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Junior Women’s Freestyle Preview: Six returning Junior champions in amazing field of 229 nationally ranked wrestlers

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Destiny Rodriguez of Oregon winning the 2021 Junior Nationals. Photo by Austin Bernard.

USA Wrestling will post one preview each day, starting on Friday, July 8, for the six national tournaments that will be held at the USMC Junior and 16U National Championships in Fargo.

We started the previews on Friday, with a weight-by-weight review of the boys 16U Freestyle Nationals. Saturday, posted the 16U Women’s Nationals field. On Sunday, we added the Junior Men’s Freestyle preview. Today is the Junior Women’s preview.

Amazing, record-setting Women’s Junior Nationals on tap

Amazing. It is the only word to describe the largest and most competitive Women’s Junior Nationals ever held. Every women’s college coach in the nation better be in Fargo to see the action. This event is the future of women’s college wrestling, and ultimately, of Olympic women’s wrestling.

Of the 992 entries in this record setting Junior Nationals, there are an unbelievable 229 nationally ranked wrestlers. One weight class, 112 pounds, has 25 nationally ranked entries. Breathtaking, really.

100 pounds

Right off the bat, 100 pounds is a wide open race with a ton of talent. Four 2021 Junior All-Americans are back, led by Erin Hikiji of Hawaii, who was fourth at 100 last year and Madison Avila of California, who was fifth at 100 last year. Hikiji, ranked No. 7, won the Hawaii states this year but has not been active in the spring. Avila, ranked at No. 19, was unbeaten in Junior Duals. Rianne Murphy of Indiana was fifth last year up at 106, and moves down for a run at the title. Murphy and Bragg were 16U All-Americans last year, and will wrestle both age groups. Kealonie Vega of Florida placed sixth last year at Junior 100.

There are an impressive 15 nationally ranked in this field, with the highest rank coming from No. 4 Valarie Solorio of Florida, who was second at the U17 Nationals. Next in the rankings is Chloe Dearwester of Ohio, ranked No. 7 at 106, where she was unbeaten in Junior Duals. She lost to Solorio at the U17 Nationals. Sterling Dias of Nevada, a past U17 World medalist, is ranked No. 8 at 106 and makes the weight drop to seek a Fargo title. Gigi Bragg of Michigan (No. 12), Mia Zuniga of Washington (No. 14) and Isabella Bocanegra of Arizona (No. 17) are all talented medal contenders based upon current rankings.

We can’t overlook the others who are ranked, and will be ready for big breakthroughs. Don’t overlook Makenna Craft of Ohio, Juliana Alejandro of Nevada, Katey Valdez of Colorado, Brooke Corrigan of Wisconsin, Amelia Murphy of Indiana and Abbygael Cabaug of California. Valdez and Joely Slyter of Indiana were 16U All-Americans last year, and are also wrestling in 16U earlier in the week this year. There is a ton of depth here, so early rounds should have some excellent battles.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Erin Hikiji of Hawaii (4th at 100 at Juniors), Madison Avila of California (5th at 100 at Juniors), Rianne Murphy of Indiana (5th at 106 at Juniors), Kealonie Vega of Florida (6th at 100 at Juniors),
Others separated: Aislin Kellner of New York, Riley Banyas of Ohio, Chloe Dearwester of Ohio, Zoey Haney of Missouri, Jhaile De Guzman of Washington, Mia Zuniga of Washington, Valarie Solorio of Florida, Gigi Bragg of Michigan, Emaline Hicks of Missouri, Kaitlyn Clawson of Pennsylvania, Isabella Bocanegra of Arizona, Eyvori Jacquez of Colorado, Caley Kling of Colorado, Katey Valdez of Colorado, Karina Torres of Wisconsin, Joely Slyter of Idaho, Alicia Serratos of Colorado, Abbygael Cabaug of California, Juliana Alejandro of Nevada, Sterling Dias of Nevada, Analise Maralit of South Carolina
Nationally ranked wrestlers (15): Valarie Solorio of Florida (No. 4 at 100), Chloe Dearwester of Ohio (No. 7 at 106), Erin Hikiji of Hawaii (No. 7 at 100), Gigi Bragg (No. 12 at 100), Mia Zuniga of Washington (No. 14 at 100), Rianne Murphy (No. 17 at 112), Isabella Bocanegra of Arizona (No. 17 at 100), Madison Avila of California (No. 20 at 100), Makenna Craft of Ohio (No. 21 at 100), Juliana Alejandro of Nevada (No. 24 at 100), Katey Valdez (No. 25 at 100), Brooke Corrigan of Wisconsin (No. 26 at 100), Amelia Murphy of Indiana (No. 27 at 100), Abbygael Cabaug of California (No. 28 at 100)

106 pounds

This weight class has a pair of returning Junior All-Americans, with Jenavi Aleandro of Nevada placing third at 112 and Clare Booe of Florida placing seventh at 100. Both have strong national rankings, with Alejandro at No. 6 and Booe at No. 7. They are not the highest ranked athlete in field, as No. 2 Ava Ward of Missouri comes in as a solid favorite. Ward missed Fargo in 2021 and won a U17 World bronze medal. Ward waa second at the 2022 U17 Nationals and claimed gold at the U17 Pan American Championships. Last year, she was No. 1 at 100 pounds, and she will compete at 16U and Junior in Fargo this year at 106.

When reviewing the 15 ranked wrestlers in the draw, those among the top 15 are No. 9 Lexia Schecterly of Pennsylvania, No. 9 at 100 Karina Vang of California, No. 11 at 100 Avy Perez of California, No. 14 Heather Crull of Indiana and No. 15 Makenzie Smith of Indiana. Schecterly went 8-0 at Junior Duals. Perez and Crull will both also compete at the 16U Nationals this year.

The depth continues with seven more athletes in the rankings, with No. 16 Aspen Blasko of Minnesota, No. 17 Zoey Salmons of West Virginia, No. 21 Mikayla Garcia of California, No. 25 Kaylee Annis of Oregon, No. 26 Jenna Gerhardt of North Dakota, No. 29 Genesis Cejudo of Arizona and No. 30 Rylee Balcazar of Colorado. All of these athletes will battle for a spot on the podium, looking to knock off folks with higher rankings.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Jenavi Alejandro of Nevada (3rd at 112 at Juniors), Clare Booe of Florida (7th at 100 at Juniors),
Others separated: Ava Ward of Missouri, Lexia Schecterly of Pennsylvania, Jayleah Pletz of Pennsylvania, Adriana Gomez of Arizona, Genesis Cejudo of Arizona, Rylee Balcazar of Colorado, Kaylee Annis of Oregon, Mikayla Garcia of California, Avy Perez of California, Karina Vang of California, Makenzie Smith of Indiana, Heather Crull of Indiana, Aspen Blasko of Minnesota
Nationally ranked wrestlers (15): Ava Ward (No. 2 at 106, No. 19 P-4-P), Jenavi Alejandro of Nevada (No. 6 at 112), Clare Booe of Florida (No. 7 at 106), Lexia Schecterly of Pennsylvania (No. 9 at 106), Karina Vang of California (No. 9 at 100), Avy Perez (No. 11 at 100), Heather Crull of Indiana (No. 14 at 106), Makenzie Smith of Indiana (No. 15 at 100), Aspen Blasko of Minnesota (No. 16 at 100), Zoey Salmons of West Virginia (No. 17 at 106), Mikayla Garcia of California (No. 21 at 106), Kaylee Annis of Oregon (No. 25 at 106), Jenna Gerhardt of North Dakota (No. 26 at 106), Genesis Cejudo of Arizona (No. 29 at 106), Rylee Balcazar of Colorado (No. 30 at 106)

112 pounds

This could be the best weight class of any style, any age-group in Fargo this year. Do the math. There are eight All-American spots. We have 25 ranked wrestlers (including five with top 5 rankings), three returning All-Americans and a 16U Nationals champion moving up. It will be a meat grinder from the start, and the All-Americans this year will truly have earned their awards.

No. 5 ranked Kiely Tabaldo of California, the 2021 Junior runner-up at 106, headlines the returning stars. No. 2 at 100 Alexandra Szkotnicki of Maryland, third at 100 in last year’s Juniors, has moved up in weight. Karlee Brooks of Arizona, seventh at 106 in the 2021 Juniors, comes in with a strong No. 2 ranking at 112, after taking third at the U17 Nationals and winning the High School Showcase. Brooks beat Tabaldo in the finals of the Showcase, a possible preview of the Fargo Junior finals.

