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Skylar Grote (USA) on way to mat at 2022 Final X in New York City
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Grote and Makoyed to go for women’s freestyle gold at Zagreb Open Ranking Event, Guilford to face Bell for bronze

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Skylar Grote (USA) on way to mat at 2022 Final X in New York City (Photo by USA Wrestling)

Skylar Grote (USA) competition portrait by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

ZAGREB, Croatia – On the final day of women’s freestyle at the Zagreb Open Ranking Event, Team USA will have a chance to add up to three more medals.

Going for gold will be Skylar Grote (72 kg) and Yelena Makoyed (76 kg). There will also be an all-USA bronze medal bout at 76 kg between Dymond Guiford and Precious Bell.

Grote, a 2022 Pan American champion, was in a three-athlete Pool A at 72 kg. She opened with a convincing 10-1 win over 2022 U23 World bronze medalist Sumire Niikura of Japan. She won Pool A with a 4-0 victory over 2022 U20 World bronze medalist Reetika of India.

That placed Grote into the semifinals, where she quickly pinned Milla Andelic of Croatia in 42 seconds. She will face 2020 European silver medalist Dalma Caneva of Italy.

Makoyed was dominant on the way to the finals, scoring three technical falls. She will face 2021 World bronze medalist Aiperi Medet Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan in the finals.

All three U.S. women’s wrestlers at 76 kg were in the same half-bracket and Makoyed beat both of the other two Americans. After an opening 11-0 technical fall over Shauna Kuebeck of Canada, Makoyed knocked off Bell, 12-2. In the semifinals, she defeated 2022 World Team member and U23 World silver medalist Guilford, 12-2.

Guilford was dominant in her first two bouts, pinning Taylor Follensbee of Canada in 3:53, then stopping Kamile Gaucaite of Lithuania in a 10-0 technical fall. After losing to Makoyed, Guilford secured a bronze medal bout.

With Makoyed reaching the finals, Bell was drawn back into repechage. Bell quickly dispatched Shauna Kuebeck of Canada in a 10-0 technical fall, earning the bronze-medal bout against Guilford.

2022 U23 World bronze medalist Alisha Howk lost her first match to 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Bolortuya Bat Ochir of Mongolia, 11-0. When Bat Ochir reached the finals, Howk was pulled back into repechage, where she secured a first-period pin over Vivian Matyi of Hungary. In her second repechage match, Howk was edged by 2021 World silver medalist Iulia Leorda of Moldova, 2-1, just missing out on a medal match.

Two of the best women wrestlers in the USA dropped matches and did not qualify for repechage, Olympic champion and three-time World champion Helen Maroulis at 57 kg and 2022 World champion Dom Parrish at 53 kg.

Maroulis opened up with a commanding 11-2 victory over 2022 Asian U20 champion Laylokhon Sobirova of Uzbekistan. In the quarterfinals, Maroulis was defeated by 2022 U23 World silver medalist Patrycja Gil of Poland, 10-5. Gil was beaten in the semifinals, which eliminated Maroulis.

2021 World bronze medalist Samantha Stewart of Canada caught Parrish with a hip toss and pinned her in the opening round. Stewart moved on to the semifinals, where she was defeated, eliminating Parrish.

The USA had two Greco-Roman competitors on Saturday, Olympian and World Team member Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) and World Team member Sammy Jones (63 kg). Neither qualified for the medal rounds.

Sancho opened with an impressive 11-1 technical fall over Domagoj Celicek of Croatia. In his second match, he lost a tough battle to Adomas Grigaliunas of Lithuania, 5-4 and was eliminated when Grigaliunas lost in the semifinals. Likewise, Jones fell in the quarterfinals to 2017 European bronze medalist Ivan Lizatovic of Croatia, 3-1, and was knocked out when Lizatovic lost in the semifinals.

The medal match finals in four women’s freestyle weight classes and two Greco-Roman weight classes will be held at 6:00 p.m. local time, which 12:00 noon in the U.S. Eastern time zone. The finals are broadcast live by FloWrestling.

At Zagreb, Croatia

U.S. women’s freestyle results

53 kg: Dom Parrish (Sunkist), eliminated
LOSS Samantha Stewart (Canada), pin 2:23

53 kg: Katie Gomez (Sunkist), eliminated
LOSS Khulan Batkhuyag (Mongolia), 6-2

53 kg: Alisha Howk (Sunkist), eliminated
LOSS Bolortuya Bat Ochir (Mongolia), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Vivian Matyi (Hungary), pin 2:25
LOSS Iulia Leorda (Moldova), 2-1

57 kg: Helen Maroulis (Sunkist), eliminated
WIN Laylokhon Sobirova (Uzbekistan), 11-2
LOSS Patrycja Gil (Poland), 10-5

57 kg: Alex Hedrick (TMWC), eliminated
WIN Tianna Kennett (Canada) pin 2:59
LOSS Guillia Rodriguez Penalber de Oliveira (Brazil), tech fall 10-0

57 kg: Amanda Martinez (TMWC/CWC), eliminated
LOSS Qi Zhang (China), tech fall 10-0

72 kg: Skylar Grote (TMWC/BDRTC)
WIN Sumire Niikura (Japan), 10-1
WIN Reetika (India), 4-0
WIN Milla Andelic (Croatia), pin 0:42
Gold Medal bout – Dalma Caneva (Italy)

76 kg: Yelena Makoyed (TMWC/CWC)
WIN Shauna Kuebeck (Canada), tech. fall 11-0
WIN Precious Bell (USA), tech. fall 12-2
WIN Dymond Guilford (USA), tech. fall 12-2
Gold Medal bout -Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan)

76 kg: Dymond Guilford (TMWC)
WIN Taylor Follensbee (Canada), pin 3:53
WIN Kamile Gaucaite (Lithuania), tech fall 10-0
LOSS Yelena Makoyed (USA), tech fall 12-2
Bronze Medal bout – Precious Bell (USA)

76 kg: Precious Bell (TMWC/VSW)
WIN Veronika Nyikos (Hungary), forfeit
LOSS Yelena Makoyed (USA), tech fall 12-2
WIN Shauna Kuebeck (Canada), tech. fall 10-0
Bronze Medal Bout – Dymond Guilford (USA)

U.S. Greco-Roman results

63 kg: Sammy Jones (NYAC), eliminated
LOSS Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia), 3-1

67 kg: Alejandro Sancho (Army WCAP), eliminated
WIN Domagoj Celicek (Croatia), tech fall 11-1
LOSS Adomas Grigaliunas (Lithuania), 5-4
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