Women’s National Wrestling Team training in Iowa City, Jan. 18-22, preparing for the Olympic year ahead
The U.S. Women’s National Wrestling Team is hosting a National Team training camp in Iowa City, Iowa from January 18-22. The team is training in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and is guests of the University of Iowa wrestling team and Hawkeye Wrestling Club.
The camp is being conducted by National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner, and includes many of the top women’s freestyle wrestlers in the nation. These athletes are expected to be in the field at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling, which returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, April 9-10.
This is the second time that Coach Steiner has conducted a National Team training camp in Iowa City, as a similar camp was held in 2012, another Olympic year. Steiner was a 1993 NCAA champion for Iowa, where he wrestled for the legendary Dan Gable.
“There are a bunch of different purposes. We have to come back together as a national team at camp. This is first time we have all been together as a team since the World Championships and that’s always important. We have some technical and tactical areas we need to clean up as a team,” said Steiner.
“The Olympic Trials are in Iowa City. Being in that arena, feeling the energy in Carver-Hawkeye and the flow of it, I want the girls to be very comfortable when we go in there in April. To train here for a week, they will be a lot more comfortable. Then, just to be around the Iowa program, which is known for its tradition of excellence, is invaluable. Just being around Tom and Terry Brands, men’s stars Tony Ramos and Brent Metcalf, people like that, is very important for them to see the intensity and feel the energy,” he said.
The women working out this week consists of a majority of the Women’s National Team, which includes of the first three ranked wrestlers in the nation in
each weight class based upon the 2015 World Team Trials. Also participating in the camp are additional U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athletes, top women athletes from a variety of national wrestling clubs, and four guest athletes from other nations.
At the end of the week, a special wrestle-off will be held on Friday, Jan. 22 to determine four positions on the U.S. women’s freestyle team that will compete in the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament. The weight classes contested will be 53 kg, 58 kg, 63 kg and 69 kg.
“In Iowa City, the University of Iowa and the state of Iowa, wrestling is very much appreciated. For so many of these women, coming through the ranks, their careers have not been so appreciated. It will also give the Iowa City community and the state of Iowa a chance to get to know our national team and our stars. Finally, we still have five weights to qualify for the Olympics, so we will have wrestle-offs around the Iowa-Purdue dual meet. We need to determine who will go to the Pan American Olympic Qualifier for us. There are a lot of reasons to be here,” said Steiner.
Among the U.S. athletes at the training camp are three-time World champion and five-time World medalist Adeline Gray at 75 kg, 2008 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun at 48 kg, World champion and four-time World medalist Elena Pirozhkova at 63 kg, World champion and three-time World medalist Helen Maroulis at 53 kg, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller at 69 kg, two-time World bronze medalists Alyssa Lampe at 48 kg and Sally Roberts at 63 kg, 2015 World bronze medalist Leigh Jaynes at 58 kg and 2012 U.S. Olympian Kelsey Campbell at 58 kg.
The international athletes at training camp include World silver medalist Petra Olli of Finland, World bronze medalist Anastasia Grigorieva of Latvia, World bronze medalist Epp Mae of Estonia, Sophie Edwards of Great Britain and Brianne Barry of Canada, along with Finnish coach Ahto Raska.
One of the club athletes participating is Lauren Louive, who trains in Iowa City with the Hawkeye WC.
The special wrestle-off on Friday will be a best-of-three series in each weight class. The first match of each series will be held in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 10 a.m. The second match is set for 6:30 p.m. on the competition mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, prior to the start of the Iowa vs. Purdue Big Ten dual at 8 p.m. Any rubber matches, if necessary, will be held after the conclusion of the Iowa vs. Purdue dual.
Tickets for the Iowa vs. Purdue dual meet and the women’s special wrestle-off are $12 for adults, $8 for those 18 and under, free for UI students and children five years and under.
Journalists seeking to interview coaches and athletes involved with the training camp should contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-659-9637 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
TENTATIVE WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TRAINING CAMP/WRESTLE-OFF ROSTER
48 kg/105.5 lbs.- Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids), Victoria Anthony (Titan Mercury WC), Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids), Erin Golston (New York AC), Candace Workman (Titan Mercury WC)
53 kg/116.5 lbs. – Whitney Conder (Army WCAP), Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids), Michaela Hutchison (Titan Mercury WC), Haley Augello (New York AC), Sara Hildebrandt (New York AC), Sharon Jacobson (Army WCAP), Amy Fearnside (Titan Mercury WC)
58 kg/128.75 lbs. – Alli Ragan (New York AC), Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids), Leigh Jaynes (Army WCAP), Randi Beltz (Team St. Louis), Jenna Burkert (Army WCAP), Areanna Villaescusa (Army WCAP), Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC), Lauren Louive (Hawkeye WC), Petra Olli (Finland)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids), Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC), Amanda Hendey (Titan Mercury WC), Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC), Shai Mason (Titan Mercury WC), Sally Roberts (Army WCAP), Anastasia Grigorieva (Latvia)
69 kg/152 lbs. – Tamyra Mensah (Titan Mercury WC), Randi Miller (Army WCAP), Brittney Roberts (Sunkist Kids)
75 kg/165 lbs. – Adeline Gray (New York AC), Julia Salata (New York AC), Ida Bernstein (OTC), Epp Mae (Estonia), Sophie Edwards (Great Britain)
Coaches – Terry Steiner, Erin Tomeo, Emma Randall, Maksim Molonov, Kevin Black, Ike Anderson, Angel Cejudo, Aaron Sieracki, Ahto Raska
USA Wrestling staff – Gary Abbott, Jaimie McNab, Chris Moen
WOMEN’S SPECIAL WRESTLE-OFF
At Iowa City, Iowa, January 22 (alongside Iowa vs. Purdue dual meet)
53 kg/116.5 lbs. – World Team member Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) vs. challenger Helen Maroulis (Huntington Beach, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)
58 kg/128 lbs. – World Team member Alli Ragan (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) vs. challenger Leigh Jaynes-Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – World Team member Erin Clodgo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) vs. challenger Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC)
69 kg/152 lbs. – No. 2 Tamyra Mensah (Katy, Texas/Titan Mercury WC) vs. No. 3 Randi Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP)
Note: Winners of each best-of-three series will compete for the USA at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in Frisco, Texas, March 5.