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Inspired USA women beat All-World Team 6-4 to qualify for World Cup bronze match

by Gabrielle Lord Klein, Special to

Jenna Burkert (USA) celebrates her win over the All World Team.
Jenna Burkert (USA) celebrates a big win over the All World Team. Photo by Larry Slater.

CORALVILLE, Iowa - The U.S. women’s freestyle team came back with a vengeance in tonight’s session. They downed a well put-together All-World Team, 6-4, with key veterans heading the charge before an invested and loud crowd.

The United States finished with a 1-1 record in Group B, and will face Mongolia in the third-place bout on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. CT.

The All-World team, comprised of World and Olympic medalists, was competing at the World Cup for the first time this year, finishing 0-2 and missing the medal rounds.

The 62 kg matchup between Kayla Miracle and Aisuluu Tynybekova (All World/Kyrgyzstan) was a rematch from the 2021 World finals in Oslo. This time, the result was much different.

Miracle got revenge on home soil with a 9-3 decision. It was Tynybekova that scored first, but the exchange at the end of the first period made the match. Tynybekova countered a leg attack by Miracle that was initially four points awarded to Tynybekova. The US coaches challenged the call—Miracle was the one with exposure—and won, swinging the match to 4-2 in favor of the U.S. athlete. Miracle scored with a crotch-lift right before Tynybekova secured her last point of the match with a reversal to make the score 6-3. Miracle put three more points on the board, two step outs and a point awarded from a lost challenge from the All World coaches, making the final decision 9-3.

But, before 62 kg, there had already been a ton of groundwork laid for the fired-up team.

Erin Golston, a multiple time age-group World medalist, started USA off with a clutch win at 50 kg over Anna Lukasiak of Poland. She secured an early takedown and then extended her lead 4-0 right before time ran out in the first period. Golston made it a 6-0 shut out by the end of the match.

Jenna Burkert also won at 55 kg over Karla Godinez of Canada in a battle between World bronze medalists. The only score in the first period was awarded to Burkert who staved off an attacking Godinez on the shot clock. Godinez went on the clock again in the second period, and Jenna capitalized on a slick takedown before that time even expired. Burkert’s fight to the end and rise of emotion brought fans to their feet.

The 65 kg match between Mallory Velte and Mimi Hristova (All World/Bulgaria) was a rematch from the bronze medal match at Senior worlds this season. Velte, who won 11-2 in September, finished tonight’s match by stunning pin after stepping out to a healthy lead with a dynamic and explosive offense.

Yelena Makoyed closed out the dual for the United States with a win over Olympic and World medalist Yasemin Adar Yigit (All World/Turkey) at 76 kg. Makoyed created a 7-4 before earning the fall.

Alex Hedrick won by injury default at 57 kg, giving the USA team another victory.

The U.S. team was highly competitive even in matches which they lost.

Solin Piearcy kept the 68 kg match with 2021 World champion Irina Ringaci of Moldova to a 4-2 decision. Skylar Grote came close to scoring on multiple occasions at 72 kg against the 2021 World silver medalist Zhamila Bakbergenova of Kazakhstan.

Iowa native Felicity Taylor battled a three-time World medalist from Greece, Maria Prevolaraki, at 53 kg, and Lexie Basham toed the line with World champion Anastasia Nichita of Moldova.

It was a stunning reversal from the 8-2 loss that the USA suffered in its opening match in Group B to China, which advanced to the finals against Ukraine.

Group B women

United States 6, All World 4

50 kg – Erin Golston (USA) dec. Anna Lukasiak (All World/Poland), 6-0

53 kg – Maria Prevolaraki (All World/Greece) dec. Felicity Taylor (USA), 4-1

55 kg – Jenna Burkert (USA) dec. Karla Godinez Gonzalez (All World/Canada), 4-0

57 kg – Alexandra Hedrick (USA)inj. fft. Zhala Aliyeva (All World/Azerbaijan), 0-0

59 kg –Anastasia Nichita (All World/Moldova) tech. fall Lexie Basham, 12-2

62 kg – Kayla Miracle (USA) dec. Aisuluu Tynybekova (All World/Kyrgyzstan), 9-3

65 kg – Mallory Velte (USA) pin Mimi Hristova (All World/Bulgaria), 5:31

68 kg –Irina Ringaci (All World/Moldova) dec. Solin Piearcy (USA), 4-2

72 kg – Zhamila Bakbergenova (All World/Kazakhstan) dec. Skylar Grote (USA), 6-0

76 kg –Yelena Makoyed (USA) pin Yasemin Adar Yigit (All World/Turkey), 3:34

Team Records: USA 1-1, All-World 0-2

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