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Previews of USA v Ukraine women’s and men’s freestyle matches in the Beat the Streets LA International Event on Sunday

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Evan Wick in his stance, Dymond Guilford in her stance
U.S. wrestlers Evan Wick and Dymond Guilford. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors


There will be some great international freestyle wrestling matches in Beat the Street LA’s International Wrestling Event on Sunday at the Barth Athletic Complex in San Marino, Calif., starting at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (Doors open at 1:00 p.m.).


Featured are 10 bouts between U.S. athletes from the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club and world power Ukraine, six in women’s freestyle and four in men’s freestyle. There will also be four youth wrestling matches as part of the card.


The event will help raise funds for the non-profit Beat the Streets LA, to allow them to provide their programming free of charge to community youth.


Tickets for the wrestling event are on sale now for $50.

PURCHASE WRESTLING EVENT TICKETS HERE


The competition will be broadcast live and free on the StaleMates YouTube Channel.


A bout-by-bout preview of these matches follow.

USA vs. Ukraine Senior Women

50 kg - Amy Fearnside (USA) vs. Oksana Livach (Ukraine)


The U.S. women’s team at the Beat the Streets LA event loaded with California natives, five of the six wrestlers on the card. Fearnside was a 2012 California state champion for Live Oak High School. Both of the wrestlers in this match wrestled at the recent World Cup, with Fearnside losing her bout against Deng of China, and Livach going 1-2 for the weekend. Livach, a 2018 World bronze medalist, had a huge win over Zhu of China in the World Cup finals dual meet. Livach was fifth in the 2020 Olympics and was a a 2019 European champion. Fearnside competed in the 2021 Senior Worlds and won a silver medal at the 2014 University Worlds. Fearnside will need to get her offense going against a talented opponent in Livach.

55 kg - Jacarra Winchester (USA) vs. Lilija Malanchuk (Ukraine)


2019 World champion and 2022 Olympian Jacarra Winchester brings a wealth of experience and talent to this match. Winchester is also a California native, winning the 2010 CIF Northern California title for Arroyo High School. Winchester has the ability to beat anybody in the world. When wrestling well, Winchester puts up a ton of points in a short time. Her opponent is 21-year-old Lilija Malanchuk of Ukraine, who was on the Ukrainian Senior World Team and U23 World Team in 2022. She was fifth in the 2022 European Championships. Winchester will be favored in this match, but Melanchuk will be motivated to show what she can do against a top star.

57 kg - Alex Hedrick (USA) vs. Alina Hrushyna Akobiia (Ukraine)


This should be a great match between young talents. Alex Hedrick won two California state titles for Bella Vista High School, before going on to win two NCWWC college titles for Simon Fraser. She is fresh off of her 2023 U23 World bronze medal performance. Hedrick has twice been No. 2 on the Senior National Team ladder and won two U.S. Open titles. Her opponent, Alina Hrushyna Akobiia, won a 2022 Senior World bronze medal, and was a U23 World champion in 2021. Hrushyna was also a 2022 European champion. Both competed at the World Cup where they were unbeaten. Hedrick was 2-0 (which included a forfeit). Hrushyna won all three of her bouts at the World Cup.

62 kg - Jennifer Page (USA) vs. Ilona Prokopevniuk (Ukraine)


Jennifer Page is a veteran talent for Team USA and has been competing well in recent years after dealing with injuries during much of her Senior career. Page was a star for Bella Vista High in California when she was in high school. She was edged in a three-match Special Wrestle-off for the 2022 World Team by eventual World silver medalist Kayla Miracle. Page boasts three U.S. Open titles, and won a U20 World bronze back in 2013. Prokepevniuk was a 2022 World bronze medalist and boast three age-group World medals. She was third in the 2022 European Championships. It will be a good battle here, especially if Page looks as strong as she did during last season.

