VIDEO: Jackie Cataline dec. Iris Smith, 2014 U.S. Open finals at 75 kg
Earning a spot in the best-of-three championship series is 2014 U.S. Open champion Jackie Cataline, who had her best performance ever in taking her first national title. Cataline was on the Women’s national team while still a high school wrestler, but took a number of years off to have a family and start her work career. She returned last year and became immediately competitive. Although she has been down to 69 kg within the last year, her title in Las Vegas at 75 kg gives her a great opportunity to challenge for her first World Team.
The favorite in this weight class did not wrestle at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, 2012 World champion and three-time World medalist Adeline Gray. Last year, Gray moved up to the highest weight class and won a World bronze medal at her new weight. She also beat a pair of past World champions during a tremendous effort at the 2014 World Cup. If Gray is on her game, she is expected to emerge as the challenger for Cataline, and battle for her fourth straight World Team.
2005 World champion Iris Smith continues to challenge at the highest levels, taking second at the U.S. Open after losing by fall to Cataline in the finals. The Open was Smith’s only competition this year, but her vast experience, along with her self-confidence, makes her a strong threat in Madison.
WCWA college national champion Julia Salata placed third at the U.S. Open, and is a past member of U.S. Junior and University World Teams. Salata is capable of getting down to 69 kg, but has been successful at this weight, winning the University Nationals at 75 kg this year.
Another college star, Victoria Francis, has been successful this spring, placing second at the University Nationals and winning the FILA Junior Nationals. Francis was also second at the WCWA Women’s College Nationals. She did not compete in the U.S. Open, so it is hard to tell how she would have stacked up in this field, but she comes in wrestling very well.
Qualifying through the U.S. Open were college wrestlers Mary Westman, who was fourth, and Lorrie Ramos, who was fifth in Vegas. Ramos was a member of the 2013 Junior World Team. WCWA college nationals bronze medalist Kerri Bumpers could be a factor if she goes down to 75 kg.
Also placing in Las Vegas was a pair of high school talents, Kiaya Van Scoyoc of Washington who was sixth, and Anastasia Lobsinger who was seventh. Van Scoyoc was a Junior National champion last year. Lobsinger, a past Cadet World medalist, was injured a bit at the FILA Junior Nationals last week, so it will be seen if she will be ready for Madison.
Adeline Gray has been one of the dominant wrestlers in the world the last three years, which makes her a strong favorite at this division. She must wrestle through the field in the Challenge Tournament first, then bring her A game for the series against Jackie Cataline. Iris Smith hopes to disrupt Gray’s plans and earn that finals spot for herself. This weight class has many young talents, but the veteran stars still seem to be ahead of them at this point.
2014 U.S. Open women’s results at 75 kg/165 lbs.
1st - Jackie Cataline, Alhambra, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) pin Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 2:54
3rd - Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (New York AC/King Univ.) tech. fall Mary Westman, Cattaraugus, N.Y. (Jimmie Wrestling Club), 10-0
5th - Lorrie Ramos, Bristol, Tenn. (Titan Mercury WC/King Univ.) pin Kiaya Van Scoyoc, Lakewood, Wash. (Toro), 5:57
7th - Anastasia Lobsinger, Martinez, Calif. (CYC) dec. Heather O`Connor, Napa, Calif. (OKCU Gator Women`s RTC), 8-2
2014 U.S. World Team Trials qualifiers at 75 kg/165 lbs.
Final Wrestle-off Qualifier
2014 U.S. Open champion - Jackie Cataline, Alhambra, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
Trials Tournament Qualifiers
2014 U.S. Open second place – Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (New York AC/King Univ.)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Mary Westman, Cattaraugus, N.Y. (Jimmie WC)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Lorrie Ramos, Bristol, Tenn. (Titan Mercury WC/King Univ.)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Kiaya Van Scoyoc, Lakewood, Wash. (Toro)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Anastasia Lobsinger, Martinez, Calif. (CYC)
2014 University Nationals second place – Victoria Francis, Litchfield, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 WCWA Nationals third place, 170 – Kerri Bumpers, Hampton, Va. (King Univ)
Past World Team member – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)