VIDEO: Alyssa Lampe dec. Victoria Anthony, 2014 U.S. Open finals (bout starts at 2:39 mark)
Without a doubt, the 48 kg division in women’s freestyle has the most talent of all of the weight classes on the American scene. The weight is currently controlled by two-time World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe, who is rapidly becoming one of the best in the world. Lampe won the U.S. Open handily, winning all of her matches by technical fall. It was her second straight Open title, and Lampe moves directly into the finals best-of-three series in Madison. A Wisconsin native who was second in the state competing against the boys in high school, Lampe will have a strong hometown following at the Trials.
Placing second at the Open was two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony. Last year, Anthony was second to Lampe at 48 kg, then moved to 51 kg where she made the World Team and placed fifth at the World Championships. Anthony won a huge semifinal match at the Open against 2008 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun, with a big throw near the end of the bout. Anthony is talented, dangerous and confident, but was not a difficult match in the finals in Las Vegas for Lampe.
Chun powered back from the loss to Anthony to take third at the Open in dominant fashion. She did not compete last year after winning her Olympic medal in London, which was her second Olympic appearance. Chun returned this year and looked good on international trips. She had an edge on Lampe for many years, including a hard-fought win in the 2012 Olympic Trials finals series. The question is whether Chun has returned to top form, and if Lampe has moved past her in the last two years.
Fourth at the U.S. Open was three-time Junior World medalist Erin Golston, who also won the University Nationals this season. Golston has moved ahead of the top college-age stars in the weight, but has not yet beaten the top three stars who are ranked ahead of her. Oklahoma City University has two college stars who have the skills to battle for a spot in the finals, freshman Cody Pfau and junior Emily Webster. They wrestled each other in two big events this year, with Pfau winning at the University Nationals and Webster winning in the fifth place match at the U.S. Open. Both have extensive international experience in comparison to many others in the field.
Young Amy Hou, a star on the age-group levels, took seventh at the U.S. Open in her first year training full-time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and going to college in Colorado Springs. The rest of the field expected in Madison includes a number of developing college athletes who are currently making their mark including Vanessa Smith, Breonnah Neal and Grace Paxton. Also in the field is Northern Plains Regional champion Allene Somera.
Regardless of who wins this weight class in Madison, the USA should have a strong entry at the World Championships. Right now, Alyssa Lampe seems at the top of her game, but she knows that she needs to bring her best stuff in order to get another shot at a World medal this summer.
2014 U.S. Open women’s results at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1st - Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids), 10-0
3rd - Clarissa Chun, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Erin Golston, Lake In The Hills, Ill. (NYAC/USOEC), 12-2
5th - Emily Webster, Sedalia, Mo (OKCU Gator Women`s RTC) dec. Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (OKCU Gator Women`s RTC), 14-12
7th -Amy Hou, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC) pin Vanessa Smith, Frisco, Texas (Wayland Baptist), 2:19
2014 World Team Trials qualifiers at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Final Wrestle-off Qualifier -
2014 U.S. Open champion - Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Trials Tournament Qualifiers
2014 U.S. Open second place – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Clarissa Chun, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Erin Golston, Lake In The Hills, Ill. (NYAC/USOEC)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Emily Webster, Sedalia, Mo (OKCU Gator Women`s RTC)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (OKCU Gator Women`s RTC)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Amy Hou, Rome, Ga. (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 WCWA Nationals third place, 101 – Vanessa Smith, Allen, Texas (Wayland Baptist)
2014 WCWA Nationals second place, 109 – Breonnah Neal, Clemons, N.C. (Campbellsville Univ)
2014 WCWA Nationals third place, 109 – Grace Paxton, Crawfordsville, Ind. (Univ of the Cumberlands)
2014 Northern Plains Senior Regionals champion – Allene Somera, Kailua, Hawaii (unattached)