However, 2021 16U Nationals champion and No. 4 ranked Cecilia Williams of Michigan will compete at 16U and Juniors this year, and seek a coveted double victory. Williams was a winner at Who’s #1 this fall. Add in Maya Davis of Illinois, ranked No. 5 up at 117, and unbeaten at the Junior Duals. Other medal contenders who boast top-10 national rankings are No. 7 Bella Williams of Oklahoma, No. 8 Janessa George of Colorado, No. 8 at 100 Angelina Cassioppi of Illinois and No. 9 Angelina Vargas of Missouri. Williams was fourth at both the U17 and U15 Nationals. George went 6-1 at Junior Duals. Vargas won the 2021 Preseason Nationals. Malovich and Cassioppi are among the seven returning 16U All-Americans who will also compete at the 16U Nationals.

Would it be fair to leave out any of the 16 other nationally ranked wrestlers who are all intent on getting to the podium? It would be redundant to add them here, because they are listed below. OK, here are a few more, just because they could be finalists: No. 11 at 106 Libby Roberts of Washington, No. 11 at 112 Ana Malovich of Pennsylvania. Enjoy the list below, and let’s get ready for some upsets, and some amazing wrestling.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Kiely Tabaldo of California (2nd at 106 at Juniors), Alexandra Szkotnicki of Maryland (3rd at 100 at Juniors), Karlee Brooks of Arizona (7th at 106 in Juniors),
Others separated: Bella Williams of Oklahoma, Calli Gilchrist of Connecticut, Helena Alcantar of Florida, Kaylin Taylor of Montana, Cecilia Williams of Michigan, Aubre Krazer of Pennsylvania, Sierra Chiesa of Pennsylvania, Angelina Cassioppi of Illinois, Janessa George of Colorado, Sarah Delacerda of Colorado, Alexsys Jacquez of Colorado, Jalynn Goodale of Iowa, Skyla Zimmerman of Idaho, Lorianna Piestewa of New Mexico, Ayana Medina of Oregon, Diana Olivarez of California, Joy Cantu of Indiana, Emma Albanese of Nevada, Josiah Ortiz of Kansas, Isabella Da Silva of Texas
Nationally ranked wrestlers (25): Karlee Brooks of Arizona (No. 2 at 112, No. 20 P-4-P), Alexandra Szkotnicki of Maryland (No. 3 at 100), Cecilia Williams of Michigan (No. 4 at 112), Kiely Tabaldo of California (No. 5 at 112), Maya Davis of Illinois (No. 5 at 117), Bella Williams of Oklahoma (No. 7 at 112), Janessa George of Colorado (No. 8 at 112), Angelina Cassioppi of Illinois (No. 8 at 100), Angelina Vargas of Missouri (No. 9 at 112), Libby Roberts of Washington (No. 11 at 106), Ana Malovich (No. 11 at 112), Sierra Chiesa of Pennsylvania (No. 15 at 106), Emma Albanese of Nevada (No. 15 at 117), Ayana Medina of Oregon (No. 15 at 127), Aubre Krazer of Pennsylvania (No. 16 at 106), Diana Oliveras of California (No. 20 at 107), Isabella Hoffman of South Carolina (No. 20 at 122), Skylah Zimmerman of Idaho (No. 21 at 112), Loriana Piestewa of New Mexico (No. 22 at 106), Ava Rose of New Jersey (No. 24 at 117), Sarah Delacerda of Colorado (No. 25 at 112), Josiah Ortiz of Kansas (No. 26 at 112), Evelyn Holmes-Smith of Alabama (No. 28 at 112), Bopa Quintana of Wisconsin (No. 29 at 112), Calli Gilchrist of Connecticut (No. 30 at 117)

117 pounds

You have to love a weight class that has no strong favorite, but a number of wrestlers capable of winning it all. The 117 Junior field is led by three returning All-Americans, Avery Ashley of Texas, who was fourth at 112, Tori Buchanan of Indiana, who was sixth at 117, and Juliana Diaz of Florida, who was seventh at 117. All have hefty national rankings, with Diaz at No. 4, Buchanan at No. 9 and Ashley at No. 13. At the U23 Nationals, Buchanan finished third and Ashley was fourth at the U23 Nationals, both beating some tough college students.

