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California wins Junior Women’s Duals, with a 5-0 record in Gold/Silver Pool; Illinois takes second with 3-2 pool record

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Team California, the 2021 Junior Women's National Duals champion, pose with their championship trophyTeam California, the 2021 Junior Women’s National Duals champion. Photo by John Sachs,

This year, the Gold/Silver pool at the Junior Women’s National Duals was a six-team round robin, which meant each team would wrestle each other with a total of five dual meets for each team. As the competition continued, it became apparent that the team champions would probably be determined when Pool A champion California met Pool C champion Illinois Junior Women in Round four.

On paper, the big showdown between returning Junior Women’s Duals national champion Illinois and perennial power California looked to be a toss-up. Illinois had nine nationally ranked wrestlers on the roster, with California bringing eight, and both teams looked strong in their first three Gold/Silver Pool dual meet wins.

The dual meet opened as if it was going to be a huge blow-out win for California, which won the first five matches, four by bonus points, to lead 21-1. California opened with a pair of pins from Maliya Castillo (180) and America Lopez (200). Lopez, ranked No. 17, pinned No. 12 Gainey in 4:48/ California added technical fall wins from No. 4 ranked Sam Calkins at 225 and No. 12 ranked Madison Avila to continue the great start.

Perhaps the biggest win for California came at 106 pounds. Multiple Fargo-champion Mia Palumbo of Illinois, ranked No. 2 nationally at 112 pounds, came down in weight this weekend and drew No. 11 Kiely Tabaldo. It was Tabaldo that dominated the action, jumping to a 6-1 lead at the break with two takedowns and a turn. In the second period, she added to the lead for a big 9-2 upset of one of the nation’s elite stars.

Illinois came back with a win at 112, as No. 7 Shea Reisel stopped Valeria Ahmuda, 10-6. California scored another huge win at 117, with No. 12 Ariana Arias pinning No. 14 Maya Davis, stretching the California lead to 27-4.

Illinois got back on a run with x consecutive wins, but did not secure the needed bonus points in order to catch up. Winning their bouts during this run were No. 8 Taylin Long (122), No. 3 Alexis Janiak (127) and No. 15 Natasha Markoutsis (132), No. 19 Sydney Perry (138)

Long and Markoutsis beat ranked opponents but were only able to secure decisions, and the only bonus points in the Illinois run came from Perry, who secured a 12-2 technical fall over Maci Avila. After those four wins, California still led 31-17 with just four matches left, an almost impossible task for Illinois to overcome.

The California victory was clinched at 144, when Nile Jernigan scored a 7-0 win over Attalia Watson, making it 34-17. California got a technical fall from Mariah Dow (152), and No. 3 Rose Cassioppi of Illinois (164) finished it off with a second-period pin, making the final score California 38, Illinois Junior Women 22.

After beating Illinois, California needed one more victory to seal the title in round five, and it took care of business with a convincing 44-22 win over Pool B champion Texas Black. California won the tournament with a 5-0 record in the Gold/Silver Pool, and an 8-0 record for the entire tournament.

Second place proved to be a much more difficult task to determine. Illinois needed to beat Florida in the fifth round to secure second place, but Florida, which entered with an 0-4 record, had other plans. Florida won the first five matches to jump to a big 24-0 lead. Included was an injury default win by No. 7 Clare Booe of Florida over No. 2 Mia Palumbo, followed by a 51 second pin by No. 11 Hannah Hall over No. 7 Shea Reisel.

Illinois rallied to win the next six matches, with bonus points in five of them, and only three matches left. Florida’s Larissa Gallo (152) pinned Alexis Ritchie, then Illinois Rose Cassioppi pinned Yarissa Gallo to tie the match at 31-31 with one match left. At 180 pounds. Florida Sierra Chavez secured an 11-1 technical fall over Wendy Washington of Illinois to secure a 35-32 win for Florida.

Ultimately, Illinois still finished second with a 3-2 record in the pool, and third place went to Team Missouri I, also with a 3-2 pool record. Illinois had beaten Team Missouri I, 37-27 earlier in the day to give them an edge in the standings. Pennsylvania Blue was fourth, Texas Black fifth and Team Florida sixth based upon the event criteria.

This event was loaded with 74 nationally ranked individuals on the team rosters. There were numerous upsets based upon the rankings both days, which will help adjust the final National High School Rankings for the year.

