BY GARY ABBOTT USA WRESTLING | NOV. 29, 2014, 11:41 A.M. (ET)

Photo of Henri Deglane Challenge champions Helen Maroulis, Victoria Anthony and Aaron Pico, with coach Valentin Kalika, courtesy of Victoria Anthony’s Facebook page.

NICE, France – Three American wrestlers came home with gold medals on the first day of the Henri Deglane Challenge on Saturday.

Winning gold medals in women’s freestyle were two-time World medalist Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 2013 World Team member Victoria Anthony (Huntington Beach, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. along with 18-year sensation and 2014 Junior World silver medalist Aaron Pico (Whittier, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) at 65 kg/143 lbs.

Pico had the perhaps his biggest victory on the Senior level, defeating 2013 World champion David Safaryan of Armenia in the gold-medal finals. Pico had another big win in the semifinals, stopping 2013 Junior World silver medalist Davit Berdznishvili of Georgia, 10-5. His first three wins were against opponents from France, all by technical fall.

Anthony, a two-time Junior World champion, defeated Julie Sabatie of France in the finals, by a 10-0 technical fall. Sabatie was 10th in the 2014 European Championships. Anthony won her other matches with dominance, a 10-0 technical fall over Tabatha Grunewald of France and a pin of Silvia Felice of Italy.

Maroulis scored a finals victory over 2013 World bronze medalist Emese Barka of Hungary by technical fall, 14-4. Barka jumped to a 4-0 lead on a takedown and a turn, but Maroulis came back with 14 straight points. It started with a takedown and multiple leg laces to lead 12-4 at the break, then a second period takedown closed out the win.

Maroulis finished with a 4-0 record, winning every match by technical fall. The combined score of her four matches were 50-6.

Maroulis won a gold medal at the Open Cup of Russia earlier this month.

Thanks to Coach Valentin Kalika, the French Wrestling Federation, Helen Maroulis and Victoria Anthony for supplying information for this story.

HENRI DEGLANE CHALLENGE
At Nice, France, November 28

Men’s freestyle results

65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold – Aaron Pico (USA)
Silver – David Safaryan (Armenia)
Bronze – Valentin Popescu (Romania)
Bronze – Davit Berdznishvili (Georgia)
5th – Christophe Clavier (France)
5th – Maxime Fiquet (France)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold – Georgi Sredkov (Bulgaria)
Silver – Denis Balaur (Moldova)
Bronze – Adilet Davlumbayev (Kazakhstan)
Bronze – Jumber Kvelashvili (Georgia)
5th – Akhmed Aibuev (France)
5th – Andrei Frant (Romania)

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold – Omar Gusoshvili (Georgia)

Women’s freestyle results

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold – Victoria Anthony (USA)
Silver – Julie Sabatie (France)
Bronze – Tabatha Grunewald (France)
Bronze – Eugenia Bustabad (Spain)
5th – Silvia Felice (Italy)
5th – Andreea Donu (Romania)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Helen Maroulis (USA)
Silver – Emesa Barka (Hungary)
Bronze – Kriszta Tunde Incze (Romania)
Bronze – Karima Sanchez (Spain)
5th – Natalia Kubaty (Poland)
5th – Sonia Baudin (France)

69 kg/152 lbs.
Gold – Dalma Caneva (Italy)
Silver – Adina Elena Popescu (Romania)
Bronze – Maria Diana (Romania)
4th – Cynthia Vescan (France)
5th – Patricia Sperka (Poland)

U.S. men’s freestyle results

65 kg/143 lbs. – Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 1st
WIN Bruno Lawson (France), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Ruslan Nuktharov (France), tech. fall 14-4
WIN Maxim Fiquet (France), tech. fall, 12-0
WIN Davit Berdznishvili (Georgia), 10-5
WIN David Safaryan (Armenia), 8-5

65 kg/143 lbs. – Montel Marion, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC), dnp
LOSS Ruslan Nuktharov (France), 8-6

86 kg/189 lbs. – Michael Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif., dnp
LOSS name unavailable (Moldova), 3-4

U.S. women’s freestyle results

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 1st
WIN Tabatha Grunewald (France), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Silvia Felice (Italy), pin 
WIN Julie Sabatie (France), 10-0

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Natalia Kubaty (Poland), tech. fall 10-0
WIN (Russia), tech. fall 14-2
WIN Karima Sanchez (Spain), tech. fall 12-2
WIN Emese Barka (Hungary), tech. fall, 14-4

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