Maroulis, Miller, Burkert prevail at Phase II World Team Trials in women's freestyle

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | July 19, 2014, 11:44 p.m. (ET)
Helen Maroulis takes control in her finals win against Sarah Hildebrandt. John Sachs photo.

FARGO, N.D. – Helen Maroulis is just 22 years old. 

But she’s headed to her fifth World Championships.

Maroulis swept Sarah Hildebrandt in two straight matches to win a title at 55 kg/121 lbs. at the Phase II World Team Trials in women’s freestyle Saturday night at the Fargo Dome. 

Maroulis, a 2012 World silver medalist, won by fall and technical fall over a top young prospect in Hildebrandt. Maroulis, ranked No. 3 in the World, has made the last four U.S. World Teams.

“I had to be really disciplined and have a lot of patience,” Maroulis said. “I just tried to get in a zone and just wrestle. Last year, it didn’t go my way at Worlds. This year, I’ll be ready.” 

2008 Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller lost the first match, but won the next two to defeat 2013 World Team member Veronica Carlson in the finals at 69 kg/152 lbs.

Miller rallied to win 2-1 in the second match and overcame an early deficit to win 6-2 in the third and deciding bout. 

“I had a very slow start,” Miller said. “You can’t have a slow start against someone like Vonny, and I paid for it in the first match. I feel a lot better. I’m really glad I got an opportunity to wrestle here.”

The series at 69 kilos was a Special Wrestle-Off with U.S. Open champion Miller receiving an extension after being unable to wrestle at the World Team Trials because of an injury. 

Maroulis and Miller qualify for September’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Jenna Burkert positioned herself for a trip to the Worlds at 60 kg/132 lbs. after sweeping Brieana Delgado in the best-of-3 finals. Burkert used a physical, punishing attack to win her two matches 8-2 and 11-1. 

“I don’t think I wrestled how I wanted to, but I wrestled solid,” Burkert said. “It was a good day. I had some tough matches and now I’m ready to go win a medal.”

At 60 kilos, U.S. Open champion Jennifer Page (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC) is injured and has received an extension on her championship series, as allowed in the procedures. The USA Wrestling Women’s Sport Committee said the matches between Burkert and Page must be held within 15 days of today. 

Phase II is being held to determine the final two spots for the World Team in the two non-Olympic weight classes. The World Team spots in the Olympic weights were determined at the World Team Trials on May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis.

Phase II World Team Trials

Women’s Freestyle

Finals results

55 kg/121 lbs.

Helen Maroulis (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) def. Sarah Hildebrandt (Granger, Ind./King Univ.), 2 matches to 0

Maroulis pinned Hildebrandt, 5:14

Maroulis tech. fall over Hildebrandt, 11-0

60 kg/132 lbs.

Jenna Burkert (Rocky Point, N.Y./New York AC) def. Briena Delgado (Fountain Inn, S.C./OKCU Gator RTC), 2 matches to 0

Burkert dec. Delgado, 8-2

Burkert tech. fall over Delgado, 11-1

69 kg/152 lbs.

Randi Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) def. Veronica Carlson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), 2 matches to 1

Carlson dec. Miller, 3-0

Miller dec. Carlson, 2-1

Miller dec. Carlson, 6-2