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Lampe’s Time


Fresh off winning a World medal, Alyssa Lampe is ready to make an even bigger impact during the new Olympic cycle


By Craig Sesker


Alyssa Lampe was wrestling up a weight class.


But she wasn’t going to be denied a medal at the FILA Women’s World Championships this past September in Sherwood Park, Canada. A determined Lampe relied on her aggressive, attacking style to sweep Kazakhstan’s Abdutalipova Abdutalipova 2-1, 1-0 in her bronze-medal bout at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.


“I just wanted it, and I knew I could do it,” Lampe said. “I know I can compete at this level. I’ve improved my mental tough- ness, and I’ve matured and developed a lot. It was great to win a medal.” Narrowly defeated a few months earlier by eventual Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Lampe rebounded with a break- through performance in Canada. “Alyssa is starting to mature and come into her own,” U.S. National Coach Terry Steiner said. “She has been there for a while technically, but right now mentally she is really into it. She is doing all the lit- tle extra things that you need to do to be the champion. She’s very focused right now.”


Lampe, 24, moved up a weight class for the Women’s Worlds with Chun com- peting for the U.S. in that event at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.


Lampe stormed to a pair of wins to reach the semifinals at the Women’s Worlds before running into China’s Yanan Sun in the semifinals.


Lampe fought back valiantly to win the second period after being down 4-0 before Sun prevailed 2-1, 4-4, 2-2. Sun won the match by virtue of scoring with a two-point move in the third period. “I came back strong in the second peri- od, and I just kept pushing the pace,” Lampe said. “I was coming back in the third period, but I ran out of time. It was a


12 USA Wrestler


Alyssa Lampe (in blue) battles Clarissa Chun in the final-round match series at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City. Larry Slater photo.


tough loss and it was disheartening, but I am usually good at coming back after a loss. I wanted to make sure I didn’t go home without a medal.” Lampe grew up in Tomahawk, Wis., and was a state runner-up in 2006 while competing against boys in the Wisconsin high school state tournament. She was the first female wrestler to qualify for state in Wisconsin. Lampe started wrestling at a young


age.


“My brother, Anthony, had started wrestling,” she said. “He didn’t have any- one to wrestle because he was so small and he asked me. I said yes and I fell in love with the sport. I was 5 years old and he was a year older. We grew up wrestling together.”


Lampe won bronze medals at the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Championships. She placed second at the 2008 and 2009 U.S. World Team Trials before making her first U.S. Senior World Team in 2010. Lampe charged out strong in her first match against Poland’s Iwona


Matkowska at the 2010 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. But Matkowska, a past World bronze medal- ist, caught Lampe off-balance and record- ed a first-period fall. “It was my first World Championships, but I thought I could’ve been in medal contention,” Lampe said. “My dreams were shattered when I lost after having a 5-0 lead. It was a little bit of redemption for me when I came back to win a medal at (the 2012) Worlds.”


Lampe threw a major scare into Chun at the Olympic Trials this past April in Iowa City. Chun won the first match of the best-of-3 series before Lampe came back to win the second match. “I remember telling my coach after the second match, ‘I’m going to win this thing and make the Olympic Team,’” Lampe said.


But Chun, a past World champion, had other ideas. Chun bounced back to pull out a tough third match in three periods to make her second Olympic Team. Continued on page 13


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