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USA set to compete in U15 Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Oct. 22-24

by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling

Haakon Peterson wrestles at the U15 Nationals. Photo by Sam Janicki.

The United States is set to send a very talented team of athletes to Mexico City, Mexico to compete in the U15 Pan American Championships, October 22-24.

The women’s team was decided in May, as the winners of the 2021 U15 Women’s Nationals earned the spot on the 2021 Pan-American Championship team. The team is highlighted by Indiana's Rianne Murphy (50kg), who returns to this event after winning a gold medal at the 2019 U15 Pan American Championships in Panama City. California’s Isabella Gonzalez (54kg), who won the Outstanding Wrestler award in May’s event, also looks to continue a strong year and have a successful tournament.

The men’s team was determined based upon results at the U15 Nationals in April in Wisconsin Dells. The team features Iowa’s Haakon Peterson (41kg), who has had quite the year. He won freestyle and Greco-Roman titles in April at the U15 Nationals and posted a 16U Greco-Roman Nationals win in Fargo in July. Also featured in the event is Idaho's Matthew Martino, who won a Greco-Roman title at the U15 Nationals and was a freestyle finalist.

The boys team will be coached by USA Wrestling National Development freestyle coach Kevin Jackson. He will be joined on the staff by Gralan Early of Fort Wayne, Ind. and Salvador Gutierrez of Arvada, Colo. The women’s team will be coached by Bill Sullivan of Henderson, Nev. He is joined by Mike Duran of Baldwin Park, Calif. and Gutierrez, who is coaching both styles.

At the 2019 U15 Pan American Championships, Team USA dominated the competition, winning team titles in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. In total, 25 gold medals were won, as all nine of the men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman entries were double champions, and seven women’s freestylers took home championships at their respective weight classes.

Competition begins on Friday, October 22 with Greco-Roman action. The women’s freestyle wrestling will take place on Saturday, while Sunday will feature all of the men’s freestyle action. With each style dedicated to one day, the daily schedule will hold qualification and repechage matches in the 10:00 a.m. session, with the finals starting at 5:00 p.m. The Mexico City time zone is the same as U.S. central time.


At Mexico City, Mexico

Men’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman roster

38kg: Ignacio Villarsenor, Longmont, Colo.

41kg: Haakon Peterson, Hollandale, Wisc.

44kg: Isaiah Cortez, Los Banos, Calif.

48kg: Matthew Martino, Eagle, Idaho

52kg: Jackson Heslin, Marlborough, Conn.

57kg: Phoenix Contos, Toledo, Ohio

62kg: Travis Grace, San Martin, Calif.

68kg: Emil Necula, Marietta, Ga.

75kg: Terrell McFarland, Pottsville, Pa.

85kg: De’Alcapon Veazy, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Coach: Kevin Jackson, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Coach: Gralan Early, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Coach: Salvador Gutierrez, Arvada, Colo.

Women’s Freestyle roster

33kg: Camryn Gresham, Liberty Township, Ohio

36kg: Morgan Turner, Lockport, Ill.

39kg: Emma Bacon, Naples, Fla.

42kg: Skye Schneider, Elk Grove, Calif.

46kg: Julianna Ocampo, New Haven, Ind.

50kg: Rianne Murphy, Valparaiso, Ind.

54kg: Isabella Marie Gonzales, Fresno, Calif.

58kg: Haylie Jaffe, Avondale, Pa.

62kg: Alicen Dillard, Morrison, Colo.

66kg: Faith Bartoszek, Wrightstown, Wisc.

Coach: Bill Sullivan, Henderson, Nev.

Coach: Mike Duran, Baldwin Park, Calif.

Coach: Salvador Gutierrez, Arvada, Colo.

Team Leader – Kelli Shuffler, Valdese, N.C.

Medical – Kyle Southall, Hoover, Ala.

Official – Yarolsaw Petryna, Park Ridge, Ill.

Event Schedule (local time is the same as U.S. Central Time Zone)

Friday, October 22

10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage for Greco-Roman

5:00 p.m. – Finals for Greco-Roman

Saturday, October 23

10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage for Women’s Freestyle

5:00 p.m. – Finals for Women’s Freestyle

Sunday, October 24

10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage for Men’s Freestyle

5:00 p.m. – Finals for Men’s Freestyle