68 kg - Skylar Grote (USA) vs. Alla Belinska (Ukraine)


Skylar Grote is competing at the highest level of her career, winning the 2022 U.S. Open, claiming a gold at the 2022 Pan American Championships and qualifying for Final X, where she was the runner-up. She also won the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Tournament in Italy in 2022. A New Jersey native, Grote competed in college in Canada for Brock University, where she won two USports national titles. Grote was added to the Beat the Streets LA lineup recently but comes in fresh from having competed at the World Cup. Her opponent, Alla Belinska, was a 2020 Olympian and placed eighth in the 2019 World Championships. Belinska’s top Senior achievement was a 2021 European gold medal. At the World Cup, Belinska went 1-1 on the mat, and also accepted a forfeit. Grote lost both of her matches at the World Cup.

76 kg - Dymond Guilford (USA) vs. Anastasiia Osniach Shustova (Ukraine)


Dymond Guilford is a rising star at the international level and brings an enthusiastic joy to her competition. She won a silver medal at the 2022 U23 World Championships, and competed at the 2022 Senior Worlds as well. Among her other achievements is a 2022 Pan American title and two U.S. Open gold medals. A California state champion for Lancaster Eastside High, Guilford didn’t compete until her junior year in high school, so she is still learning and growing. Anastasiia Osniach Shutstova had a successful age-group career, wining a 2013 U17 World title, along with a 2017 U23 World bronze. Her best Senior performance was fifth at the 2021 World Championships. At the World Cup, Guilford won both of her matches, while Shustova finished the tournament with a 2-1 record. Both defeated Juan Wang of China at the World Cup. Both also wrestled with emotion at the World Cup, so this should be a great show for the fans to enjoy.

USA vs. Ukraine Senior Men

61 kg - Nahshon Garrett (USA) vs. Andrii Dzhelep (Ukraine)


Garrett is among the native Californians on this U.S. team, a two-time state champion for Chico High School. He won Final X in 2018, but was unable to compete at the Senior Worlds due to injury. He most recently placed second in the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial in New York City. Dzehlep, just 22, is a rising young star for Ukraine. He won the 2016 U17 World Championships and was second in the 2019 U20 Worlds. He is also accomplished on the Senior level, with a silver medal at the 2021 European Championships. When wrestling well, Garrett puts up a lot of points and is exciting to watch. It will be fun to see how he competes back in his home state.

65 kg - Evan Henderson (USA) vs. Erik Arushanian (Ukraine)


Evan Henderson is a veteran who seems to get better as he goes along. He qualified for Final X in 2022, and has been a factor on the national level for the last few seasons, making two straight National Teams. His opponent Erik Arushanian has been successful on the age-group levels, with a 2019 U20 World title among his three World-level medals. Arushanian was on Ukraine’s 2022 Senior World team, and most recently placed fourth at the Bill Farrell Memorial in New York City. Henderson is one of those guys who lets it fly whenever he wrestles, so this could be a high-scoring and entertaining showdown.

79 kg - Evan Wick (USA) vs. Vasyl Mykhailov (Ukraine)


Evan Wick will have the ultimate home field advantage. This event is being held in his home town, San Marino, Calif., where he was a California state high school champion. He also was an NCAA All-American at Cal Poly and Wisconsin. Wick has always excelled in freestyle, and with numerous Senior-level domestic placements. Wick uses his height and reach to his advantage on the mat. He will be hard pressed in this match, as Vasyl Mykhailov was a 2022 Senior World bronze medalist and a 2020 Olympian. Mykhailov most recently won a gold medal at the Bill Farrell International, where he beat U.S. wrestlers David McFadden and Taylor Lujan among others. Expect some great technique in this match, one that should get the crowd fired up.

97 kg - Jay Aiello (USA) vs. Illia Archaia (Ukraine)


This will be a rematch of the third-place bout of the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial in November, won by Archaia, 8-3. Jay Aiello, a 2021 U23 World bronze medalist, is a rising star on the Senior level. He earned a spot on the Senior National Team this year, and was also third at the 2022 U.S. Open. A star at Virginia, Aiello has been expanding his international experience and improving his freestyle skills. Archaia was eighth at the 2022 Senior World Championships and made a medal match at the 2018 European U23 Championships, placing fifth. Fans will get to see a competitive match, one which Aiello will try to reverse the result of their match a few weeks ago.
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