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FLASH: Page reaches women’s semifinals at Junior Worlds in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Jennifer Page (Orangevale Calif./Titan Mercury WC) has reached the semifinals at 63 kg/138.5 lbs. in women’s freestyle at the Junior World Championships on Friday morning.

Page won three straight matches in dominant fashion. She will face 2013 European Junior champion Buse Tosun of Turkey in the semifinals at the second session, which begins at 4:00 p.m. Sofia time.

Page came out strong in her first match, pinning S. Sarita of India in 3:54. Her next two wins were by technical fall, stopping Karolina Loevik of Norway, 8-0 in 1:49 and Tetyana Lavernchuk of Ukraine, 7-0 in 2:14.

Last year, Page was fifth at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. at the Junior World Championships, but has dropped down to her normal weight on the Senior level. She is a native of California, went to Oklahoma City University where she won a WCWA national title, then became a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

The session started very well, with five straight U.S. victories. However, two U.S. women were defeated in their quarterfinal matches after strong starts.

At 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Cody Pfau (Parachute, Colo./OKCU Gator Women RTC) came out with two dominant technical fall wins. She put away Zalina Zhaparova of Kazakhstan), 7-0 in just 1:23, then had a quicker technical fall over Kamala Aliyeva of Azerbaijan, 7-0 in 36 seconds.

Pfau got behind early and could not get her offense going in the quarterfinals, losing by technical fall to hometown fan favorite Atanasova Yankova of Bulgaria, 2-10 in 3:13. Pfau, a Junior National champion from Colorado, is starting her college career this fall at Oklahoma City University.

Also falling in the quarterfinals was Sarah Hildebrandt (Granger, Ind./King University) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Hildebrandt had a strong effort in her opener, an 8-0 technical fall over Simona Pricob of Romania in 3:00. However, in her second bout, Hildebrandt did not score in technical fall loss to Larysa Skoblyuk of Ukraine, 0-8. Hildebrandt, a college national champion for King University, is competing in her second straight Junior World Championships.

The other U.S. wrestler in action in the morning session was Julia Salata (Canton, Mich./New York AC/King University), who fell in the first round to Rui Xu of China by technical fall, 1-9 in 1:49 at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Last year, Salata was eighth at the Junior Worlds at this weight class.

Pfau and Hildebrandt have the possibility of competing in the repechage, if the athletes who beat them are able to win in the semifinals. Salata has been eliminated, after Xu was beaten in the quarterfinals by Tatiana Morozova of Russia.

The men’s freestyle competition begins on Saturday, with the first set of weigh-ins scheduled for Friday afternoon.

At Sofia, Bulgaria, August 16

U.S. women’s freestyle performances so far on Friday

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Cody Pfau, Parachute, Colo. (OKCU/Gator Women RTC)
WIN Zalina Zhaparova (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 7-0 (1:23)
WIN Kamala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan) tech fall 7-0 (0:36)
LOSS Atanasova Yankova (Bulgaria) tech fall 2-10 (3:13)

55 kg/121 lbs. – Sarah Hildebrandt, Granger, Ind. (King University)
WIN Simona Pricob (Romania), tech. fall 8-0 (3:00)
LOSS Larysa Skoblyuk (Ukraine), tech. fall 8-0 (2:07)

63 kg/138.5 lbs. – Jennifer Page, Orangevale Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN S. Sarita (India), pin 3:54
WIN Karolina Loevik (Norway), tech fall 8-0 (1:49)
WIN Tetyana Lavernchuk (Ukraine), tech fall 7-0 (2:14)

72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (NYAC/King University)
LOSS Rui Xu (China), tech. fall 1-9 (1:49)
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