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Lee, Parrish, Miracle, Elor win wrestle-offs and will compete in Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Nick Lee takes a shot on Yianni Diakomihalis in their Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Wrestle-off at 65 kg (Photo by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)

DENVER, Colorado -Four Senior athletes earned the right to attempt to qualify the United States for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris by winning their weight class at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Wrestle-offs, held Saturday, Feb. 3 at Regis University in Denver, Colo.


The winners of the Wrestle-offs earned the right to compete at the 2023 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Acupulco, Mexico, February 28 – March 1, 2024. Pan American nations may enter an athlete only at weight classes where their nation has not yet qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. The semifinals winners from the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in each weight class qualify their nation to compete at the Olympic Games at that weight class.


The championship finals in each contested weight class was a best-of-three series.


In the men’s freestyle series at 65 kg, 2023 World Team member Nick Lee defeated Yianni Diakomihalis in two straight matches to earn the team berth.


Lee won the first match 12-3 over Diakomhalis, Trailing 3-2 at the break, Lee got his offense going, getting four second period takedowns and an exposure to open up the wide lead. Diakomihalis was injured in the first match, and withdrew by injury default in the second match, giving Lee the series two matches to none.

Kayla Miracle controls Macey Kilty in their Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Wrestle-off at 62 kg (Photo by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)

In women’s freestyle, the winners of the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Wrestle-off were 2022 World champion Dom Parrish (53 kg), Kayla Miracle (62 kg) and two-time World champion Amit Elor (68 kg).


At 53 kg, Parrish won her best-of-three series by forfeit, after 2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester withdrew.


At 62 kg, two-time World silver medalist and 2020 Olympian Miracle defeated 2023 World silver medalist Macey Kilty, two matches to one in the finals series.


In the first championship series match, Miracle scored a first-period takedown and Kilty earned a second-period takedown for a 2-2 tie. Miracle won the match with body lock to a step out for a 3-2 win.


In bout two, Kilty responded with a 6-3 victory to extend the series to three matches. Miracle led 1-0 at the break after Kilty did not score on the shot clock. In the second period, Kilty scored a takedown to make it 2-1, then added a takedown and turn for a 6-1 lead. A last second Miracle takedown was not enough.


In bout three, Miracle scored first when Kilty could not score on a shot clock, but Kilty scored a takedown to lead 2-1 at the break. In the second period, Miracle hit a two point short dump for a takedown, then turned Kilty to lead 5-2. A four-point fireman’s carry made it 9-2 for Miracle, which was the final score.


In the preliminary match at 62 kg, Kilty scored a 12-1 technical fall win over 2023 World bronze medalist Jennifer Page. Kilty had a takedown and turn in the first period, to offset a Page shot clock point, to lead 1-0 at the break. In the second period, Kilty got a takedown and turn, then added another takedown for eight more points to end the match.


At 68 kg, two-time World champion Amit Elor won her championships series without a match, after 2023 World Team member Emma Bruntil did not compete in either match due to injury default. Bruntil weighed in to compete.


Elor had to win a preliminary match to reach the finals, when she defeated two-time World bronze medalist Mallory Velte, 8-0. Elor scored three step outs and a shot clock point to lead 4-0 at the break. In the second period, Elor added two more takedowns to close out the win.


One of the other 68 kg athletes who qualified to compete and accepted the berth in the wrestle-off, 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari, withdrew from the competition.


The Wrestle-offs were held alongside the historic inaugural Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Women’s Championships, the first NCAA Div. II conference championships in women’s wrestling history.

PAN AMERICAN OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER WRESTLE-OFF

At Denver, Colo., Feb. 3

Women’s Freestyle

53 kg

Dom Parrish (Sunkist Kids/Beaver Dam RTC) won by forfeit over Jacarra Winchester (TMWC/USOPTC)

Parrish earns berth on U.S. Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Team

62 kg

Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) dec. Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none

Bout 1-Miracle dec. Kilty, 3-2

Bout 2-Kilty dec. Miracle, 6-3

Bout 3 – Miracle dec. Kilty, 9-2

Miracle earns berth on U.S. Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Team


Preliminary bout

Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids) tech fall Jennifer Page (TMWC/Nittany Lion WC), 12-1

68 kg

Amit Elor (TMWC/NYC RTC) dec. Emma Bruntil (TMWC/USOPTC), two matches to none

Bout 1- Elor inj. dft. Bruntil, 0:00

Bout 2- Elor inj. dft. Bruntil, 0:00

Elor earns berth on U.S. Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Team


Preliminary bout

Amit Elor (TMWC/NYC RTC) dec. Mallory Velte (TMWC/Beaver Dam WC), 8-0

Men’s Freestyle

65 kg

Nick Lee (TMWC/Nittany Lion WC) dec. Yianni Diakomihalis (TMWC/Spartan Combat RTC), two matches to none

Bout 1- Lee dec. Diakomihalis, 12-3

Bout 2- Lee inj. dft. Diakomihalis, 0:00

Lee earns berth on U.S. Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier Team

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