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Campbell wins gold, Conder silver, Lee bronze at Mongolia Open

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Kelsey Campbell wins a bout at the 2010 World Team Trials. Campbell brought home a gold medal at 59 kg at the Mongolia Open on Sunday. Larry Slater photo

ULAN BAATAR, Mongolia – The United States won three medals in women’s freestyle on the final day of competition at the Mongolian Open.

Capturing a gold medal at 59 kg/130 lbs. was two-time World Team member Kelsey Campbell (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids).

Campbell dropped the first period but rallied to defeat T. Monkhtuya of Mongolia, 0-5, 1-0, 3-0 in the championship finals. She won three bouts to win the gold, with victories over Kumabe Chihio of Japan, 1-0, 5-0 and Baatarjay Shoowdor of Mongolia, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0.

“Campbell wrestled smart matches. She made great adjustments in the final to win the match. She looked very calm and consistent,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner.

Winning a silver at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. was Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC), who was defeated in the finals by 2011 Asian Junior silver medalist Erhembayar Dawaachimeg of Mongolia, 1-1, 0-1.

Conder had two good wins to reach the finals, stopping Marina Oidopova of Russia, 2-0, 1-1, 3-0 and Riho Ota of Japan, 4-2, 3-2.

“Whitney wrestled a typical Whitney match. She competed her heart out; we just did not make the adjustments she needed to,” said Steiner.

Winning a bronze medal at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. was two-time U.S. World Team member Stephany Lee (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids). She defeated 2008 World silver medalist Mami Shinkai (Japan), 3-4, 3-1, 3-1 in the bronze-medal match.

Lee’s loss came in her first match to 2009 World silver medalist Ochirbat Burmaa of Mongolia, 1-1, 0-4.

Placing fifth at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. was two-time World medalist Kristie Davis (Yukon, Okla./Gator WC/OCU). She was defeated by 2009 World bronze medalist Badrakh Odonchimeg of Mongolia, 0-1, 0-2 in the bronze medal bout.

She opened with a win over 2010 Asian Games champion Naranchimeg Gelegjamts of Mongolia, 1-0, 3-2. Davis was then defeated by 2011 Junior World champion Natalia Vorobieva of Russia with a first-period pin. Vorobieva went on to win the gold medal.

“As a team I would give us a C. We looked good at times but it wasn't a great day! But I do feel like we learned something and we will progress forward. We have great individuals on this team and we just need to stay focused and keep making adjustments! And most importantly, we mus learn from every situation we are in,” said Steiner.

Three U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers from the Hawkeye Wrestling Club also competed on Sunday.

Finishing with a 2-2 record and falling one match short of reaching the medal round at 74 kg/163 lbs. was Lloyd Rogers (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC). Rogers was eliminated in his second repechage match by 2011 World silver medalist Livan Lopez of Cuba, who was wrestling up a weight class.

Finishing with a 1-2 record at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. was Luke Lofthouse (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC). Dropping his only bout at 60 kg/132 lbs. was Daniel Dennis (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC), who was pinned in the second period by past World champion Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria. When Velikov failed to reach the finals, Dennis was eliminated.

At Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, January 15

Women’s results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Akeo Minori (Japan)
Silver – Tsogtbazar Enkhzhargal (Mongolia)
Bronze - Pak Jong Mi (North Korea)
Bronze – Erednesukh Narangerel (Mongolia)
5th – Clarissa Chun (USA)
5th – Tsogtbaatar Tsendjav (Mongolia)

51 kg/112.25 lbs.
Gold – Erhembayar Dawaachimeg (Mongolia)
Silver – Whitney Conder (USA)
Bronze – P. Orkhon (Mongolia)
Bronze – Marina Oidopova (Russia)
5th – S. Orshush (Russia)
5th – Riho Ota (Japan)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – B. Nomin-Erdene (Mongolia)
Silver – Sundev Baymbatseren (Mongolia)
Bronze – Yuki Ikegame (Japan)
Bronze – E. Sumiya (Mongolia)
5th – S. Tserenchimed (Mongolia)
5th – Ri Kuk Hyang (North Korea)

