Saunders defeats Chun to make the Women's World Team, July 16 in Las Vegas

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Heather Van Peursem (USA Wrestling)

Saunders defeats Chun in the best two-of-three series to make the Women's World Team July 16 in Las Vegas, Nev.     The Special Wrestle-off for a position on the U.S. Women's World Team at 46 kg (101.25 pounds) was won by four-time World Champion Tricia Saunders (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunkist Kids). She defeated Clarissa Chun (Kapolei, Hawaii/Viking WC) on July 16 at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nev.     Saunders won the first two matches by decisions, 7-0 and 3-1, ot, in 6:52.     Saunders has now qualified for her tenth U.S. World Team and will compete in the 2000 Women's World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept. 1-3. "I'm really happy to make another World Team," said Saunders. "I know that my toughest competition at the World Championships will come from China, Japan and Russia."     Saunders, the 2000 U.S. Nationals freestyle champion at 101.25 pounds, received an extension on her championship series for a position on the World Team due to injury. Only the 2000 U.S. Nationals champion has the right to request an extension in the championships series to a later site and date because of injury.      Chun earned the right to challenge Saunders by winning the 101.25-pound tournament at the Women's World Team Trials in Battle Creek, Mich., June 3-4. She defeated Julie Gonzales (Vallejo, Calif./Napa Valley WC) on June 4 to qualify for the Special Wrestle-off.     Saunders is a four-time Women's World Champion with titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 1999. She was also a World silver medalist in 1993. She is a 10-time U.S. Nationals champion, and has never lost to a U.S. opponent on the Senior level. Saunders attended the Univ. of Wisconsin and is originally from Ann Arbor, Mich. She is currently in her first year of Physicians Assistant school at Midwestern University.     Chun lost to Saunders in the finals of the 2000 U.S. Nationals, and was third in the 2000 University Nationals. She won a gold medal at the 2000 Dave Schultz Memorial International Championships. Chun competes for Missouri Valley College, one of the three U.S. women's college varsity wrestling programs.     The Special Wrestle-offs for three positions on the 2000 U.S. Women's World Freestyle Wrestling Team have been scheduled for Sunday, August 13 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Spots at 51 kg (112.25 lbs.), 56 kg (123.25 lbs.) and 69 kg (149.75 lbs.) will be determined.     At 112.25 pounds, 2000 U.S. Nationals Champion Stephanie Murata (Williamsburg, Ky./Sunkist Kids), will face Patricia Miranda (Saratoga, Calif./Dave Schultz WC). 2000 U.S. Nationals runner-up Malissa Sherwood (Rocklin, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) will wrestle Tina George-Wilson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 123.25 pounds. 2000 U.S. Nationals Champion Sandra Bacher (San Jose, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) will face Kristie Marano (Albany, N.Y./ATWA) at 149.75 pounds.