NewsUSA WrestlingInternationalCollegeWomenUSAW

U.S. Olympic Team Trials Women’s Freestyle Upperweight previews: 62 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Adeline Gray celebrates a big win at the 2019 World Championships. Photo by Mark Lundy.

The 2021 Olympic Team Trials are just around the corner, set for April 2-3 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fans can watch all of this weekend’s action live on NBC and its platforms.

Below is a short preview of each of the final three weight classes.

62 kg

Getting the automatic berth in the finals series is 2019 World Team member Kayla Miracle, who qualified the USA for the weight class at the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Miracle has won four age-group World medals for the United States, and was a 2019 Pan American Games champion.

The No. 1 seed in the Challenge Tournament is Maya Nelson, a 2017 Junior World champion, 2016 Junior World bronze medalist and four-time age-group World Team member. Macey Kilty, a 2018 Cadet World champion and five-time age-group World medalist, comes in with the No. 2 seed. Both Kilty and Nelson came down in weight for the Olympic quest. Sitting at No. 3 is 2018 World bronze medalist and two-time Senior World Team member Mallory Velte.

Emma Bruntil, a December 2019 Senior Nationals champion and 2021 NCWWC national champion, is sitting at No. 4 seed and is capable of a finals run. A 2020 Senior Nationals champion and past Junior World medalist Jennifer Page is the No. 5 seed. Veteran Julia Salata, who has made multiple age-group World teams and has numerous Senior Nationals placements, is No. 6.

Others in the draw are 2021 NAIA national champions Desiree Zavala and Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp, past Senior Nationals runner-up and Junior World Team member Michaela Beck, 2020 WCWA national champion Zoe Nowicki and Last Chance Trials runner-up Ana Luciano.

62 kg seeds

Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) - sitting to the best-of-three finals

1. Maya Nelson (Sunkist Kids)

2. Macey Kilty (Tarheel WC/Sunkist Kids)

3. Mallory Velte (Titan Mercury WC)

4. Emma Bruntil (McKendree Bearcat WC)

5. Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC)

6. Julia Salata (NYAC)

7. Desiree Zavala (Wayland Baptist)

8. Michaela Beck (Wisconsin RTC/Sunkist Kids)

9. Ana Luciano (Tornado WC)

10. Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp (Midland)

11. Zoe Nowicki (Adrian College)

68 kg

Making a triumphant return to Texas is 2019 World champion and two-time World medalist Tamyra Stock-Mensah, who sits out based upon her 2019 World title. A native of the Houston area who won two WCWA national titles in Amarillo-area Wayland Baptist, Mensah-Stock currently trains in Colorado. Mensah-Stock has won two international events in 2021, and went unbeaten leader her team to victory at the Captains’ Cup.

Securing the No. 1 seed is Forrest Molinari, who has placed fifth in the Senior World Championships and chose to move up to compete at this weight class. Molinari won the 2019 and 2020 Senior Nationals at 68 kg. U23 World medalist Alex Glaude is the No. 2 seed. A 2019 Final X finalist, Glaude won NCWWC and WCWA national college titles. A talented young star, high school wrestler and Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier champion Kennedy Blades is the No. 3 seed. Blades is a past Cadet World Team member.

Ashlynn Ortega, third at the December 2019 Senior Nationals and a two-time Cadet World Team member, comes in at No. 4. Alara Boyd, a 2021 NCWWC champion and a two-time Cadet World medalist, secured the No. 5 seed. Nahiela Magee, a five-time Senior Nationals place winner, is seeded No. 6.

Rachel Watters, a 2018 Final X runner-up and multiple age-group World Team member, is next at No. 7 seed. 2021 NAIA champion Sienna Ramirez, 2020 WCWA champion Morgan Norris, and 2021 NWWWC bronze medalist Felicity Bryant round out the field.

68 kg seeds

Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Titan Mercury WC) - sitting to the best-of-three finals

1. Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids)

2. Alex Glaude (Titan Mercury WC)

3. Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids)

4. Ashlynn Ortega (NYAC)

5. Alara Boyd (McKendree Bearcat WC)

6. Nahiela Magee (U.S. Army WCAP)

7. Rachel Watters (Oklahoma City)

8. Sienna Ramirez (Southern Oregon)

9. Felicity Bryant (Emmanuel)

10. Morgan Norris (Presbyterian College)

76 kg

2016 Olympian and five-time World champion Adeline Gray sits out at this weight, based upon her 2019 World title. No other American, regardless of gender or style, has ever won five Senior World titles. Gray boasts two World bronze medals, plus World titles at the University and Junior levels. After taking off 2017 with injuries, Gray has been focused on a return trip to the Olympics.

Securing the No. 1 seed based upon some key wins against top rivals in the last year is Dymond Guilford, a 2019 WCWA and NAIA national college champion. Guilford won the 2020 U23 Nationals and was second in the 2019 Senior Nationals. Two-time World Team member and 2016 Olympic Trials runner-up Victoria Francis is the No. 2 seed. Precious Bell, the December 2019 Senior Nationals champion, is at No. 3. All three of the top three seeds have been on age-group World Teams as well, with Francis boasting a Junior World bronze medal.

Randi Beltz, a multiple National Team member and past Final X runner-up, has secured the No. 4 seed. She was third at the December 2019 Senior Nationals. 2021 NCWWC champion Yelena Makoyed, who was fifth at the 2019 Senior Nationals, is at No. 5. Joye Levendusky, second to Makoyed at the 2021 NCWWC Nationals and a 2020 U23 Nationals runner-up, comes in with the No. 6 seed.

Two-time Senior Nationals champion Jackie Cataline is back on the mat, earning her spot by winning the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier. The weight has a number of college wrestlers, including 2021 NAIA champion Jordan Nelson and Nkechinyere Nwankwo, two-time NCWWC national champion Sydnee Kimber, 2020 NCWA national champions Mariah Harris and Alexandra Castillo, plus Last Chance Qualifier runner-up Marylynne Deede. High school star Kylie Welker, a 2019 Cadet World bronze medalist, moves up to 76 kg for this event.

76 kg seeds

Adeline Gray (New York AC) - sitting to the best-of-three finals

1. Dymond Guilford (Titan Mercury WC)

2. Victoria Francis (Titan Mercury WC)

3. Precious Bell (Titan Mercury WC)

4. Randi Beltz (U.S. Army WCAP)

5. Yelena Makoyed (Cardinal WC)

6. Joye Levendusky (McKendree Bearcat WC)

7. Nkechinyere Nwankwo (Oklahoma City)

8. Sydnee Kimber (McKendree Bearcat WC)

9. Jordan Nelson (Life)

10. Mariah Harris (Campbellsville)

11. Alexandra Castillo (Campbellsville)

12. Jackie Cataline (Titan Mercury WC)

13. Marlynne Deede (Twin Cities RTC)

14. Kylie Welker (Titan Mercury WC)