59 kg/130 lbs.
Gold – Kelsey Campbell (USA)
Silver – T. Monkhtuya (Mongolia)
Bronze – Jon Un Song (North Korea)
Bronze – Baatarjay Shoowdur (Mongolia)
5th – Dorj Narmandakh (Mongolia)
5th –Kumabe Chihio (Japan)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold – Soronzonbold Battsetseg (Mongolia)
Silver – Ochirbat Nasanburmaa (Mongolia)
Bronze – Kim Ran Mi (North Korea)
Bronze – Kudo Kayoko (Japan)
5th – D. Erdenetungatag (Mongolia)
5th – Sh. Tumentsetseg (Mongolia)

67 kg/147.5 lbs.
Gold – Yoshiko Inoue (Japan)
Silver – Byanzyargzh Oyunsuren (Mongolia)
Bronze – Tserendorj Bayarzaya (Mongolia)
Bronze – O. Oyuntuya (Mongolia)
5th – Z. Bolortungalag (Mongolia)
5th – Ts. Shinenuuhen (Mongolia)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold – Nataliya Vorobieva (Russia)
Silver – Ochirbat Burmaa (Mongolia)
Bronze – Stephany Lee (USA)
Bronze - Badrakh Odonchimeg (Mongolia)
5th – Mami Shinkai (Japan)
5th – Kristie Davis (USA)

U.S. women’s freestyle results on Sunday

51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 2nd
WIN Marina Oidopova (Russia), 2-0, 1-1, 3-0
WIN Riho Ota (Japan), 4-2, 3-2
LOSS Erhembayar Dawaachimeg (Mongolia), 1-1, 0-1

59 kg/130 lbs. – Kelsey Campbell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Kumabe Chihio (Japan), 1-0, 5-0
WIN Baatarjay Shoowdor (Mongolia), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
WIN T. Monkhtuya (Mongolia), 0-5, 1-0, 3-0

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Stephany Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
LOSS Ochirbat Burmaa (Mongolia), 1-1, 0-4
WIN Mami Shinkai (Japan), 3-4, 3-1, 3-1

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Kristie Davis, Yukon, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU), 5th
WIN Naranchimeg Gelegjamts (Mongolia), 1-0, 3-2
LOSS Natalia Vorobieva (Russia), pin 1st period
LOSS Badrakh Odonchimeg (Mongolia), 0-1, 0-2

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Ali Bernard, New Ulm, Minn. (Gator WC), dnp
LOSS Badrakh Odonchimeg (Mongolia), 0-1, pin

FLASH: Chun places fifth in Mongolia Open on Saturday

ULAN BAATAR, Mongolia – Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) placed fifth at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. on the first day of the Mongolia Open.

Chun opened the tournament with two wins, stopping Bolor-Erdene of Mongolia in the first round by technical fall, then claiming a clutch three-period win over 2011 World silver medalist Otgontsetseg Davaasukh of Mongolia, 3-0, 0-2, 3-0.

In the semifinals, Chun was defeated by Minori of Japan, 1-1, 0-6. She was defeated in the bronze-medal bout by Pak Jong Mi of North Korea, 2-1, 2-0.

“Chun lost for third against Pak of North Korea. She is wrestling very hesitant. She has to believe in herself and let herself wrestle. You can’t win like that,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner. “When she let herself wrestle, she did great. She wrestled a great match against the Mongolian girl who was second in the World at 51 kg. She didn’t wrestle the same in the semifinals or the third place match.”

Chun was a 2008 World champion and placed fifth in the 2008 Olympic Games.

Also competing in the men’s freestyle division was Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), who had a 1-1 record and did not place at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Five other U.S. women wrestlers have weighed in and will compete on Sunday.

At Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, January 13

Women’s results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Akeo Minori (Japan)
Silver – T.S. Enkhzhargal (Mongolia)
Bronze - Pak Jong Mi (North Korea)

U.S. women’s freestyle performance

55 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 5th
WIN E. Bolor-Erdene (Monoglia), 6-0, 6-0
WIN Otgontsetseg Davaasukh (Mongolia), 3-0, 0-2, 3-0
LOSS Akeo Minori (Japan), 1-1, 0-6
LOSS Pak Jong Mi (North Korea), 2-1, 2-0

U.S. men’s freestyle performance

84 kg/185 lbs. – Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), dnp
WIN Na Qing (China), 4-2, 7-0
LOSS Seiji Suzuki (Japan), 0-1, 0-2

U.S. draws for Sunday

51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
Vs. Marina Oidopova (Russia)

59 kg/130 lbs. – Kelsey Campbell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Kumabe Chihio (Japan)

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Stephany Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Burmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia)

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Ali Bernard, New Ulm, Minn. (Gator WC)
Vs. Odonchimeg Badrakh (Mongolia)

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Kristie Davis, Yukon, Okla. (Gator WC/OCU)
Vs. Naranchimeg Gelegjamts (Mongolia)

Kelsey Campbell named Wrestler of the Week for Jan. 10-16

Kelsey Campbell (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) has been named Wrestler of the Week for Jan. 10-16.

Each week, will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level.

Campbell, a two-time World Team member, won a gold medal at the Mongolian Open on Sunday in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia.

Campbell won the women’s freestyle title at 59 kg/130 lbs.

Campbell dropped the first period but rallied to defeat T. Monkhtuya of Mongolia, 0-5, 1-0, 3-0 in the championship finals.

She won three bouts in the tournament. She also earned victories over Kumabe Chihio of Japan, 1-0, 5-0 and Baatarjay Shoowdor of Mongolia, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0.

Van Dusen to step down as Menlo College head women's coach at end of this season

Photo of Menlo College women's head coach Marcie Van Dusen. By Tony Rotundo

Wrestlers Are Warriors has reported that 2008 U.S. Olympian and current USA Wrestling Board of Directors member Marcie Van Dusen will step down as the head coach of the Menlo College women's wrestling team after the college season concludes in late January. Van Dusen has confirmed this report to USA Wrestling.

Van Dusen To Step Down From Menlo Women’s Post

Atherton, CA – Menlo College head women’s wrestling coach Marcie Van Dusen will step down from the helm of the program at the end of the 2012 wrestling season. Sighting personal reasons, Van Dusen will leave a program that has been on the rise since her hiring two years ago. Van Dusen will continue in her role as California USA Women’s Wrestling Director and as coach for the California USA Wrestling women’s team through the summer.

Van Dusen will eventually move to Hawaii and stated she would most likely stay involved in the sport in Hawaii at the high school level.


Ladies go 18-10 in Tuesday dual

Photos by Tyler Huey Morgan Michels, left, makes it difficult for Hoquiam’s Samantha King to escape her grasp. Michels won 8-7.

By Tyler Huey
Nisqually Valley News
Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 3:10 PM PST
Yelm girls’ wrestling defended its home mats in Tuesday night’s five-team dual by compiling a 64 percent winning percentage in 28 matches.

“For a home dual, I thought the girls represented the program really well,” head coach Amy Earley said.

Senior Morgan Michels, who is coming down into the 155-pound division, went 2-0. Michels first defeated Samantha King of Hoquiam, 8-7, then pinned Laura Fowler of Tenino at 5:40.

“She did really well,” Earley said of Michels. “We were very excited about that because (King) is in our district and region, so we were curious to see how she would do against her.”

Michels is within a couple pounds of 155 and King is moving up to that weight, so they got paired together because they will face each other throughout the season. Several times during the match, Michels was controlling King on the mat, and King looked at her coach, put her hands out in frustration and as if implying she couldn’t do anything.

“I was across the gym coaching another match but I did see that, and I got the story on that later,” Earley said. “Sam is a pretty tough kid to coach. I’ve watched her for years. She a very passionate wrestler, but at the same time she can be tough to coach.”

Michaels’ craftiness is one thing that may have caused so much frustration.

“Morgan has an unusual wrestling style so it’s difficult for girls that haven’t wrested her because she’s just very unorthodox and crafty,” Earley said.

“She has several moves she does methodically, so it’s very difficult to defend Morgan’s moves. I think that is what Sam was up against and she didn’t know what to do.”

