NewsUSA WrestlingHigh School & YouthWomenUSAW

Six No. 1 seeds win titles as first girls freestyle champions crowned at inaugural High School National Recruiting Showcase

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Nyla Valencia (top seed at 106) was one of five California wrestlers to win girls freestyle titles at the first High School National Recruiting Showcase. Photo by Mark Lundy, LutteLens.

CORALVILLE, Iowa – The national rankings will get trashed based upon the wide-open action and multiple upsets in the girls freestyle division during the first High School National Recruiting Showcase on Saturday.

There were over 100 state champions who competed in the tournament, as well as numerous talented stars who earmed a spot in the field through one of eight qualifiers held across the nation. In total, over 100 nationally ranked wrestlers were in the field.

However, experience did matter in some weights, as six No. 1 seeds were able to survive the deep field in their divisions and secure the National Recruiting Showcase champion trophy.

As a first-time event, these are the inaugural champions of the High School National Recruiting Showcase. Many have extensive international and national resumes, while others were truly making a big jump into the national limelight.

Claiming the 100 pound title was No. 2 seed Brianna Gonzalez of California, who edged No. 1 seed Alexandra Szkotnicki of Maryland, 8-6. With Gonzalez leading 2-0 at the break, the second period was filled with offense. With the score tied at 4-4, with just 40 seconds to go and Szkotnicki leading on criteria, Gonzalez hit a four-point takedown to lead 8-4. A late Szkotnicki takedown was not enough to close the gap. Nationally, Szkotnicki came in ranked No. 2 and Gonzalez at No. 4.

Winning an active finals match at 106 was No. 1 seed Nyla Valencia of California, who won a 13-6 decision over No. 3 seed Faith Cole of Missouri. Valencia jumped to an 8-0 lead at the break on two takedowns and two turns, but Cole battled back in the second period to close it to 11-6. Valencia closed it out with a spin-behind takedown. Coming in, Valencia was ranked No. 1 nationally, with Cole ranked at No. 4. Valencia is a California state champion, while Cole has won three Missouri state titles.

A freshman was the 112-pound champion, as No. 8 seed Zao Estrada, a state champion from South Carolina, edged No. 6 seed Jenavi Alejandro of Nevada, 11-10. The wrestlers exchanged scoring moves in the first period, with Estrada leading 6-4 at the break. With Alejandro leading 7-6 in the second, Estrada stepped over in a scramble for two and after winning a challenge led 11-7. Alejandro earned a reversal and a last-second takedown but time ran out and Estrada won by a single point. Estrada was ranked No. 24 in the nation, and Alejandro is a two-time Nevada state champion with a No. 17 national ranking.

The No. 1 seed at 117, Katie Gomez of California, secured an 11-0 win over unseeded freshman Valerie Hamilton of Illinois, 11-0. Gomez led 9-0 after the first period, with four takedowns and a step out point, then closed it out with a single leg in the second period. Gomez had a No. 2 national ranking coming in, while Hamilton was unranked.

Another No. 1 seed came through at 122, as Shelby Moore of Washington secured a 10-0 technical fall over another unseeded and unranked finalist, Berlin Brodie Kiddoo of Illinois. Moore got the first takedown and followed with four straight ankle laces for the quick finish. Moore was ranked No. 7 in the USA prior to the event.

Securing a pin in the finals at 127-pounds was No. 3 seed Lexi Janiak of Illinois, stopping Colorado’s No. 4 seed Sarah Savidge in 2:49. Leading 4-2, Janiak tossed Savidge and finished the fall with 11 seconds to go in the first period. Janiak, a 2019 Illinois state champion, had a No. 5 national ranking, while Savidge was ranked No. 9 in the USA.

In a dominant performance, No. 1 seed London Houston of Washington stopped No. 3 seed SaVannah Cosme of Colorado in a 10-0 technical fall at 132 pounds. Houston scored a takedown and ankle lace, another takedown, then a four-point toss to finish the bout. Houston is a two-time Washington state champion with a No. 3 national ranking, while Cosme is ranked No. 7 in the USA and was a 2021 Colorado state champion.

California’s No. 4 seed Savannah Gomez secured a pin over No. 3 seed Grace Stem of Pennsylvania in 2:53 at 138 pounds. Gomez jumped to a 6-0 lead on a four-point takedown and a two-point takedown, but Stem closed it to 6-4. A Gomez hip toss led to the pin late in the first period. Gomez was ranked No. 10 in the USA, while Stem, a 2021 Pennsylvania state champion, had a No. 9 ranking.

One of the most exciting and high-scoring finals came at 144 pounds, as No. 2 seed Maddie Kubicki of Missouri pounded out a 14-10 win over top-seed Reese Larramendy of Nevada. Tied at 4-4 early in the first period, Larramendy jumped to an 8-4 lead at the break. Kubicki tied it up at 8-8 in the second period, but Larremendy scored two exposure points to lead 10-8. A four-pointer by Kubicki with 30 seconds left, then a last second takedown, gave her the final six points for the win. Kubicki, a two-time Missouri state champion ranked No. 3 nationally, stopped No. 2 ranked Larramendy, a 2019 16U national freestyle champion.

