a pool of four athletes. She pinned 2003 World silver medallist Ewelina Pruszko of Poland in the opening match, then scored a 10-0 technical fall over Nadia Valkova of Bulgaria. Her final pool victory was a 13-3 technical fall over Eri Sakamoto of Japan. "Sara wrestled almost a perfect match in the finals," said National Women's Coach Steiner. "That woman is dangerous. Sara controlled the tie-ups. The girls at that weight don't know how to deal with Sara's strength." McMann was a 2003 World silver medalist at her weight class, and has competed for the United States at the last four World Championships. She won a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, and was a silver medalist at the 2003 Women*s World Cup. McMann also participated in the 2003 Titan Games. She has won four straight U.S. Nationals titles. McMann is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. She competed on the men*s varsity team at Lock Haven Univ. for number of years, and spent a season on the women*s team at the Univ. of Minnesota-Morris. She attended McDowell High School in North Carolina. THEMAT.COM ATHLETES OF THE WEEK FOR 2004 January 20-26 - Sara McMann (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)
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