Sophomore Kyla Campbell (139) went 1-1, but her performance showcased what she is capable of. Campbell lost to Dusty Leslie of Elma in a dual last month, but redeemed herself Tuesday with a pin at 1:32.

The last time she wrestled Dusty in December she was cutting weight, so she was feeling good this time,” Earley said. “She pinned her pretty quickly and we were excited about that.”

Campbell then lost 14-3 to Taylor Walker of Hoquiam, but Earley believes she learned a lot from the match.

Freshman Elizabeth Grey (170) went 2-0 despite battling a knee injury.

Grey pinned Lisa Rounsivill at 1:13 and took out Hoquiam’s Carmen Ruiz in 48 seconds.

“Every week it’s questionable whether or not (Grey) is going to come out there,” Earley said. “But she wrestled in middle school, so she’s already got a year under her belt and she’s doing really well this year,”

Another freshman, Kaileen Adamy, also won both matches. Adamy pinned Hoquiam’s Karen Mudd at 2:38 and Hosanno Quaempts at 3:38.

“Overall, the girls did well for our one home dual,” Earley said. “The team represented really well against teams in our district, so we’re pretty excited about it but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

“We’re hoping this is indicative of how we’re going to fair at districts.”


Springstowne hosting tour

Times-Herald staff report

Vallejo Springstowne Wrestling Academy will be hosting the Marcie Van Dusen Wrestling technique tour on Monday in Bass Gym at Hogan Middle School.

Marcie Van Dusen is a 2008 Olymian and current head coach of the women's program at Menlo College. The event is for high school and middle school female wrestlers, but it is open to wrestlers and coaches as well.

For more information contact Jason Guiducci by phone (707) 704-7245, or check out the website, and email


Gunn girl pins down a rare double in same season

By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports-Thursday, January 12, 2012, 3:38 PM

Gunn sophomore Cadence Lee (right) has wrestling as her main priority, but she's also playing on the girls' soccer team this winter. Photo by Butch Garcia.
Cadence Lee has more decisions to make than most high school athletes, especially when it comes to practice. Does she wear the wrestling headgear today or is it time for the soccer cleats?

Decisions. Decisions. That's what happens when you play two sports in the same season.

Lee, a sophomore at Gunn High, can be found in the wrestling room one day and the soccer field the next. She is an outstanding grappler at 106 pounds and a solid soccer reserve for the Gunn girls' team.

Being a two-sport athlete is one thing, but doing it in the same season is another. That makes Lee a rarity in the already busy life of a high school student.

Cory Hatton of Sacred Heart Prep is believed to be the last local high school athlete to play two sports in the same season. He was a placekicker on the Gators' football team in 2005 in addition to playing soccer, which in those days was played in the fall before moving to the winter a few years later.

While soccer and football are similar, wrestling and soccer are not.

"It is rare, but Cadence is rare," said Gunn wrestling coach Chris Horpel. "The only other time I heard of this (combination) was with Jason Welch, now wrestling for Northwestern. He was the goalkeeper on his championship soccer team (at Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek in 2008) and he also won three California state titles (in wrestling). He, too, was very impressive."

Welch was the nation's top high school wrestler in 2008. Lee, of course, is not in that category but she can hold her own on the wrestling mat.

At the Central Coast Section Girls' Wrestling Championships last season, Lee won four matches by pin to win her 16-person division despite being unseeded. She advanced to the inaugural CIF State Championships for girls and finished seventh. During the regular season, she was 5-0 in dual matches (mostly against boys) while helping the Titans win the SCVAL El Camino Division dual-meet title.

In a dual match against Palo Alto last week, Lee dominated her male opponent and won, 16-1. On Saturday, she finished second in the 106-pound division at the Bianchini Memorial Tournament in Cupertino. On Monday, she scored a goal in the Titans' 3-1 nonleague soccer win over Menlo

"The girls' soccer team needed a player and Cadence was game to try both," Horpel said.
"Wrestling remains her priority, but she is attempting to do both."

Lee joined the Gunn soccer team shortly before winter break (in December).

