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Junior finals set at Women's Nationals in Texas

by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling

Photo of Jaslynn Gallegos (CO) in the 53 kg semifinal. Photo by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling.

IRVING, Texas – The best-of-three championship series is set for the Junior World Team Trials in women’s freestyle at the 2021 Women’s Nationals in Irving, Texas. Action begins at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, live on FloWrestling.

Winners in the 10 weight classes will punch their tickets to the 2021 Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia, Aug. 16-22. Runners-up will earn the opportunity to wrestle for the USA at the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships in Oaxtepec, Mexico, June 9-13.

The finals feature several exciting athletes, including World medalists:

  • 50 kg: Emily Shilson (2018 Cadet World gold, 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold, 2017 Cadet World silver)
  • 53 kg: Tiare Ikei (2018 Cadet World bronze)
  • 57 kg: Jennifer Soto (2019 U15 World bronze)
  • 61 kg: Korina Blades (2019 U15 World gold)
  • 65 kg: Alara Boyd (2017 Cadet World silver, 2016 Cadet World bronze)
  • 68 kg: Amit Elor (2019 Cadet World bronze)
  • 76 kg: Kylie Welker (2019 Cadet World bronze)

There are also three age-group World Team members:

  • 68 kg: Cheyenne Bowman (2018 Cadet World Team)
  • 72 kg: Kennedy Blades (2019 Cadet World Team)
  • 72 kg: Lillian Freitas (2019 Cadet World Team)

    Two finalists have won gold, representing the USA at a Pan American Championships:

  • 50 kg: Samara Chavez (2019 Cadet Pan Am gold, 2017 Cadet Pan Am silver)
  • 59 kg: Mia Macaluso (2019 Cadet Pan Am gold, 2019 Junior Pan Am bronze)

The semifinals round was an exciting round with some impressive performances from athletes knocking off past World and Pan Am medalists and World Team members:

  • At 53 kg, Colorado’s Jaslynn Gallegos defeated 2019 Cadet World Teamer and 2016 U15 Pan Am champion Sage Mortimer, 17-8.
  • At 59 kg, London Houston from Washington took out 2019 Cadet Pan Am champion Skye Realin, 10-0.
  • At 65 kg, Cadet World silver medalist Alara Boyd stopped 2019 U15 World silver medalist Reese Larramendy, 11-3.
  • Also at 65 kg, Katerina Lange of Minnesota upended 2019 U15 World champion Destiny Rodriguez with a first-period pin in 2:41.
  • At 68 kg, 2019 Cadet World bronze medalist Amit Elor defeated 2017 Cadet Pan Am silver medalist Tiyahna Askew, 10-0.

Finals action begins at 6 p.m. CT. Follow along by watching live on FloWrestling or with updates on Twitter @USAWrestling.

Finals matchups
50 kg: Emily Shilson (MN) vs. Samara Chavez (TX)
53 kg:
Jaslynn Gallegos (CO) vs. Tiare Ikei (CO)
55 kg: Amani Jones (GA) vs. Payton Stroud (WA)
57 kg: Jennifer Soto (CA) vs. Claire DiCugno (WA)
59 kg: London Houston (WA) vs. Mia Macaluso (NY)
62 kg: Aliyah Yates (CA) vs. Korina Blades (IL)
65 kg: Alara Boyd (IN) vs. Katerina Lange (MN)
68 kg: Amit Elor (CA) vs. Cheyenne Bowman (CA)
72 kg: Kennedy Blades (IL) vs. Lillian Freitas (CA)
76 kg: Kylie Welker (WI) vs. Yelena Makoyed (CA)

Semifinals results
50 kg
Emily Shilson (MN) df. Ava Bayless (PA), fall 2:11
Samara Chavez (TX) df. Kendra Ryan (MI), fall 4:15

53 kg
Jaslynn Gallegos (CO) df. Sage Mortimer (UT), 17-8
Tiare Ikei (CO) df. Katie Gomez (CA), 10-0

55 kg
Amani Jones (GA) df. Josie Bartishofski (WI), 10-0
Payton Stroud (WA) df. Nichole Moore (KS), 11-1

57 kg
Jennifer Soto (CA) df. Sofia Macaluso (NY), 12-2
Claire DiCugno (WA) df. Sophia Smith (WI), fall 5:35

59 kg
London Houston (WA) df. Skye Realin (HI), 10-0
Mia Macaluso (NY) df. Phoenix Dubose (WA), fall 1:38

62 kg
Aliyah Yates (CA) df. Marisol Nugent (MA), 11-6
Korina Blades (IL) df. Chloe Ogden (FL), fall 4:09

65 kg
Alara Boyd (IN) df. Reese Larramendy (NV), 11-3
Katerina Lange (MN) df. Destiny Rodriguez (OR), fall 2:41

68 kg
Amit Elor (CA) df. Tiyahna Askew (GA), 10-0
Cheyenne Bowman (CA) df. Viktorya Torres (WA), 10-0

72 kg
Kennedy Blades (IL) df. Alexandria Hernandez (WA), 10-0
Lillian Freitas (CA) df. Latifah McBryde (NY), 5-2

76 kg
Kylie Welker (WI) df. Katja Osteen (CA), 10-0
Yelena Makoyed (CA) df. Ashley Lekas (TX), fall 5:02