Photo by Larry Slater.
Welcome to a new weekly series on TheMat.com called USA Wrestling History Lesson. Each week, we will highlight one athlete that has wrapped up his or her wrestling career, sharing the impact that they’ve had on the sport.
This week we’ll take a look at Kristie Davis, who competed primarily under the last names Stenglein and Marano.
Davis is one of the winningest athletes in USA Wrestling, claiming nine medals in 10 Senior World Championships appearances, which included seven finals runs. Her nine medals match her with Bruce Baumgartner for most World medals in the USA’s history of the sport.
She first got into wrestling as a way to cross-train for her judo career.
Competing in her first Senior World Championships at only 17 years old, Davis burst onto the international scene with a silver-medal performance. Below is a recap of all 10 of her Senior Worlds performances.
- 1996 (Sofia, Bulgaria) – silver medal
- 1997 (Clermond-Ferrand, France)– silver medal
- 1998 (Poznan, Poland) – silver medal
- 1999 (Hildursborg, Sweden) – silver medal, World Team champions
- 2000 (Sofia, Bulgaria) – gold medal
- 2002 (Chalkida, Greece) – bronze medal
- 2003 (New York, USA) – gold medal
- 2006 (Guangzhou, China) – bronze medal
- 2007 (Baku, Azerbaijan) – silver medal
- 2010 (Moscow, Russia) – 12th place
In 1998, just two months before winning her second Senior silver medal, Davis competed at the Junior World Championships, where she earned a gold medal. It was the first time that the U.S. fielded a women’s team at the event.
In addition to her phenomenal international career, Davis was outstanding domestically, winning nine U.S. Open titles, four University National titles and two WCWA titles. She also competed in four Olympic Trials, placing second once and third twice.
Two years ago, Davis was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member, the highest honor, becoming the second woman to earn the honor.
She continues her legacy, serving as the women’s wrestling head coach at Emmanuel College, where her daughter and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Kayla Marano wrestles.
Check out the video below to learn more about Kristie.