"Coach Damian (Cohen) knew I played soccer since I tried out last year," said Lee, a former competitive club soccer player. "And, since the team was lacking players, he offered me the opportunity to participate. I'm extremely glad to be playing both sports."

Cadence sat down with her parents before finally deciding.

"My husband and I discussed the pros and cons with Cadence, but ultimately let her make the decision," said her mother, Emmie. "I don't think there was ever any doubt in her mind, but we wanted her to be aware that taking on two simultaneous varsity sports would not only be physically taxing, and carry with it an increased risk of injury, but would require her to be more efficient with her time in terms of schoolwork and music -- she plays the oboe in the Gunn wind ensemble."

"The greatest challenge of participating in both wrestling and soccer is making sure I am able to prioritize and juggle all my other activities without becoming overloaded or stressed," said Lee. "Both my coaches and I have agreed that whenever two event conflict, wrestling will always take the top priority."

Cohen said he's fine with that, especially in such an unusual situation.

"I don't think there are that many highly skilled wrestlers that are also excellent soccer players," Cohen said. "The trade-off is that she is first and foremost a wrestler. We are able to have her for a couple of practices and a handful of games, when such works with the wrestling schedule. In other words, she is a part-time soccer player and full-time wrestler.

"As a wrestler, she is scrappy. She hustles and will give everything she has. (In soccer) she has good vision, one-touch play, and isn't afraid to hold the ball, either."

When Lee is playing soccer, she fills in at either the midfield or forward spots. In wrestling, she's the team's No. 1 entrant at 106 pounds.

While wrestling takes place on Thursday (dual matches) and some Saturdays (tournaments) and soccer is Wednesday and Friday in most cases, the two sports do overlap.

"She cannot compete in all of our matches because she needs to meet weight heading into a wrestling meet," Cohen said. "Thus, timing is a factor."

Gunn hosted Palo Alto on Wednesday night in soccer, but Lee di not play because the Titans' wrestling team hosted Cupertino on Thursday night. Friday is free for soccer (at Los Altos) because there is no wrestling tournament on Saturday.

"Yes, unfortunately I will have to miss all the soccer games that occur directly before a wrestling event," Lee said. "The running and conditioning in a soccer game is good for keeping my weight down, but I believe that it definitely tires out my leg muscles more than is preferred."

And, for anyone who has ever wrestled, leg strength is crucial.

Aside from one sport tiring for the other, Lee believes the two sports are very compatible for staying in shape.

"Soccer and wrestling are excellent cross-training for each other," she said. "Soccer requires plenty of running and general fitness while wrestling requires adequate strength and coordination, and I think that each sport prepares me for the other.

"I think it would be wonderful if I could participate in both sports in my next couple of years, if things work out," she said. "But, it all depends on if I am needed on the soccer team."

The Gunn girls' soccer team has 16 players listed on the current roster. Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton, for example, each have 22. Even Castilleja, the smallest school in the area in terms of enrollment, has 18 players. Once the Titans have enough able bodies, Lee's two-sport status could vanish.

Thus, Lee will continue to juggle her sports and schedules as long as possible -- even though friends can't believe what she's doing.

Said Lee: "Lots of people are amazed and almost everyone asks ' How do you do it?' But, I know that my family is proud of me for attempting to work things out and compete in both my favorite sports

Girls Form the Core of Pirate Wrestling

With six girls on the team, Drake is building a stronger squad.

Left to right, top: Alanna Hamilton, Kyle Peterson, Roxanne Mitchell; bottom: Makenna Garcia, Evelyn Champagne.
Gone are the days that one or two girls on a co-ed wrestling mat was note-worthy. With six girls on the Drake squad, the female contingent makes up nearly one-third of the Pirate wrestlers.

“It’s totally new and a lot, a lot of fun,” said Drake Coach Johann Gerlach.

What exactly prompted the rush of new female talent to the wrestling room?

“I came out for weight loss, but once I tried it it was really fun. It was something I hadn’t done before, different from other sports,” said freshman Roxanne Mitchell.

“You can get out all your aggression,” agreed fellow freshman Kyle Peterson.

