Alyssa Lampe was plenty impressed with the state championship wrestling banners hanging on the walls of Windsor High School’s Reg Figal Gymnasium.
Lampe has credentials of her own that were at least as impressive to the hundreds of fans situated in the gym, which may be somewhat dimly lit but was vibrantly colored full of character Thursday.
Lampe (48 kg/105.5 pounds) wrestled two matches and won them both decisively, helping a team representing USA women’s wrestling to a 6-3 dual win against a team representing Russia.
Lampe, a Wisconsin native, earned 1⁄3 of USA’s wins, pinning Elena Vostrikova in 3 minutes, 35 seconds and earning a 14-4 technical fall over Stalvira Orshush in 2:28.
Lampe said wrestling twice in about an hour span was a new experience for her, at least when it comes to duals.
“It happens sometimes in tournaments, definitely,” said Lampe, a 2013 World Bronze Medalist. “I’ve never had to in a dual setting, because you usually wrestle just one more. It was definitely different, but it was a lot of fun.”
Though the Russians enjoyed support from a vocal minority, Lampe was showered by cheers from the largely pro-USA crowd.
As supportive as the crowd was of their countrymen, Lampe said she was just as impressed with how passionate the northern Colorado community appeared to be for wrestling in general.
“I see that (the Wizards) are state champions,” she said. “So, I definitely figured there were going to be some fans here, and it was just great to have people cheering for us.”
Though Windsor High School’s duals normally create festive atmospheres, the environment on Thursday had unique character altogether.
While Russian coaches feverishly debated calls with the officials, the Windsor band blared tune after tune during the duration of the dual.
Meanwhile, the grapplers on the mat traded takedowns, reversals and rolls during a high-paced hour and a half dual featuring refined freestyle techniques.
“I thought it was great,” said Windsor coach Monte Trusty, one of the event’s main organizers. “I was excited. The atmosphere was great, and the crowd was into it. It was awesome, high-level wrestling. What else can you ask for?”
None of the nine matches electrified the vast crowd like the final match of the night, the 72-kg/158.5-pound match.
The match pitted 2012 Olympic champion Natalia Vorobieva of Russia against 2012 World Champion Adeline Gray.
Vorobieva led 4-0 less than a minute into the first of two periods.
Gray got on the board with a reversal with a minute left in the opening period.
Vorobieva extended the lead to 6-2 with 46 seconds left before holding off a late Gray flurry to win 6-5.
Speaking through a translator — Russian assistant coach Molonov Maksim — said “they were very good matches. We wrestled the U.S. (also) two days ago (in Albuquerque, N.M.) and everyone learned a lot.”
Gray was clearly one of the crowd favorites, being a native of Denver and a former prep wrestler at Bear Creek.
Even though she was unable to secure a win in the marquee matchup, Gray said she was delighted by a rare opportunity to wrestle so close to home.
“It’s great to be able to have some family come out; I have 10 family members here today,” she said. “It was great to have this crowd. The band was awesome. I really appreciate Windsor putting on this event for us. It was exciting.”
While Gray was plenty familiar with her surroundings, Vorobieva said wrestling in Windsor was a unique experience for her and her teammates.
“It was very different,” Vorobieva said. “Some girls are (adjusting to) an 11-hour difference, some girls a 16-hour difference. Plus, the high elevation is sometimes difficult.”
48 kg/105.5 lbs. — Alyssa Lampe (USA) pin Elena Vostrikova (Russia), 3:35; 55 kg/121 lbs. — Helen Maroulis (USA) dec. Irina Olognova (Russia), 8-2; 48 kg/105.5 lbs. — Valeria Chepsarakova (Russia) dec. Emily Webster (USA), 9-3; 59 kg/163 lbs. — Alli Ragan (USA) dec. Svetlana Lipatova (Russia), 1-0; 67 kg/147.5 lbs. — Svetlana Babushkina (Russia) dec. Julia Salata (USA), 10-1; 67 kg/147.5 lbs. — Veronica Carlson (USA) tech. fall Darima Sangeeva (Russia), 10-0, 4:02; 51 kg/112.25 lbs. — Alyssa Lampe (USA) tech. fall Stalvira Orshush (Russia), 14-4, 2:28; 59 kg/130 lbs. — Helen Maroulis (USA) dec. Jargalma Tsyrenova (Russia), 4-4; 72 kg/158.5 lbs. — Natalia Vorobieva (Russia) dec. Adeline Gray (USA), 6-5