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U.S. Open for Greco-Roman and Women's Freestyle

December 7, 2011
USA Wrestling




By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
12/07/2011


2002 World Champion Dremiel Byers and 2008 World Champion Clarissa Chun are among the stars expected at the U.S. Open in Arlington, Texas. Larry Slater photo

The U.S. Open for Greco-Roman and women's freestyle will be held at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas, Dec. 16-17.

This is the national tournament for the 2011-12 season in these two styles, so the top Olympic hopefuls in both styles are expected. Men's freestyle has chosen a different qualification system this year, so they will not have a U.S. Open event this season.

There will be competition in the seven international Greco-Roman weights and the four Olympic women's weights.

The top seven in each weight class qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22. Up to 77 spots in the Trials are up for grabs, although some of these athletes may have already qualified through other events.

Online registration is available for all participants, with an entry fee of $40. The deadline for online registration is Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.
Online registration for U.S. Open Greco-Roman/Women’s Freestyle

Onsite registration is available, but the entry fee will be increased to $140.

Among the stars expected to compete are 2002 World champion and three-time World medalist Dremiel Byers of the U.S. Army at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., two-time World bronze medalist Justin Lester of the U.S. Army at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and 2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. All three were members of the 2011 U.S. World Team.

Another top star expected to compete is 2008 Olympian Spenser Mango of the U.S. Army at 55 kg/121 lbs. Mango has made the last three U.S. World Teams. Other 2011 World Team Trials champions expected to defend their No. 1 positions are Joe Betterman of the Sunkist Kids at 60 kg/132 lbs., Jake Fisher of the New York AC at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Cheney Haight of the New York AC at 84 kg/185 lbs.

The field could include 2006 World champion Joe Warren of the New York AC at 60 kg/132 lbs. A number of other past U.S. World Team members are expected to enter.

The women’s field will be loaded, especially with only the four Olympic weight classes being contested. Among the top-ranked wrestlers at the Olympic weight classes are three past World medalists.

Clarissa Chun of the Sunkist Kids, a 2008 World champion and 2008 Olympian, will enter at 48 kg/105.5 pounds. Elena Pirozhkova of the Gator WC, who won a 2010 World silver medal and has been on four U.S. World Teams, is top ranked at 63 kg/138.75 pounds. Ali Bernard of the Gator WC, a 2011 World bronze medalist and 2008 Olympian, enters as the top athlete at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.

Also holding a No. 1 ranking at 55 kg/121 lbs. is two-time World Team member Helen Maroulis of the New York AC, who boasts three Junior World medals.

Among the other participants could be two-time World champion and nine-time World medalist Kristie Davis of the Gator WC/OCU at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., two-time World bronze medalist Tatiana Padilla of the Sunkist Kids at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 2011 World bronze medalist Adeline Gray of the New AC at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

In the women’s division, Ali Bernard of the Gator WC has already secured a spot in the best-of-three championship series at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials based upon winning a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships.

At 55 kg/121 lbs. and 63 kg/138.75 lbs., the winner of the U.S. Open in Arlington will move directly into the best-of-three championship series at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. These weights have already been qualified for the USA at the Olympic Games.

The U.S. is not yet qualified to compete in the Olympic Games at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. If the U.S. is able to qualify this weight class at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Florida in March, then the U.S. Open champion in Arlington will advance into the best-of-three championship series at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

In Greco-Roman, the U.S. is currently only qualified for the Olympic Games at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. The U.S. will attempt to qualify the other weight classes at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Florida in March.

At the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, at the qualified weight classes, any athlete who wins the U.S. Open in Arlington and has that placed in the top five at the Senior World Championships in the past four years advances directly to the best-of-three championship series. In weight classes which does not meet this criteria, no athlete will advance directly into the championship series.

Each style has its own selection criteria for the Olympic Games. To see the 2012 Olympic Team Selection Criteria, visit
2012 Olympic Team Selection Criteria

The 2011 U.S. Open in all three Olympic styles was held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 8-9. At that event, the women’s division included the seven Olympic weight classes.

The U.S. Open for the Olympic year was moved up to December, in order to allow sufficient time prior to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. Traditionally, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials has been held in June, but it was moved earlier in the year to April to allow more time for the Olympic Team to train for the London Games.

For more information, visit the U.S. Open website at:
U.S. Open website

U.S. OPEN FOR GRECO-ROMAN AND WOMEN’S FREESTYLE
At Arlington, Texas, Dec. 16-17

Event Schedule


Friday, Dec. 16
Greco-Roman (55 kg/121 lbs., 60 kg/132 lbs., 66 kg/145.5 lbs., 74 kg/163 lbs.)
Women’s Freestyle (48 kg/105.5 lbs., 63 kg/138.75 lbs.)

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolations, 5th place and 7th place matches

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Gold medal and bronze medal matches

Saturday, Dec. 17
Greco-Roman (84 kg/185 lbs., 96 kg/211.5 lbs., 120 kg/264.5 lbs.)
Women’s Freestyle (55 kg/121 lbs., 72 kg/158.5 lbs.)

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolations, 5th place and 7th place matches

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Gold medal and bronze medal matches

2011 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
In Cleveland, Ohio, April 8-9

Greco-Roman champions

55 kg/121 lbs. – Spenser Mango (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Joe Betterman (Sunkist Kids)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Justin Lester (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Ben Provisor (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Justin Ruiz (New York AC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army)

Women’s freestyle champions
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Whitney Conder (Gator WC)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (New York AC)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Deanna Rix (Sunkist Kids)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Adeline Gray (New York AC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Ali Bernard (Gator WC)

2011 WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Oklahoma City, Okla., June 10-11

Greco-Roman champions

55 kg/121 lbs. – Spenser Mango (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Joe Betterman (Sunkist Kids)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Justin Lester (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jake Fisher (New York AC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Cheney Haight (New York AC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Justin Ruiz (New York AC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army)

Women’s freestyle champions
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (New York AC)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Ali Bernard (Gator WC)


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