The only No. 1 ranked wrestlers in the tournament were from Texas, Samara Chavez and Brittyn Corbishley, Chavez, ranked No. 1 at 112, wrestled up at 117 and had a 7-1 record. She was beaten by No. 9 Juliana Diaz of Florida in an 18-8 technical fall. Corbishley, ranked No. 1 at 180 pounds, competed at her normal weight class, and also suffered one loss. No. 8 Jaycee Foeller of Missouri pinned Corbishley in 2:02 during their dual meet.

At Tulsa, Okla., June 17


1st Place – California, 5-0 record
2nd Place - Illinois Jr Women, 3-2 record
3rd Place - Team MO 1, 3-2 record
4th Place - Pennsylvania Blue, 2-3 record
5th Place - Texas Black, 1-4 record
6th Place - Team Florida, 1-4 record
Round robin match scores
Illinois Junior Women 35, Texas Black 28
Pennsylvania Blue 35, Team Florida 32
California 45, Team Missouri I 23
California 39, Pennsylvania Blue 25
Texas Black 36, Team Florida 29
Illinois Junior Women 37, Team Missouri I 27
California 43, Team Florida 21
Team Missouri I 38, Texas Black 27
Illinois Junior Women 50, Pennsylvania Blue 18
California 38, Illinois Junior Women 22
Pennsylvania Blue 32, Texas Black 31
Team Missouri I 15, Team Florida 24
California 44, Texas Black 22
Team Florida, 35, Illinois Junior Women 32
Team Missouri I 35, Pennsylvania Blue 30

Match between champion and runner-up
California 38, Illinois Junior Women 22

180 - Maliya Castillo (California) over Wendy Washington (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 2:18
200 - America Lopez (California) over Kiara Ganey (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 4:48
225 - Sam Calkins (California) over Ruby Sepeda (Illinois Jr Women) TF 11-0
100 - Madison Avila (California) over Brianna Richey (Illinois Jr Women) TF 10-0
106 - Kiely Tabaldo (California) over Mia Palumbo (Illinois Jr Women) Dec 9-2
112 - Shea Reisel (Illinois Jr Women) over Valeria Ahumada (California) Dec 10-6
117 - Arieana Arias (California) over Maya Davis (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 1:28
122 - Taylin Long (Illinois Jr Women) over Leah Gaitan (California) Dec 13-7
127 Alexis Janiak (Illinois Jr Women) over Solana Mottola (California) Dec 10-6
132 Natasha Markoutsis (Illinois Jr Women) over Hailey Chapman (California) Dec 4-4
138 Sydney Perry (Illinois Jr Women) over Maci Avila (California) TF 12-2
144 Nile Jernigan (California) over Attalia Watson (Illinois Jr Women) Dec 7-0
152 Mariah Dow (California) over Alexis Ritchie (Illinois Jr Women) TF 10-0
164 Rose Cassioppi (Illinois Jr Women) over Hannah Ricioli (California) Fall 3:35

Match between runner-up and third place team
Illinois Junior Women 37, Team Missouri I 27

152 Alexis Ritchie (Illinois Jr Women) over Lexi Adams (Team MO 1) Fall 4:43
164 Rose Cassioppi (Illinois Jr Women) over Ali Haiser (Team MO 1) Fall 1:57
180 Jaycee Foeller (Team MO 1) over Wendy Washington (Illinois Jr Women) TF 11-0
200 Catherine Dutton (Team MO 1) over Kiara Ganey (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 4:55
225 Lexie Cole (Team MO 1) over Ruby Sepeda (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 1:10
100 Brianna Richey (Illinois Jr Women) over Isa-Bella Mendoza (Team MO 1) Dec 12-8
106 Mia Palumbo (Illinois Jr Women) over Jessa Joiner (Team MO 1) TF 11-0
112 Shea Reisel (Illinois Jr Women) over Lilly Brower (Team MO 1) TF 11-0
117 Maya Davis (Illinois Jr Women) over Angelina Vargas (Team MO 1) Fall 1:34
122 Taylin Long (Illinois Jr Women) over Chloe Herrick (Team MO 1) Fall 1:51
127 Alexis Janiak (Illinois Jr Women) over Brenya Crahan (Team MO 1) TF 11-0
132 Nonnie Justice (Team MO 1) over Ava Vasey (Illinois Jr Women) Dec 6-2
138 Paige Wehrmeister (Team MO 1) over Keira Dafnis (Illinois Jr Women) Fall 2:01
144 Maddie Kubicki (Team MO 1) over Attalia Watson (Illinois Jr Women) TF 12-1

