Sunnyside High School’s Audrey Jimenez defied the odds at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Las Vegas this weekend in multiple ways to earn the 50 kg championship.
The 18-year-old’s remarkable achievement:
— Defeated top-seeded veteran Alyssa Lampe, who is 17 years older than her at 35, by a 10-10 decision (making a last-second takedown) on Saturday.
— Overcame an 8-0 deficit against Lampe to emerge victorious.
— Seeded No. 3, Jimenez won in the semifinals Friday by technical fall over No. 2 Erin Golston (13-2, 4:56). Golston is 30 years old and has been wrestling in national and world wrestling events the last 15 years.
Audrey Jimenez with the INSANE comeback to make Final X!
Down 8-0, Jimenez secured this last second takedown to win 10-10! pic.twitter.com/g051kyE6An
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) April 30, 2023
Jimenez’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open championship guarantees her a spot in Final X, an annual series of wrestling events that determine the US Senior World/Olympic Team Members at each weight class.
Jimenez will take part in the Final X on June 10 at Newark, N.J., where she will compete against 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World medalist Sarah Hildebrandt. They will compete for the 50 kg spot on the 2023 U.S. World Team in women’s freestyle wrestling.
Jimenez was one of two high school wrestlers who competed in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open this weekend in Las Vegas. Rose Cassioppi, of Roscoe, Ill., made the 72 kg finals as a No. 4 seed.
Lampe, who competes in the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club with Jimenez, won bronze medals in the 48 kg and 51 kg weight classes at the 2012 and 2013 Women’s World Championships. She has been a member of Team USA since Jimenez was 4 years old, from 2009. She was with Team USA until 2016 and then returned in 2021-22. She has been a member of the U.S. World team a total of five times.
Jimenez’s U.S. Senior Open Women’s 50 kg championship comes after she earned the 2023 U20 women’s national championship at Spokane, Wash., on April 16. She went 5-0 without allowing a point in that event.
It was her second consecutive U20 women’s national title. She took first last year in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jimenez is a three-time state championship wrestler at Sunnyside who has decided to return for her senior season after initially planning on classifying early to have more time to train for the 2024 Olympics.
She will go after her fourth state title next season to pile on to her accomplishments, that includes a 2023 Grand Prix de France Henri Deglane silver medal, 2022 Junior World silver medal and 2021 Junior World bronze.
Senior Women’s Open finals
50 kg – No. 3 Audrey Jimenez (Sunkist Kids) dec. No. 1 Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids), 10-10 decision
No. 1 Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) pin No. 4 Sage Mortimer (Titan Mercury WC), 1:50
No. 3 Audrey Jimenez (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall No. 2 Erin Golston (New York AC), 13-2 4:56
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.