Senior Alanna Hamilton, who also plays on the Pirates football team, has wrestled for the squad for the last few years and paved the way for more girls to join. Once they realized it was fun and no one picked on them too much, the girls just kept coming. One freshman friend came out to watch a match and the next practice was ready to suit up.

"They're really the heart of the team," said Gerlach, pointing out they've formed a team unit at tournaments and have a lot of fun.

Make no mistake about it, however. These girls are more than just tokens on the team. They’re good wrestlers.

Hamiliton and junior Makenna Garcia recently returned from a women’s wrestling camp over winter break and have been getting better and better as the season goes on. Hamilton took fifth in the Castro Valley Girls tournament in December and Garcia took second place in the 132-pound division (and her first medal ever) this past weekend at the Karen Foley Crossface Classic Girls Tournament in Vallejo.

The other four girls are a contingent of freshmen – Mitchell, Peterson, Evelyn Champagne, and Kelsey Lopin – learning the ins and outs of what it takes to wrestle.

“Unlike the guys, the tough-minded, bravado of blasting through obstacles, the girls carry a different cerebral approach. In some degree, it’s more technical since the brute strength approach isn't as applicable,” said Gerlach.

The freshmen group also medaled this past weekend with Mitchell taking 4th (154), Lopin 6th (103), and Champagne 6th (132).

"My first match, I don't even remember anything. You don't see anyone," said Mitchell.

Throughout the season, the girls wrestle co-ed because there aren’t enough girls in the MCAL schools – at least at the other schools. Once they get to NCS, though, girls compete in a separate division. Gerlach is hopeful that some of the female squad will be able to move on in the post-season tournaments.

The hope is also that they’ll be joined by some of their male teammates. Last year, just two Drake wrestlers traveled to the NCS tournament, but Gerlach knows the team is getting stronger and better.

Drake has not historically had a large wrestling squad – nowhere close to the numbers of Novato, San Marin or Terra Linda – but they’ve been growing and gaining momentum.

While the girls and JV squad went to the Vallejo tournament this past weekend, the Varsity team traveled to Valley of the Moon tournament in Sonoma. At the two-day tournament over 1,000 matches were wrestled and four of the five Drake wrestlers managed to place.

Dylan Sayge took second in the heavyweight division with five pins and only lost in the finals to a guy he had already beaten. Mason Bowles (138) took 7th despite being sick and missing the first day, Matt Makohin (170) took 7th, and Jeremy Thornton (145) took 8th.

The team placed 15th with just their five wrestlers, while Novato and Terra Linda placed higher with full squads. But, Gerlach pointed out, Novato had only four kids place as well.

“It shows that if we have the same numbers they do, we're equally as competitive,” he said.

Hopefully, with the girls team creating a cohesive, fun core, they’ll keep bringing more and more of their friends.


No. 3 Lindenwood rallies to beat Lady Vikings

Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Lady Vikings led 11-0 following a victory by sophomore Samantha Lovelace (right) over Lindenwood's Seanelle Esperanza.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
[Click to enlarge]
The last home match of the season for the Missouri Valley College women's wrestling team started off well enough, but the good times didn't last.

Third-ranked Lindenwood (5-4) won the final seven bouts Tuesday for a 27-14 victory over the No. 6 Lady Vikings.

After a default at 101 pounds gave Valley a 5-0 lead, third-rated senior Britney Heatherly (109 pounds) controlled her contest against sophomore Briana Gedeon, 3-0, 3-0. That was followed by a 1-0, 4-0 decision by sophomore Samantha Lovelace (123) over junior Seanelle Esperanza to give the Lady Vikings an 11-0 lead.

After that, with only minor exceptions, the match belonged to the Lady Lions. After splitting the first period, 2-2, LU senior India Walker, ranked sixth at 116 pounds, won a 4-0 second set over senior Summer Sistad (123) -- No. 5 at 130.

Senior Priscilla Calder led 5-1 in the second period of her tilt against MVC junior Mayleen Soto (130) before recording a pin at the 2:26 mark.

