Abigail Peterson of Iowa (12U) and Epenesa Elison of California (14U) are first to win USA Wrestling Girls Triple Crowns
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
This year, USA Wrestling created the coveted Triple Crown for girls at the 14U, 12U and 10U levels. The previous year, a Girls Triple Crown was also created at the 16U and Junior levels.
Until this year, no girls had won the USA Wrestling Triple Crown at any level. That has changed, as two talented young stars met the Triple Crown requirements, Epenesa Elison of Downey, Calif. (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) at the 14U level and Abigail Peterson of Denver, Iowa (Big Game WC) at the 12U level.
For girls at the 10U, 12U and 14U levels, the three events of the Triple Crown were:
• USA Wrestling Brian Keck Preseason Nationals, Des Moines, Iowa, October 30, 2022
• USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals, Omaha, Neb., March 3-5, 2023
• USA Wrestling Women’s Nationals, Spokane, Wash., April 14-16, 2023
Peterson won the Brian Keck Preseason Nationals in the 6th-8th grade division at 72 pounds. She added a title at the Girls Folkstyle Nationals in the 12U division at 70 pounds. She closed out her Triple Crown by winning USA Wrestling Women’s Nationals in freestyle wrestling at 70 pounds in the 12U division.
Peterson will be a seventh grader at Denver Middle School in the 2023-24 academic year. Her club is the Big Game Wrestling Club.
Elison won the Brian Keck Preseason Nationals in the 6th-8th grade division at 101 pounds. She added a gold medal at the Girls Folkstyle Nationals in the 14U division at 101 pounds. Elison finished off the Triple Crown with a victory at the USA Wrestling Women’s Nationals in the 14U division in freestyle wrestling at 101 pounds.
In addition to these three major national events, Elison won two other USA Wrestling age-group titles in 2023, claiming the U15 Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. at 46 kg, and winning the U15 Pan American Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo at 46 kg. Elison will represent the USA at the 2023 U15 Pan American Championships in Panama City, Panama in late November.
Elison will be an eighth grader at Enlightium Academy in the 2023-24 academic year. Her club is the Sunkist Kids Monster Garage.
A number of other girls won two of the three legs of the Triple Crown this year, but these two talented young athletes were the only ones to capture all three events in the Triple Crown series.