Missouri made it two titles in a row, when No. 2 seed Haley Ward had an impressive 10-0 technical fall over Dakota-Marie Dinielli of Connecticut at 152. Ward scored a pair of takedowns, and followed with a four-point throw. While in the top position, she ran a bar arm for the final two-point exposure. Ward, a two-time Missouri champion, was ranked No. 9 nationally, while Dinielli had a No. 6 ranking.

Coming through at 164 pounds was No. 1 seed Rose Cassioppi of Illinois, who pinned No. 6 seed Ella Nichols of Connecticut in 4:51. This match was very active. Cassioppi led 5-1 with a pair of takedowns and a step out, but Nichols popped a four-point takedown to tie it at 5-5 at the break. The bout was at 7-7 in the second period after they traded takedowns, but Cassioppi tossed Nichols and got the fall to end it all.

The No. 3 seed at 180 pounds, California’s Katja Osteen, was dominant in an 11-1 technical fall over No. 8 seed Kaylie Upson of Wisconsin, 11-1. Osteen had a pair of four-point moves early on, and finished the match with a two-point tilt. Osteen was a 2018 California state champion, while Upson has won two Wisconsin state titles.

The final two matches ended with stunning falls.

At 200 pounds, No. 1 seed Riley Dempewolf of Indiana took down and turned No. 3 seed Sam Calkins to secure the pin in 43 seconds. Dempewolf is a three-time Indiana state champion with a No. 4 national ranking, while Calkins is ranked No. 25 in the USA.

Finishing off the finals was No. 2 seed Eliana Bommarito of Michigan, who hit a four-point trip on No. 4 seed Valeria Smith of Tennessee for the pin in 19 seconds at 225 pounds. Bommarito, ranked No. 3 in the USA is a two-time Michigan state champion, while Smith, ranked No. 19, has won two Tennessee state titles.

Leading the count of National Showcase girls champions during this first year was California with five, followed by Washington, Illinois and Missouri with two each, and single champions from South Carolina, Indiana and Michigan.

Many of these All-Americans are expected to compete tomorrow in the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals, which will be broadcast by FloWrestling.

At Coralville, Iowa

Girls freestyle results (with seeds for finalists)

100 pounds
1st - No. 2 Brianna Gonzalez (Somar Wrestling Club - CA) dec. No. 1 Alexandra Szkotnicki (HeadHunters Wrestling Club - MD), 8-6
3rd - Karlee Brooks (Thorobred Wrestling Club) dec. Emilie Gonzalez (Somar Wrestling Club), 8-6
5th - Madison Avila (California) dec. Emma Baerthein (All-Phase Wrestling Club), 6-5
7th - Clare Booe (Palm Harbor University High School Wrestling) pin Erica Pastoriza (Arizona Girls Wrestling), 4:55

106 pounds
1st - No. 1 Nyla Valencia (Bulldog Wrestling Club - CA) dec. No. 3 Faith Cole (Missouri), 13-6
3rd - Sterling Dias (Aniciete Training Club) tech. fall Julianne Moccia (Mavericks Wrestling, 10-0
5th - Virginia Foard (Virginia) pin Chloe Dearwester (Ohio), 0:58
7th - Janessa George (Chatfield Wrestling Club) pin Bopasoreya Quintana (Wisconsin), 2:51

112 pounds
1st - No. 8 Zao Estrada (ET Wrestling - SC) dec. No. 6 Jenavi Alejandro (Aniciete Training Club - NV), 11-10
3rd - Abbygale Duke (Wyoming Seminary) tech. fall Cadence Diduch (Alber Athletics Wrestling Club), 12-1
5th - Shea Reisel (Somonauk Wrestlers Club) tech. fall Rose Ann Marshall (Stoughton Viking Wrestling Club), 13-2
7th - Kendra Ryan (United States Women`s Wrestling Travel Team) won by decision over Ava Purifoy (Gunston Wrestling Club), 11-2

117 pounds
1st - No. 1 Katie Gomez (Birmingham Community Charter High School Wrestling - CA) tech. fall unseeded Valerie Hamilton (SOT-C- IL), 11-0
3rd - Leah Gaitan (California) pin Carissa Qureshi (Somar Wrestling Club), 5:14
5th - Juliana Diaz (Florida) inj. dft. Lexy Beadles (California) (Inj. 0:00)
7th - Taylin Long (Illinois) pin Ayana Medina (Hillsboro High School Wrestling), 2:49

122 pounds
1st - No. 1 Shelby Moore (Takedown Express Wrestling Club- WA) tech. fall unseeded Berlin Brodie Kiddoo (Somar Wrestling Club - IL), 10-0
3rd - Larissa Kaz (Wisconsin) tech. fall Emily Sullenger (All-Phase Wrestling Club), 22-11
5th - Emily Alvis (All-Phase Wrestling Club) pin Kailey Rees (Freedom High School Wrestling), 3:47
7th - Jordyn Knecht (Paola Wrestling Club) tech. fall Brooke Zak (North Carolina), 10-0

