Kelsey Campbell earns 55 kg spot on Women’s World Cup Team

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Feb. 22, 2014, 2:10 p.m. (ET)
 Kelsey Campbell looking for back exposure during
the 55 kg/121 lbs. Women's World Cup Team Wrestle Off

With a berth to make the Women’s World Cup Team on the line, four women took to the mat Saturday morning at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to wrestle off for the vacant 55 kg/121 lbs. spot.

Competing for the last roster spot on the 2014 Women’s World Cup Team were 2012 Olympian Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids), 2013 World Team Trials Runner-Up Whitney Conder (Army WCAP), 2013 Junior World Team Member Sarah Hildebrandt (King) and College star for Missouri Valley Jacarra Winchester (Missouri Valley).

The semi-final round pitted Campbell vs. Winchester in the first bout followed by Hildebrandt vs. Conder in the second, with the winners of each match meeting in the finals to compete for the coveted World Cup Team spot.

Kelsey Campbell controlled the opening match the entire way through, utilizing her high level attacks to defeat Jacarra Winchester by a 5-0 decision, advancing herself to the final round.

In the second semi-final we witnessed a high paced affair in which Whitney Conder capitalized on multiple offensive attempts by Sarah Hildebrandt, counter wrestling her way to an 11-0 technical fall over the young American standout.

In a clash of styles, Campbell would survive a close finals match with Conder 6-3 to earn her way on to the 2014 Women’s World Cup Team that will compete in Tokyo, Japan on March 15-16.

Campbell came out in the final stanza strong, continuing to work her upper level attacks, making use of a two-on-one tie to slow down the fast paced Conder.  Finishing strong to close the match, Conder scored a push out and takedown in the final minute, but it would not be enough to catch the six-point lead of Campbell.

“I felt that regardless of who I ended up wrestling I had a pretty good plan and I think it went accordingly for the most part,” Campbell said after her victory in the finals.

Campbell is continuing her comeback season in 2014 after taking a year off following her competing in the 2012 Olympics in London.

 “It is exciting for me just because I have been out of it for a while so every opportunity that I have to compete I need to take it,” Campbell said.

With the final slot on the Women’s World Cup Team finalized, Head Coach Terry Steiner is looking forward to getting back to world competition and setting the tone for the upcoming season.

“We let some things slide at the World Championships. I think we are capable of more than third place, so we are going over there definitely to win. That is our expectation.” Steiner said.

55 kg/121 lbs. Women’s World Cup Wrestle Off
Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) dec Jacarra Winchester (Missouri Valley) 5-0
Whitney Conder (Army WCAP) tech fall Sarah Hildebrandt (King) 11-0

Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) dec Whitney Conder (Army WCAP) 6-3


Finals - Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) vs. Whitney Conder (Army WCAP)

Semi-Final - Whitney Conder (Army WCAP) vs. Sarah Hildebrandt (King)

Semi-Final - Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) vs. Jacarra Winchester (Missouri Valley)