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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Maroulis Wins World Team Wrestle-Off

    The final member of the 2023 Senior World Team was minted today as Helen Maroulis downed Xochitl Mota-Pettis in two straight matches on the campus of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

    The series was delayed from the rest of the Final X card as Maroulis was granted a later wrestle-off after an injury. 

    The two 57 kg competitors had never met before and both appeared to be a bit tentative as they felt each other out for much of the first period. Maroulis grabbed the lead after a half-shot from Mota-Bettis. After stuffing Mota-Pettis, Maroulis moved into a cow-catcher and was able to break the ice with two exposure points. 

    Since the two had not previously met, Mota-Pettis had not experienced Maroulis’ legendary footsweep firsthand. That changed in the second period as Maroulis used the signature technique to add to her lead with a takedown. Maroulis would extend it to 6-0 with exposure from a gut wrench. 

    After a standup from the official, Maroulis used another one of her tried-and-true techniques. She caught Mota-Pettis off balance and hit an ankle-pick straight to Mota-Pettis’ back for four points, which brought the final score to 10-0. 

    Bout two started with fireworks almost immediately. With Mota-Pettis pushing forward, Maroulis was able to counter and reach for a leg while going out of bounds. That maneuver put Mota-Pettis on her back for four points. Undeterred, Mota-Pettis stayed on the offensive and got in on a single leg, and finally finished for a takedown after a lengthy fight from Maroulis. Maroulis immediately responded and earned a fall to lock up the match and the series. 

    With the win, Maroulis has now made 11 world teams and 13 World/Olympic squads. Her addition to the 2023 Senior World team gives the US seven past Senior medalists at ten weights.

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