Two grapplers ranked in different weight classes met at 136 pounds, with Lindenwood getting the victory by No. 2 junior Shauna Isbel (123) over sixth-rated junior Danielle Curlis (143) with a 1-0, 1-0 decision.

Valley junior Frances Elfiong (143) appeared to be in charge of her contest against sophomore Rachel Shannon, No. 3 at 136, with a near-fall during a 4-0 first period. However, Shannon came back with 2-0, 2-1 advantages in the next two frames to win.

The Lady Vikings also saw a ranked wrestler beaten at 155 when No. 6 junior Jordan Hagerman was pinned at 3:07 by sophomore Tanya Kusse, ranked second at 143.

The Lady Lions got another five points for a fall at 170 from sophomore Brittany David, No. 4 at 155, disposed of seventh-ranked sophomore Brittany Jones in 39 seconds.

The final bout was one of the closest, as No. 5 junior Paloma Basulto (191) and Lindenwood sophomore Ruth Leger, ranked eighth at 170, each recorded a throw. Leger had two of them to win the set, 6-4, and each had a takedown in the 1-1 second frame to give the Lady Lion the victory.

The teams split a pair of exhibitions, No. 4 sophomore Jacarra Winchester (116) winning and Sistad losing for Valley.

The Lady Vikings (8-5) will head to California on Saturday for the Menlo Open.

Wrestlers go five for five at tourney

By Greg Sabatino - Williams Lake Tribune
January 12, 2012 7:00 AM

The Williams Lake Wrestling Club went five for five over the weekend at the Kelly Road Invitational wrestling tournament in Prince George.

A high school wrestling tournament for grapplers in grades 8-12 the event, said WLWC president Sonia Conrod, is an excellent way for the local club to size up its competition come zone championships on Feb. 11.

“The wrestlers did exceptionally well,” Conrod said. “We got to meet our competition for zones and with all of us medalling we’ve got a pretty good chance we’ll be taking a bunch of wrestlers to provincials.”

At the tournament grapplers compete based on weight, not by grade. Conrod said it makes for some interesting match ups, especially in some cases where Grade 8 wrestlers wind up going up against older, more experienced competitors.

“It’s tough for sure but they did great,” she said.

Each of the five wrestlers the WLWC sent to the tournament brought home a medal.

Winning gold was Conlan Sprickerhoff, who came out on top in the 57 kilogram weight class. Sprickerhoff’s teammate, Sheldon Samra, took silver in the division.

In the 54-kilogram boys division Grade 8 Braden Conrod won bronze, despite going up against older competitors.

In the 54 kilogram girls division Kara Pare won a silver medal. She also held the distinction of being the only girl to make the trip for the WLWC.

And in the 90 kilogram boys division, Kerry Normand took home the bronze medal.

Coming up this weekend the WLWC heads to Kamloops for one of its largest tournaments of the year, the Western Canada Age Class Tournament.

Following that, on Jan. 28, the club is set to host its annual Smackdown playday at Columneetza secondary, an elementary event for grapplers across the province

A Miss match: Gunn High School wrestler Cadence Lee shows the boys how it's done

Click photo to enlarge
Gunn's Cadence Lee (cq) controls Cupertino's Destinee Nagtalon ... ( Kirstina Sangsahachart ) MORE PICS

Cadence Lee wrestles like a girl -- a really good girl.

And that's bad news for the boys.

The Gunn High School sophomore has been putting a beatdown on guys, pinning 11 of them in little more than one season of wrestling for the Titans.

"I've got lots of different reactions from guys," the 4-foot-11 Lee said. "Before the match, some of them are really arrogant, thinking they are going to beat me. After I beat them, then they're really embarrassed."

Lee, the defending Central Coast Section girls champion at 103 pounds, now wrestles at 106 pounds. She faces boy after boy, sending most back to their corner scratching their heads. Lee leads her team in pins with eight.

It looked like child's play for Lee when she pinned a girl in the second round in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League match at the Palo Alto school last week. The win ran Lee's season record to 15-2, with all but one of the victories against boys. In the Titans' dual match with rival Palo Alto on Jan. 5, Lee won a 16-1 technical fall decision over a Paly boy wrestler.

