2003 Women s World Team Trials preview at 48 kg 105 5 lbs

By Gary Abbott | May 29, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
Winning the U.S. Nationals for the second straight year was Patricia Miranda of the Dave Schultz WC, a 2000 World silver medalist. She made the drop in weight last year from 51 kg and has dominated the American scene. Miranda has joined the USOTC resident program, and is focusing full-time on freestyle wrestling through 2004, after which she will attend Yale Law School. Miranda has many wins over top foreign competitors and has competed more than any woman wrestler within the last year. Placing second to Miranda at the U.S. Nationals was Clarissa Chun of the Gator WC, who is also a USOTC resident athlete. Chun has been among the top few lightweights in recent seasons, but has yet to claim the No. 1 spot. She competed in a World Championships in 2000 when Tricia Saunders could not compete. Chun won a match against Miranda at last year's World Team Trials, but Miranda has dominated recent bouts, including a pin during the 2003 U.S. Nationals finals. Chun was the University Nationals champion this year. Also showing dominance at this division is college star Mary Kelly, who was third at last year's World Team Trials and placed third at the U.S. Nationals this year. Kelly, who wrestled at Neosho County CC this season, has won a number of World medals on the age-group levels. She gave Chun a tough match before losing at the University Nationals, and was unable to beat her at the U.S. Nationals either. Kelly comes from a great wrestling family, as her dad Jerry was a NCAA runner-up and uncle Bill a NCAA champion. Katrina Betts of the Wolverine WC finished fourth at the U.S. Nationals, but lost by technical fall to Kelly in the bronze-medal match. Betts has a tremendous upperbody attack, but some competitors have learned to stop her throws. She competed for two seasons at UM-Morris, but left this year with an injury. Like Kelly, Betts has a long list of achievements on the age-group levels. Veteran Julie Gonzalez of the Dave Schultz WC was fifth at the U.S. Nationals, but has the ability to move higher. She has been second at the U.S. Nationals and World Team Trials earlier in her career. Gonzalez has tremendous experience, but has had difficulty beating the young talents at this division in recent seasons. Placing sixth at the U.S. Nationals was newcomer Hana Askren of the Santa Monica WC. Gina Heinzelmann of the Minnesota Storm is getting stronger in freestyle in her first year out of high school. She placed seventh at the U.S. Nationals. She was a surprise winner at the first ASICS Junior Nationals for girls last year, and has medalled at the University level. Veteran college wrestler Rachel Bernardes of Missouri Valley College placed eighth at U.S. Nationals to earn the final spot in the World Team Trials field. Bernardes has been inconsistent, but has displayed good skills when she is wrestling well. No other athletes have qualified for this division at the World Team Trials, either through the Regionals, University Nationals or other international competitions. The Challenge Tournament will be a wrestle-off of All-Americans from this year's U.S. Nationals. A rematch between Clarissa Chun and Mary Kelly in the Challenge Tournament could be very interesting. Whoever emerges will have a difficult task of taking the top spot away from Patricia Miranda, who has continued to improve while holding her No. 1 spot firmly. 2003 U.S. Women's Nationals results at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. 1st - Patricia Miranda (Colorado Springs, Colo./Dave Schultz WC) pin Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC), at 2:41 3rd - Mary Kelly (Mahomet, Ill./Dave Schultz WC) tech. fall Katrina Betts (Milan, Mich./Wolverine WC), 10-0 5th - Julie Gonzalez (Vallejo, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) tech. fall Hana Askren (Los Angeles, Calif./Santa Monica WC), 10-0 7th - Gina Heinzelmann (Maplewood, Minn./Minnesota Storm) tech. fall Rachel Bernardes (Marshall, Mo./Missouri Valley), 10-0 2003 Women's World Team Trials qualifiers at 48 kg (105.5 lbs.) National champion - Patricia Miranda (Colorado Springs, Colo./Dave Schultz WC) National placerwinners - 2. Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC); 3. Mary Kelly (Mahomet, Ill./Dave Schultz WC); 4. Katrina Betts (Milan, Mich./Wolverine WC); 5. Julie Gonzalez (Vallejo, Calif./Dave Schultz WC); 6. Hana Askren (Los Angeles, Calif./Santa Monica WC), 10-0; 7. Gina Heinzelmann (Maplewood, Minn./Minnesota Storm); 8. Rachel Bernardes (Perth Amboy, N.J./Missouri Valley)