127 pounds
1st - No. 3 Lexi Janiak (Plainfield South High School - IL) pin No. 4 Sarah Savidge (Betterman Elite Wrestling - CO), 2:49
3rd - Claire DiCugno (Takedown Express Wrestling Club) tech. fall Katie Ward (TEAM NEVADA), 10-0
5th - Carina Giangeruso (New Jersey) tech. fall Genevieve An (Level Up Wrestling Center), 13-3
7th - Taydem Khamjoi (Swamp Monsters) tech. fall Mia Furman (Suples Wrestling Club), 10-0

132 pounds
1st - No. 1 London Houston (Mat Demon Wrestling Club - WA) tech. fall No. 3 SaVannah Cosme (ET Wrestling - CO), 10-0
3rd - Janida Garcia (Swamp Monsters) tech. fall Athena Willden (Somar Wrestling Club), 11-1
5th - Hanna Errthum (Combat W.C. School of Wrestling) tech. fall Madyson Gray (Lawrence Elite Wrestling Club), 17-7
7th - Samanatha Barragan (Somar Wrestling Club) tech. fall Sofia Brynman-Metcalf (Askren Wrestling Academy Lake Country), 13-2

138 pounds
1st - No. 4 Savannah Gomez (California) pin No. 3 Grace Stem (Pennsylvania), 2:53
3rd - Jada Llamido (Florida Jets) tech. fall Marisa Roth (Wisconsin), 10-0
5th - Tyler Richardson (The Factory Wrestling Club) pin Sara Schmoker (Arizona Girls Wrestling), 4:03
7th - Mariah Wahl (Montana) pin Avangeline Turner (Central Catholic Wrestling Club), 1:06

144 pounds
1st - No. 2 Maddie Kubicki (Victory Wrestling - MO) dec. No. 1 Reese Larramendy (Wyoming Seminary - NV), 14-10
3rd - Kaiulani Garcia (NorCal Queens Wrestling Club) tech. fall Esther Han (Missouri), 11-1
5th - Faith Bartoszek (Wyoming Seminary) tech. fall Kaylie Petersen (Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club), 10-0
7th - Lizzie Shunn (Westlake Wrestling Club) pin Aspen Barber (Betterman Elite Wrestling), 1:13

152 pounds
No. 2 Haley Ward (Jackson County Wrestling - MO) tech. fall No. 1 Dakota-Marie Dinielli (FishEye Wrestling - CT), 10-0
3rd - Maggie Graham (Bluff City Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Anna McDougal (Oregon), 11-0
5th - Stella Steigler (Hornet Wrestling Club) dec. Brooklyn Hays (Utah) (Dec 8-0)
7th - Mia Cayard (Oklahoma) pin Alexandra Hofrichter (Wisconsin), 4:06

164 pounds
1st - No. 1 Rose Cassioppi (Hononegah Wrestling Club - IL) pin No. 6 Ella Nichols (KT Kidz Wrestling Club - CT), 4:51
3rd - Lily El-Masri (Wyoming Seminary) dec. Grace Doering (Somar Wrestling Club), 5-2
5th - Aliana Barnoski (Hurricane Wrestling Academy) pin Anya Hatch (Utah), 0:44
7th - Maggie Smith (Top Of The Rock Wrestling Club) dec. Shianne Whited (Tigeress Wrestling Club), 12-6

180 pounds
1st - No. 3 Katja Osteen (Somar Wrestling Club - CA) tech. fall No. 8 Kaylie Upson (Wisconsin), 11-1
3rd - Jaeleen Robledo (Somar Wrestling Club) tech. fall Alivia White (Washington), 18-8
5th - Jaylen Hyman (Champions that Wrestle) inj. dft. Stefany Valencia (Arizona Girls Wrestling)
7th - Fiona McConnell (All-Phase Wrestling Club) pin Sarah Huse (Indiana), 3:41

200 pounds
No. 1 Riley Dempewolf (Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES) pin No. 3 Sam Calkins (Delta Wrestling Club - CA), 0:43
3rd - Andrea Smith (RPA Wrestling) tech. fall Sydney Bentley (Legends of Gold Las Vegas), 10-0
5th - Tara Henes (Dayton Eagles Wrestling Club) inj. dft. Grace Gray (Iowa)

225 pounds
1st - No. 2 Eliana Bommarito (Michigan) pin No. 4 Valerie Smith (Tennessee), 0:19
3rd - Julia Richey (Somar Wrestling Club) dec. Justina ChongNee (Tennessee), 8-4
5th - Omastewin Foster (Montana) pin Tatianna Herrera (NorCal Queens Wrestling Club), 3:43
7th - Karla Padilla Zepeda (Excalibur Wrestling Club)
USA Wrestling Logo Secondary Stroke

Follow us


  • Accessibility
  • Site Map
  • Terms of Use , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy , opens in a new tab
  • Ombuds , opens in a new tab

© 2023 USA Wrestling. All Rights Reserved.