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Kristie Marano named 2002 USA Wrestling Women’s Wrestler of the Year

Gary Abbott/USA Wrestling

Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) has been named the 2002 Women’s Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the third time that Marano has received this prestigious award, to go along with her awards in 1998 and 2000.

Marano won a bronze medal at 67 kg/147.5 pounds at the 2002 Women’s World Championships, held in Halkida, Greece. It was the sixth World medal of her career, the most of any U.S. women’s wrestler in history. In total, Marano has won a gold, four silvers and a bronze on the world level.

Marano won three of her four bouts at the World Championships, including a 6-1 victory over Ewelina Pruszko of Poland in the bronze-medal match. Her only loss came in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Katarina Burmistrova of Ukraine, 4-0. In her pool competition, Marano scored wins over Stanka Zlateva of Bulgaria and Shannon Samler of Canada.

Marano won a silver medal at the 2002 U.S. Women’s National Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., as well as the 2002 World Team Trials in Saint Paul, Minn., competing at 63 kg/138.75 pounds. Marano was defeated in the championship finals by Sara McMann in both events.

She earned a spot on the U.S. Women’s World Team by winning a Special Wrestle-off at 67 kg/147.5 pounds against 2002 World Team Trials Katie Downing. The wrestle-off was held in Fargo, N.D.

Marano claimed a gold medal at 2002 University National Championships in Evanston, Ill., where she defeated Downing in a best-of-three series, two matches to one. She also won a gold medal at the Northeast Women’s Regionals in Brockport, N.Y. Marano added a silver medal at the 2002 New York AC Christmas Open, competing up at 72 kg/158.5 pounds.

Marano is currently training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She attended Colonie Central High School in New York, and also attended college at Hudson Valley CC.

USA Wrestling will be announcing major award winners each day this week on

2002 - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
2001 - Toccara Montgomery, Cleveland, Ohio, Sunkist Kids
2000 - Kristie Marano, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
1999 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1998 - Kristie Stenglein, Albany, N.Y., ATWA
1997 - Sandra Bacher, San Jose, Calif., Dave Schultz WC
1996 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Vickie Zummo, Hamburg, N.J., New York AC
1994 - Shannon Williams, Ontario, Calif., Sunkist Kids
1993 - Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids