This morning completed the first session of this year’s Junior Women’s Nati..." /> This morning completed the first session of this year’s Junior Women’s Nati..." />
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Mortimer and Chavez dominate at 112 lbs, seven 16U champions looking to add another title.

by Koral Sugiyama, Special to

Photo by Austin Bernard

Fargo, N.D.– This morning completed the first session of this year’s Junior Women’s Nationals which is hosting the most competitive tournament in its history. Starting with only 103 wrestlers in 2011, this tournament has grown to its highest number of participants in its 19 years of history, 673.

In a few of the corners of these young athletes are past Junior All-Americans. A unique note: one of the champions from the inaugural 2002 tournament is here coaching, Limestone Head Coach Brandy (Rosenbrock) Green. She represented Michigan at 138 pounds and is amazed at the improvement and growth of women's wrestling that she has seen through the years.

“When I wrestled here, the top six girls were the best in the nation, and everyone else just kind of showed up. You could guess who was going to win the tournament. Now, you’re seeing things like the 12th-ranked girl beating the number two girl. That never used to happen. It’s exciting not really knowing who’s going to win the tournament,” Green said.

Unranked 106-pound Carmen Perez (CA) upset No. 2 Faith Cole (MO) with an 11-5 decision. Cole was this year’s UWW Cadet National runner-up and the 2020 16U Fargo champion. Perez placed fourth at the 2021 High School National Recruiting Showcase.

New York’s 138-pound champion from Sunday, Alessandra Elliot, was put on the backside by No. 15 Nina Makeem (MN) with a pin in the first round.

16U champions that are still eligible to double-up this week are Valarie Solorio (FL) at 100 lbs, Paige Morales (CA) at 106 lbs , Skylar Little Solider (MN) at 127 lbs, Cassia Zammit (OH) at 132 lbs, Nebi Tsnari (MD) at 144 lbs, Jasmine Robinson (TX) at 152 lbs, and Catherine Dutton (MO) at 200 lbs.

Still alive are top-ranked Sage Mortimer (UT) and Samara Chavez (TX). Mortimer is ranked No. 1 at 117 lbs and Chavez at 112 pounds. Both are competing on opposites of the bracket at 112 lbs, and both are unscored on thus far. Wisconsin’s high school star Kylie Welker (164), who was runner-up at Olympic Team Trials, is also still on the front side.

The women return to the mat this evening at 4 p.m. CT. Watch on FloWrestling.