Maroulis defeats Hedrick in special wrestle-off for ninth World-level Team bid

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Oct. 06, 2018, 6:48 p.m. (ET)

Photo by Team Garcia.

VIDEO: Maroulis interview

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Helen Maroulis earned her seventh-consecutive bid to the World Championships on Saturday night, defeating World Team Trials winner Alex Hedrick in a best-of-three special wrestle-off for the 57 kg spot to complete the 2018 U.S. women’s freestyle World Team. It is her eighth straight World-level team, when you include the 2016 Olympic gold, and her ninth Senior World-level team.

“I’m just grateful,” Maroulis said. “There’s definitely been times when I’ve taken all of this for granted, and I just never want to do that. You never know when this road is going to end. I want to make sure that I’m living in the moment and enjoying every second that I can.”

Maroulis and Hedrick were originally scheduled to battle it out for the spot in late-June as part of Final X at Lehigh, but the series was delayed due to an injury to Maroulis.

Saturday night, the two finally met in Lehigh University’s Grace Hall. Maroulis took the series in two-straight matches.

The first bout featured several low-level takedowns from the 2016 Olympic champion to give her an 8-0 lead at the break over U.S. Open champion Hedrick.

Within the first 15 seconds of the second period, Maroulis snagged another takedown for a 10-0 technical fall in 3:14.

Match No. 2 ended in 2:35 as Maroulis got off to an early 6-0 lead with a takedown and a pair of leg laces. One more takedown plus a slick four-pointer gave Maroulis the eventual 12-0 win to claim the final World Team spot.

With the win, Maroulis made her eighth overall U.S. Senior World Team. If you include her Olympic appearance, she will represent the U.S. on the Senior level for the ninth time.

Highly accomplished, Maroulis is a two-time World champion, winning in 2015 and 2017. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she became the first Olympic champion for the U.S. in women’s wrestling, defeating 13-time World champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist Saori Yoshida of Japan.

In addition to her World and Olympic golds, Maroulis also owns two other Senior World medals—silver from 2012 and bronze from 2014—and three Junior World medals, including one silver and two bronzes.

To watch tonight’s matches, check out FloWrestling.

The Senior World Championships are set for Oct. 20-28 in Budapest, Hungary. Fans can watch it live on Trackwrestling.

at Bethlehem, Pa., Oct. 6   

57 kg/125 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) def. Alex Hedrick (Titan Mercury), two matches to none
Bout 1 – Maroulis TF Hedrick, 10-0
Bout 2 – Maroulis TF Hedrick, 12-0