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Minnesota’s Pagel dominant as finals set in 16U Women’s Nationals; California leads team race

by Koral Sugiyama, Special to

Ella Pagel of Minnesoat takes out Olivia Stean of Kansas in the 164-pound semifinal bout. Photo byTravis Le/Matfocus

Fargodome, ND–The U16 women’s freestyle nationals set the final matchup pairings this Saturday evening. The finals are filled with young faces, at least young for the youngest division. About half of the finalists are underclassman, eighth graders and freshman.

Eighth grader, Ella Pagel (164), has barely been on the mat for the length of a full match. The No. 4 ranked wrestler locked in three technical falls, all under a minute each, and her longest match didn’t even make it to the second period. Pagel goes into the finals with 47 points under her belt with no points against her. The Minnesotan will face Ali Haiser of Missouri.

Wrestling match by match, point by point helps keep perspective when all the pressures on. The best matches are those that come down to the last seconds and a wrestler just needs a takedown and a turn to win the match, or in this instance, to be a national finalist.

Unranked Mikayla Garcia (100) of California was down 20 seconds left¬–enough time for a takedown, but also enough time for her opponent to hold her lead. However, Garcia made it happen. She secured the takedown and transitioned right into a lace to end with an 18-7 to tech-fall Angelina Cassioppi (Illinois).

California leads the team race at the end of day one with 61 points and 13 alive wrestlers–four in the finals and nine in the wrestle-backs. Representing California in the finals is Mikayla Garcia (100), No. 11 Kiely Tabaldo (106), No. 4 Paige Morales (106), and No. 6 Taydem Khamjoi (127).

Illinois is behind California even with having the most finalists–five. They only have eight wrestlers still alive with three of them on the backside so it’s unlikely they will catch up. Representing the state of Lincoln is Gabriella Gomez (94), No. 9 Cadence Diduch (117), No 14 Valerie Hamilton, No. 12 Sydney Perry (132), and No. 12 Kiara Ganey (180.)

We will see three states have matchups against their own: California at 106 lbs, Illinois at 117 lbs, and Missouri at 200 lbs. Wrestling your teammate is never fun but having only your state underneath the spotlight is a wonder to be appreciated and proud of.

Action for the women will continue tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm. You can follow along on FloArena.

16U Women's Final Matchups

94 - Valarie Solorio (Florida) vs Gabriella Gomez (Illinois)

100 - Mikayla Garcia (California) vs Makenize Smith (Indiana)

106 - Kiely Tabaldo (California) vs Paige Morales (California)

112 - Zao Estrada (South Carolina) vs Cecilia Williams (Michigan)

117 - Cadence Diduch (Illinois) vs Valerie Hamilton (Illinois)

122 - Shelby Moore (Washington) vs Julianna Morris (Connecticut)

127 - Taydem Khamjoi (California) vs Skylar Little Soldier (Minnesota)

132 - Sydney Perry (Illinois) vs Cassia Zammit (Ohio)

138 - Lydia Roope (Michigan) vs Alessandra Elliott (New York)

144 - Nebi Tsarni (Maryland) vs Amarisa Manuel (Michigan)

152 - Jasmine Robinson (Texas) vs Genesis Gilmore (Tennessee)

164 - Ella Pagel (Minnesota) vs Ali Haiser (Missouri)

180 - Sabrina Nauss (Michigan) vs Kiara Ganey (Illinois)

200 - Catherine Dutton (Missouri) vs Mariyah Brumley (Missouri)

Semifinal Results

94 pounds

Valarie Solorio (Florida) tech Megan Valdez (California), 13-0 2:16

Gabriella Gomez (Illinois) dec Abbeygael Cabuag (California), 11-10

100 pounds

Mikayla Garcia (California) tech Angelina Cassioppi (Illinois), 18-7 4:00

Makenize Smith (Indiana) dec Aspen Blasko (Minnesota), 10-8

106 pounds

Kiely Tabaldo (California) dec Persaeus Gomez (Colorado), 4-2

Paige Morales (California) dec Chloe Dearwester (Ohio), 8-1

112 pounds

Zao Estrada (South Carolina) tech Calli Gilchrist (Connecticut), 12-1 1:28

Cecilia Williams (Michigan) fall Raegan Briggs (Ohio), 8-0 1:52

117 pounds

Cadence Diduch (Illinois) tech Carissa Qureshi (California), 12-2 4:00

Valerie Hamilton (Illinois) tech Bianca Johnson (Washington), 10-0 1:14

122 pounds

Shelby Moore (Washington) dec Haylie Jaffe (Pennsylvania), 5-0

122 - Julianna Morris (Connecticut) dec Gianna Dibenedetto (California), 8-6

127 pounds

Taydem Khamjoi (California) dec Alexandra Viera (New York), 13-10

Skylar Little soldier (Minnesota) fall Ragan Retell (New York), 6-0 2:49

132 pounds

Sydney Perry (Illinois) tech Mia Furman (Idaho), 17-6 3:41

Cassia Zammit (Ohio) fall Hanna Errthum (Wisconsin), 8-2 2:18

138 pound

Lydia Roope (Michigan) fall Genevieve An (Georgia), 4-0 1:10

Alessandra Elliott (New York) dec Taylor Miess (Colorado), 10-3

144 pounds

Nebi Tsarni (Maryland) dec Stella Steigler (Virginia), 8-0

Amarisa Manuel (Michigan) dec Faith Bartoszek (Wisconsin), 8-6

152 pounds

Jasmine Robinson (Texas) tech Alison Evans (Colorado), 11-0 0:58

Genesis Gilmore (Tennessee) fall Abigail Ervasti (Minnesota), 4-2 2:33

164 pounds

Ella Pagel (Minnesota) tech Olivia Stean (Kansas), 13-0 0:57

Ali Haiser (Missouri) fall Abbie Miles (Pennsylvania), 11-4 2:29

180 pounds

Sabrina Nauss (Michigan) fall Savannah Isaac (Ohio), 3-0 1:49

Kiara Ganey (Illinois) dec Sophie Pollack (New York), 8-6

200 pounds

Catherine Dutton (Missouri) tech Genesis Carrillo (Puerto Rico), 11-1 3:12

Mariyah Brumley (Missouri) fall Taylor Knox (Colorado), 6-0 1:38

16U Women’s Team Scores

1 – California (68 points)

2 – Illinois (44 points)

3 – Colorado (35 points)

4 – Michigan (31 points)

5 – Missouri and Pennsylvania (tied with 24 points)
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