Olympic champion Maroulis among four past World Team members to reach Women’s World Team Trials finals

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | April 29, 2017, 4:39 p.m. (ET)
Victoria Anthony hits an inside trip on Marina Doi in the 48 kg semifinals at the World Team Trials. Larry Slater photo.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis, the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold, is back on the mat and in a familiar place, in the finals series of the World Team Trials. She is one of four past U.S. World Team members who have advanced to the finals in the women’s freestyle division for Saturday night at the South Point Arena.

The other past World Team members who won their semifinal matches and will compete in the best-of-three finals series are 2013 World Team member Victoria Anthony (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., 2016 World Team member Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 2015 World Team member Erin Clodgo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Maroulis, who moved up two weight classes since her Rio Olympic Games triumph, won her 58 kg/128 lbs. semifinals match in dominant fashion, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over Jacarra Winchester (Marshall, Mo./Titan Mercury WC).

“I have never taken a seven-month break in my life before, so I was really nervous to see what it would feel like. It feels good. Coming back to this tourney, I didn’t know why I came back. I enjoy it, I love it, but it is different this time around. It is a very special journey for me right now,” said Maroulis.

She will face 2017 U.S. Open champion and three-time WCWA College national champion Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky./Sunkist Kids), who pinned Lauren Louive, (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC) in the semifinals in 5:51.

Anthony, who was the 2017 U.S. Open champion, scored a 10-0 technical fall over Marina Doi (Kingsburg, Calif./Titan Mercury WC), 10-0 in the semifinals. Her opponent in the championship series is Cody Pfau (Brush, Colo./Titan Mercury WC), who fell behind in her semifinals match to Erin Golston (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), but put Golston on her back in the second period for a pin in 4:32.

“I am just having fun. My number one is just to enjoy myself because that is when I access all of my techniques. If I only focus on one thing, I feel like I don’t have my full range of attacks,” said Anthony.

Hildebrandt was dominant in her semifinal, pinning Dominique Parrish (Scotts Valley, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) in 2:18.

Her opponent will be 2015 Junior World bronze medalist Becka Leathers (Choctaw, Okla./Titan Mercury WC) who edged 2012 Olympian Kelsey Campbell (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids), 2-1. With the match tied at 1-1, Campbell was put on the shot clock in tfranhe second period and could not score, giving Leathers the winning point in the match.

Clodgo has moved up two weight classes from 2016, when she was a U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up at 63 kg. She was strong in her semifinals, getting a 10-0 technical fall over Nahiela Magee (Lancaster, Calif./Bearcat WC).

“It is a different set (of opponents). It has been an adjustment. I keep thinking I am the biggest, strongest girl in the weight class, because that was how I was when I won at 63 kg. I am definitely not any more. I am one of the smaller ones, not one of the strongest ones, but I am definitely one of the oldest ones,” said Clodgo.

The other semifinal was a wild match, won by 2014 Junior World bronze medalist Victoria Francis (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC), who scored a late takedown to edge Julia Salata (Bristol, Tenn./New York AC), 8-7. Francis, a 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up, avenged a loss to Salata in the finals of the 2017 University Nationals in March.

The finals will begin at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time, and will be aired on Flowrestling. The winners will represent the United States at the 2017 Senior World Championships in Paris, France, August 21-26.

U.S. WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Las Vegas, Nev., April 29

Women’s Freestyle Championship Series pairings


48 kg/105.5 lbs. Victoria Anthony, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC),
55 kg/121 lbs. - Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) vs. Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
58 kg/127.5 lbs. - Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Helen Maroulis, New York, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids)
75 kg/165 lbs. Erin Clodgo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) vs. Victoria Francis, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC)

Women’s Freestyle Semifinal results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Victoria Anthony, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Marina Doi, Kingsburg, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0, 1:43
Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC) pin Erin Golston, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 4:32

55 kg/121 lbs.
Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) pin Dominique Parrish, Scotts Valley, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 2:18
Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Kelsey Campbell, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 2-1

58 kg/127.5 lbs.
Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids) pin Lauren Louive, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC), 5:51
Helen Maroulis, New York, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Jacarra Winchester, Marshall, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0. 3:31

75 kg/165 lbs.
Erin Clodgo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall. Nahiela Magee, Lancaster, Calif. (Bearcat WC), 10-0, 4:04
Victoria Francis, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Julia Salata, Bristol, Tenn. (New York AC), 8-7