Adeline Gray, Maya Nelson honored by Sportswomen of Colorado

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Feb. 04, 2015, 4:39 p.m. (ET)
Photo of Adeline Gray by Larry Slater. Photo of Maya Nelson by John Sachs.

DENVER, Colorado – Sportswomen of Colorado named its 2015 award winners on National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and this year, two wrestlers were honored.

Winning the Achievement Award, one of the top honors for the organization, is two-time World champion Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC). She is the first wrestler to receive the Achievement Award from the organization.

Gray won the World gold medal at 75 kg/165 lbs. in the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in September. Her previous World title came in 2012. Gray is a four-time World medalist, also winning World bronze medals in 2011 and 2013.

Among her other achievements this past season was a 2014 World Cup title and a victory at the 2014 World Team Trials. She was second in 2014 FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals in Azerbaijan and third in 2014 Klippan Lady Open in Sweden.

Gray is originally from Colorado, having attended both Bear Creek High School and Chatfield High School. She started her college studies at UCCS and is currently attending Devry.

The Achievement Award is a Special Award given out each year to deserving athletes. The selection committee was so impressed with her 2014 accomplishments that she received this special honor. The number of those given out each year varies, and is based on deserving performances or impact.

This is the fourth time Gray has been honored by Sportswomen of Colorado. She won their wrestling award in 2009, 2012 and 2013. By winning this award three times in her sport, Gray is already a member of Sportswomen of Colorado’s Hall of Fame.

This year’s wrestling award winner is Maya Nelson of Denver East High School. Nelson is one of the nation’s best high school women wrestlers. In addition to competing on her high school team, Nelson has numerous national and international wrestling achievements.

Nelson was a 2014 Junior Nationals champion, her second straight year winning this major event. She was second in the FILA Cadet World Team Trials. Nelson also won gold medals in the FILA Cadet division at the German Grand Prix and the Austrian Ladies Open. She was named to the ASICS Girls High School All-American First Team in 2014.

Numerous top women wrestlers from Colorado have received this award, including World champions Adeline Gray, Elena Pirozhkova, Kristie Marano and Iris Smith. The first wrestling award winner was women’s wrestling pioneer Brenda Day in 1996.

Sportswomen of Colorado will honor 45 of Colorado’s top female athletes and contributors to women’s athletics at its 41st Annual Awards Celebration on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center.

The highlight of the evening will be the surprise presentation of the Sportswoman of the Year Award to the Colorado’s most outstanding athlete on the basis of her 2014 achievements. More banquet information can be found at


Achievement Award winners

2015 – Adeline Gray (USA Wrestling)

Wrestling Award winners
2015 – Maya Nelson
2013 – Adeline Gray and Cody Pfau
2012 – Adeline Gray
2011 – Elena Pirozhkova
2009 – Adeline Gray
2008 – Kristie Marano
2006 – Iris Smith
2004 – Kristie Marano
1996 – Brenda Day