Lee has run up against some boys stronger than her, even at the lightest of weight classes. In the title bout of the Bianchini Invitational at Cupertino on Jan. 7, she lost by a tech fall to Alvin Nguyen of Silver Creek-San Jose.

"A female has to be strong enough not to be overpowered when wrestling boys," Gunn coach Chris Horpel said. "The two matches she has lost this year, she got overpowered."

Horpel first saw Lee wrestle at Terman Middle School in Palo Alto, where he also coaches.

"I knew she was going to be dynamite, but she was split between wrestling and soccer back then," Horpel said. "When she got to Gunn, she, to my surprise, decided to be a wrestler only."

This season, Lee was coaxed to come out for soccer by Gunn girls soccer coach Damian Cohen. In her first game, on Jan. 9, Lee scored a goal in the Titans' 3-1 win over Menlo School-Atherton. She'll play only a handful of soccer games the remainder of the season because wrestling comes first.

"I have only watched Cadence play soccer a few times," Cohen said. "What I've noticed so far is that she is persistent, relentless and fearless. Cadence has a good first touch and has strong vision. She wants to distribute and get everyone involved."

"I have played soccer since I was little," said Lee, who plays in the midfield and up top. "Coach Cohen gave me an opportunity to play and I took it. I'm more committed to wrestling, but I enjoy doing both sports."

A nice girl

Off the mat, Lee has a sweet presence about her. She's well-spoken, a 4.0 GPA student, always smiling.

On the mat, it's a different story.

"There's a big difference between off the mat and on the mat," Lee said. "The mentality is so much different. If someone saw me wrestle, they would think I was a really mean person. I try to make a difference on how I am off and on the mat. I want to be a very nice person. You can't be nice in wrestling."

This will be the third year that girls have their own state meet, Feb. 24-25 at Lemoore High School in the Central Valley. Last year, Lee placed seventh at state, finishing with a 20-7 record and nine pins. Eight of those wins were against girls.

Lee had thoughts this year about wrestling in the CCS boys wrestling championships, which are staged the same weekend as the girls state meet. The CIF, however, has mandated that only junior and senior girl wrestlers can wrestle at the CCS boys championships this year. Next year, only senior girl wrestlers can, so Lee will have to stick to wrestling girls in the postseason.

"Wrestling guys would be much more of a challenge," Lee said.

First love

Lee's first love was the art of judo. Her father Hon introduced Cadence -- owner of a purple belt -- to the sport when she was 6.

"My father did judo when he was little," Cadence said. "He wrestled when he was in high school back in Rhode Island. I started wrestling in the seventh grade, but I didn't like it until I was in the eighth grade. I was always wrestling guys. Wrestling guys didn't bother me because I used to do judo."

"Cadence used to be too judo-oriented, too throw-oriented," Horpel said. "She has incredible lower-body attack. Now Cadence is tough on top and knows how to ride. She knows how to get out of trouble. She's quick and she's strong. One of Cadence's strengths is that she's just as strong in the third period as she was in the first."

Horpel says Lee's competitive nature is why she is so tough for any gender to beat.

"Cadence has an incredible, competitive spirit," Horpel said. "Her fighting spirit is like none other. Couple that with her 'coachability' and the things she knew coming in, now she has a well-rounded attack. She's the best girl wrestler I have coached at Gunn."

"One of the main things that makes me hard to wrestle is my toughness," Lee acknowledged. "I'm extremely competitive and hate to lose. My coach always says that everyone has different levels of quitting and I think my level is relatively high.

"You would never see me giving up without a fight."

Tournament record for Napa Valley Girls Classic

Marty JamesNapa Valley Register | Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 am

Last week’s ASICS Napa Valley Girls Classic drew 372 wrestlers, a tournament record, to Vintage High School. They were from 88 high schools.

The previous all-time high was 318 wrestlers, set last year.

Schools from California, Nevada and Washington were represented over the two days during the 14th annual tournament, which is one of the largest in the state.

The ASICS Napa Valley Girls Classic serves as a fundraiser for Vintage wrestling.