Lucas Jacobson headline list of University Nationals champions at Body Bar event

By Craig Sesker | May 09, 2006, 2:22 p.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Nine pounds has made a world of difference for Othella Lucas.

Bigger, stronger and happier after bumping up a weight class this year, Lucas used a strong single-leg attack on her feet to sweep Chelynne Pringle of the Minnesota Storm and win the 130-pound University Nationals freestyle championship Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

The 20-year-old Lucas, who competes for the University of the Cumberlands, won the first period 1-0 before using a pair of single-leg takedowns early in the second period to gain a 3-1 win in the second two minutes. Pringle placed third at the 2005 U.S. World Team Trials.

"She beat me last year at 121 pounds and that was a really hard cut for me to get down to that weight," Lucas said. "Now that I'm up at 130, I feel so much stronger and have so much more energy. I just came out and wrestled aggressively, and didn't hold back at all. I just gave it my all."

Reigning U.S. Nationals champion Sharon Jacobson (U.S. Olympic Education Center/Gator Wrestling Club) was named Outstanding Wrestler after rolling to the title at 121 pounds. Jacobson headlocked and pinned Amy Borgnini (USOEC/No Mercy) just 35 seconds into their title bout.

The champion at each weight class in University Nationals qualifies for the University World Championships for women in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on June 15-20. The top two finishers in each weight class at University Nationals qualify for the World Team Trials for women on June 30 in Colorado Springs.

The balance of the University Nationals champions also included Liz Short (USOEC) at 105.5 pounds, Mary Kelly (New York AC) at 112, Alaina Berube (University of the Cumberlands) at 138.5, Randi Miller (Michigan) at 147.5, Tabetha Golt (University of the Cumberlands) at 158.5 and Megan Goldsmith (University of Calgary) at 169.5. Goldsmith successfully defended her title.

The FILA Cadet Nationals also were held Sunday as the two-day Body Bar Women's Nationals concluded. Amy Whitbeck (101.25) of New York was named Outstanding Wrestler in FILA Cadets.

Lucas placed fourth at U.S. Nationals last month in Las Vegas and hopes to improve on that finish at the World Team Trials for women on June 30 in Colorado Springs.

"This gives me a lot of momentum going into the Trials," Lucas said. "I was a little down about Vegas and a little disappointed about that performance. This is the boost that I need going into the Trials. I still have a lot to work on, but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction now. I have great coaches and a great environment to train in."

Lucas reached in and twice snatched Pringle's leg in the second period before smoothly dumping her to the mat for a pair of one-point takedowns. She then countered an attack by Pringle and threw her by for another takedown for a 3-0 lead in the second period. Pringle shot in for a late takedown, but was unable to rally.

"When I see my opponent in that staggered stance, I just automatically notice that leg and take it," Lucas said. "That move has been working for me, so I take it when it's there for me.