USA Wrestling Berube celebrates bi...

Berube celebrates birthday with gold medal at Pan American Championships in El Salvador

By Gary Abbott | May 20, 2007, 9:58 p.m. (ET)

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR - It was a very happy 23rd birthday for Alaina Berube (Escanaba, Mich./New York AC).

Berube won a gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., the lone American champion in the Pan American Women's Wrestling Championships on Saturday, May 19. The Pan American nations are from North, Central and South America.

Berube, a student at the Univ. of the Cumberlands, won four matches on the way to the gold medal. It was her second career Pan American Championships title, to go along with a gold medal in 2004.

Berube opened up with victories over Caroline De Lazer of Brazil and Yoselin Rojas of Venezuela. In the semifinals, she defeated 2001 Junior World champion Tara Hedican of Canada, 1-0, 4-0. In the championship finals, Berube needed three periods to defeat C. Sardin De Armas of Cuba.

The top eight finishers in each of the four Olympic weights for women qualify their countries for July's Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Based upon their performance, the United States will have a full team of four women wrestlers in the Pan American Games.

The United States won four medals in the women's division at the Pan American Championships. Claiming a silver medal was Elena Pirozhkov (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Winning bronze medals were Sara Fulp-Allen (El Granada, Calif./New York AC) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Ashley Sword (Colorado Springs, Colo./unattached) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.\

Pirozkhov, who came to the USA from Russia as a youth and received her citizenship this year, won her first international medal for the United States. She had a 3-1 record in a five-athlete roundrobin to capture her silver medal. Victories were against Elsa Sanchez of the Dominican Republic, Gloria Zavala of Venezuela and Graysi Alajo of Mexico. Her only loss came to two-time World silver medalist Martine Dugrenier of Canada. Pirozkhov is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

Fulp-Allen, a student at Menlo College, won two of her three bouts in the tournament. She opened with a 2-6, 6-1, 3-0 win over Isabel Martinez of Puerto Rico. In the semifinals, she was beaten by eventual champion Mayelis Caripa of Venezuela, 0-1. 1-1, 4-6. In the bronze-medal bout, she stopped Daney Cespedez Rojas of Peru, 1-1, 7-0. It was Fulp-Allen's second career Pan American medal, to go with her gold medal in 2004.

Sword also finished with a 2-1 record. She started with a 2-0, 1-0 win over Wendi Carrillo of El Salvador, 2-0, 1-0. Her semifinal loss came to eventual champion Jerasmit Weffer of Venezuela, 0-1, 0-3. She defeated Dinorah Arce Perez of Mexico in the bronze-medal round.

Placing fifth for the United States were Jessica Medina (Pomona, Calif./New York AC) at 51 kg/112 lbs., Brandy Rosenbrock (Harrison, Mich./Michigan WC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Othella Lucas (San Diego, Calif./New York AC) at 59 kg/130 lbs.

The U.S. women's team featured the champions from the Body Bar Women's University Nationals in Colorado Springs, Colo. in April. The Pan American Championships team was coached by USA Wrestling Women's Developmental Coach Vladislav "Izzy" Izboinikov and Kevin Black of River Falls, Wis.

It marked the first time that Cuba has entered women wrestlers at a Pan American Championships. Cuba is a world power in men's wrestling in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. Cuba is also a world power in women's judo. Cuba entered three athletes in the Pan American Women's Championships, led by silver medalist C. Sardin De Armas at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

The men's freestyle competition will be held on Sunday, May 20, the final day of the tournament.

At San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Mayelis Caripa (Venezuela)
Silver - Lyndsey Rushton (Canada)
Bronze - Sara Fulp-Allen (USA)
Bronze - Ingrid Medrano (El Salvador)
5th - Daney Cespedez Rojas (Peru)
5th - Yuliana Alzate (Colombia)

51 kg/112 lbs.
Gold - Maria Sarmiento (Venezuela)
Silver - Katiuska Toaza (Ecuador)
Bronze - Meybi Ramirez (El Salvador)
Bronze - Genevieve Haley (Canada)
5th - Jessica Medina (USA)
5th - Nayeli Hernandez (Mexico)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Jackeline Renteria (Colombia)
Silver - Marcia Andrades (Venezuela)
Bronze - Britanee Laverdure (Canada)
Bronze - Tamara Barron (Mexico)
5th - Joice Silva (Brazil)
5th - Brandy Rosenbrock (USA)

59 kg/130 lbs. (athlete names not currently available)
Gold - Canada
Silver - Venezuela
Bronze - Mexico
Bronze - Colombia
5th - Othella Lucas (USA)
5th - Puerto Rico

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold - Alaina Berube (USA)
Silver - C. DeArmas Sardin (Cuba)
Bronze - Mabel Fonseca (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - Yoselin Rojas (Venezuela)
5th - Luz Vasquez (Argentina)
5th - Tara Hedican (Canada)

67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gold - Martine Dugrenier (Canada)
Silver - Elena Pirozkhov (USA)
Bronze - Gloria Zavala (Venezuela)
4th - Elsa Sanchez (Dominican Republic)
5th - Graysi Alajo (Mexico)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold - Jerasmit Weffer (Venezuela)
Silver - Pam Wilson (Canada)
Bronze - Ashley Sword (USA)
Bronze - Rosangela Conceicao (Brazil)
5th - Dinorah Arce Perez (Mexico)
5th - Lissei Hechevarria Med (Cuba)

U.S. performances

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Sara Fulp-Allen, El Granada, Calif. (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Isabel Martinez (Puerto Rico), 2-6, 6-1, 3-0
LOSS Mayelis Caripa (Venezuela), 0-1. 1-1, 4-6
WIN Daney Cespedez Rojas (Peru), 1-1, 7-0

51 kg/112 lbs. - Jessica Medina, Pomona, Calif. (New York AC), 5th
WIN Nayeli Hernandez (Mexico), 4-1, pin
LOSS Maria Sarmiento (Venezuela), 1-0, 0-1, 0-1
LOSS Genevieve Haley (Canada), 0-4, 2-3

55 kg/121 lbs. - Brandy Rosenbrock, Harrison, Mich. (Michigan WC), 5th
WIN Leticia Garcia (Ecuador), 6-0, pin
WIN Ana Matos (Dominican Republic), 1-0, pin
LOSS Jackeline Renteria (Colombia), 0-2, 0-3
LOSS Tamara Barron (Mexico), 4-0, 3-0

59 kg/130 lbs. - Othella Lucas, San Diego, Calif. (New York AC), 5th
Bouts not currently available

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Alaina Berube, Escanaba, Mich. (New York AC), 1st
WIN Caroline De Lazer (Brazil), pin
WIN Yoselin Rojas (Venezuela), 1-1, pin
WIN Tara Hedican (Canada), 1-0, 4-0
WIN C. Sardin De Armas (Cuba), 0-2, 1-0, pin

67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Elena Pirozhkov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 2nd
WIN Elsa Sanchez (Dominican Republic)
WIN Gloria Zavala (Venezuela)
WIN Graysi Alajo (Mexico)
LOSS Martine Dugrenier (Canada)

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Ashley Sword, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Unattached), 3rd
WIN Wendi Carrillo (El Salvador), 2-0, 1-0
LOSS Jerasmit Weffer (Venezuela), 0-1, 0-3
WIN Dinorah Arce Perez (Mexico), default