2013 World Team Trials
I could not think of a better place to host World Team Trials than Stillwater, Oklahoma. A town filled with wrestling fans, a place where many of the best wrestlers have trained and still do. Even our National Wresting Hall of Fame sits next door to the Historic Gallagher-Iba Arena, which has hosted some of the most exciting wrestling matches in our history.
This past weekend for the first time in the history of wrestling, women took the mats at the Historical Gallagher-Iba Arena and showcased their skills for the amazing fans of Stillwater, Oklahoma and the country. While Women’s wrestling continues to grow on all levels, the opportunity for women to compete on a division I college team doesn’t exist. Watching these women compete in a college arena along side the men continues to give me hope that someday they will be able to attend a division I school and compete in the sport they have poured their hearts into.
Another first for the weekend was the new FILA rules. As part of the challenge of securing wrestling in the 2020 Olympics FILA has continued to revamp the rules of international wrestling with an objective of creating more action in the six-minute matches. I have to say from a personal opinion I could not be happier to see the clinch go, in fact I opened the door and gave it a quick kick in the behind on the way out. I was skeptical about the use of the stalling call, if there is no score in the first two minutes. As a wrestler and now a coach we always want the match to be decided by the wrestlers and out of the judgment of the officials but I have to say I was wrong. On the women’s side it was very rare that the stalling call was even used. In my opinion it never changed the outcome of the match. With takedowns going from one point to two it made for very quick technical falls in the first few rounds of wrestling and even some finals matches. I would like to see the technical fall move to ten points to allow for more wrestling, especially with cumulative points throughout the match. Nothing is ever perfect and I’m sure we could all come up with some rules we think would make a big difference, especially for our wrestlers. I have to take my hat off to FILA and the officials this weekend and say good job. I believe the mission was accomplished. There was definitely more action on the mat this past weekend!
There were lots of firsts this weekend, but when it comes to the four women going to the World Championships this is not their first. In fact these women have become quite dominant on the National and International level. All past members of 2012 World Team, let me introduce 2012 World Bronze medalist 48kg Alyssa Lampe, 2012 World Silver medalist 55kg Helen Maroulis, 2012 World Champion Elena P. and 2012 World Champion Adeline Gray. These women were quite impressive this weekend showing just what it takes to be a World Medalist. Three of the four weights were decided in two matches, 48kg went to a very exciting third match. Victoria Anthony wrestled Lampe in the finals and really gave the crowd a show. Both wrestlers are very technical, quick and quite fun to watch keeping the fans in Gallagher on the edge of their seats. It was clear that Lampe’s experience and skills were able to out wit Anthony this time but I know I’m looking forward to the next match.
For the women there will be seven weights competing at World Championships this summer in Budapest, Hungary but only four Olympic weights were decided this past weekend. The three non-Olympic weights will have a separate trial in Colorado Springs August 2nd and 3rd. All the women who qualified for trials at an Olympic weight will have the opportunity to move up or down to try again to make a World Team at 51kg, 59kg and 67kg.
The last first is this blog with many more to come so I will leave you with a quote for the members of the 2013 World Team and the women still training to make that team in early August. “Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” Author Unknown