Match between champion and third place team
California 45, Team Missouri I 23

144 Maddie Kubicki (Team MO 1) over Maci Avila (California) Fall 1:48
152 Nile Jernigan (California) over Lexi Adams (Team MO 1) TF 12-2
164 Hannah Ricioli (California) over Ali Haiser (Team MO 1) TF 16-6
180 Jaycee Foeller (Team MO 1) over Maliya Castillo (California) TF 10-0
200 Catherine Dutton (Team MO 1) over America Lopez (California) Fall 4:10
225 Sam Calkins (California) over Lexie Cole (Team MO 1) Fall 4:02
100 Jalen Bets (California) over Isa-Bella Mendoza (Team MO 1) Fall 2:39
106 Kiely Tabaldo (California) over Jessa Joiner (Team MO 1) TF 10-0
112 Lilly Brower (Team MO 1) over Valeria Ahumada (California) Fall 3:34
117 Arieana Arias (California) over Angelina Vargas (Team MO 1) TF 14-2
122 Leah Gaitan (California) over Chloe Herrick (Team MO 1) Fall 2:32
127 Destiny Campbell (California) over Brenya Crahan (Team MO 1) Fall 2:17
132 Solana Mottola (California) over Nonnie Justice (Team MO 1) TF 12-2
138 Hailey Chapman (California) over Paige Wehrmeister (Team MO 1) Fall 3:39


1st Place in Pool/7th overall – Colorado, 5-0 record
2nd Place in Poll/8th overall - Team Wisconsin, 4-1 record
3rd Place in Pool/9th overall - Minnesota Storm, 3-2 record
4th Place in Pool/10th overall- Team Indiana, 2-3 record
5th Place in Pool/11th overall - Oklahoma Outlaws, 1-4 record
6th Place in Pool/12th overall - Texas White, 0-5 record
Colorado defeated Team Wisconsin 44-22.
Minnesota Storm defeated Team Indiana 36-29.
Oklahoma Outlaws defeated Texas White 47-21.
Colorado defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 40-26.
Team Indiana defeated Texas White 43-24.
Team Wisconsin defeated Minnesota Storm 32-30.
Colorado defeated Texas White 43-22.
Team Wisconsin defeated Team Indiana 39-31.
Minnesota Storm defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 40-24.
Colorado defeated Minnesota Storm 45-17.
Team Indiana defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 39-29.
Team Wisconsin defeated Texas White 46-15.
Team Indiana defeated Colorado 35-32.
Minnesota Storm defeated Texas White 43-19.
Team Wisconsin defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 40-21

RED/BLUE POOL (Places 13-18)
1st Place in Pool/13th overall - Team Kansas, 5-0 record
2nd Place in Pool/14th overall - Team MO 2
3rd Place in Pool/15th overall - Team South Carolina
4th Place in Pool/16th overall - Pennsylvania Red
5th Place in Pool/17th overall - Iowa
6th Place in Pool/18th overall - North Dakota
Team MO 2 defeated Team South Carolina 35-34.
Team Kansas defeated Pennsylvania Red 42-20.
Iowa defeated North Dakota 33-16.
Iowa defeated Team MO 2 39-31.
Team Kansas defeated North Dakota 47-17.
Team South Carolina defeated Pennsylvania Red 29-27.
Team MO 2 defeated North Dakota 47-17.
Team Kansas defeated Team South Carolina 33-23.
Pennsylvania Red defeated Iowa 29-26.
Team MO 2 defeated Pennsylvania Red 40-27.
Team Kansas defeated Iowa 33-25.
Team South Carolina defeated North Dakota 37-16.
Team Kansas defeated Team MO 2 36-26.
Pennsylvania Red defeated North Dakota 48-4.
Team South Carolina defeated Iowa 38-26.

YELLOW/GREEN POOL (Places 19-21)
1st Place in Pool/19th overall – Arkansas, 2-0 record
2nd Place in Pool/20th overall - Texas Blue, 1-1 record
3rd Place in Pool/21st overall – Georgia, 0-2 record
Arkansas defeated Texas Blue 41-26.
Texas Blue defeated Georgia 28-23.
Arkansas defeated Georgia 39-29.

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