The top ranked athlete in the weight is No. 2 Zao Estrada of South Carolina, who was second at 16U Nationals last summer, won the High School Showcase, placed fourth at the U17 Nationals and went unbeaten at Junior Duals A pair of rugged Californians, No. 6 Arieanna Arias and No. 7 Isabella Marie Gonzales, are also title contenders. Both were unbeaten at Junior Duals, earning some ranked wins along the way. Gonzales won the U15 Nationals this year. There are just four wrestlers with top-10 rankings in this field, meaning 13 of those ranked are looking to move up with a big finish in Fargo.

No. 12 Cameron Galvin of Florida, No. 13 Isabell Ortiz of Kansas, No. 17 Ashley Naranjo of Washington, No. 18 Anna Dicugno of Washington are top-20 athletes. Ortiz was second at the Junior Folkstyle Nationals this year. Dicugno placed seventh at the High School Showcase. Add in seven more ranked between No. 20 and No. 30, No. 21 Fernanda Lopez of Texas, No. 21 Rian Grunwald of Minnesota, No. 24 Khaleah Kirk of Oklahoma No. 25 Brooklyn Pace of Utah, No. 27 Peyton Hand of Oklahoma, No. 28 Paige Chafin of Oregon and No. 29 Kira Cole of Ohio. Yes, this is a weight class that will reward the wrestlers who come in strong and score points early.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Avery Ashley of Texas (4th at 112 at Juniors), Torieonna Buchanan of Indiana (6th at 117 at Junior), Juliana Diaz of Florida (7th at 117 at Junior),
Others separated: Khaleah Kirk of Oklahoma, Chloe Herrick of Missouri, Anna Dicugno of Washington, Malia Welch of Washington, Ashley Naranjo of Washington, Cameron Galvin of Florida, Khylie Wainwright of Illinois, Adaceli Salaiz-Noriega of Arizona, Brooklyn Pace of Utah, Paige Chafin of Oregon, Isabella Marie Gonzales of California, Arieana Arias of California, Phoebe Dowty of Indiana, Isabell Ortiz of Kansas, Alexis Montes of Texas, Avery Ashley of Texas, Fernanda Lopez of Texas, Rian Grunwald of Minnesota, Melanie Val of Tennessee, Ella-Lina Gonzalez of Tennessee, Zao Estrada of South Carolina, Aubrie Pehrson of Nebraska, Sophia Shultz of Nebraska
Nationally ranked wrestlers (17): Zao Estrada of South Carolina (No. 2 at 122), Juliana Diaz (No. 4 at 117), Arieana Arias of California (No. 6 at 117), Isabella Marie Gonzales of California (No. 7 at 117), Torieonna Buchanan of Indiana (No. 9 at 122), Cameron Galvin of Florida (No. 12 at 117), Avery Ashley of Texas (No. 13 at 112), Isabell Ortiz of Kansas (No. 13 at 117), Ashley Naranjo of Washington (No. 17 at 117), Anna Dicugno of Washington (No. 18 at 117), Fernanda Lopez of Texas (No. 21 at 117), Rian Grunwald of Minnesota (No. 21 at 117), Khaleah Kirk of Oklahoma (No. 24 at 122), Brooklyn Pace of Utah (No. 25 at 117), Peyton Hand of Oklahoma (No. 27 at 112), Paige Chafin of Oregon (No. 28 at 122), Kira Cole of Ohio (No. 29 at 117)

122 pounds

This weight class has a strong favorite in Sofia Macaluso, who was second in Junior Nationals last year at 127 pounds and is the only Junior All-American in the 122-pound field this year. Macaluso holds a No. 1 national ranking at 127, after winning the U20 National championships this year including wins over four college wrestlers. While Macaluso has the best resume of those registered, there is an impressive 20 ranked wrestlers looking to reach the podium and try to be the person to knock off Macaluso (the 2022 Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award winner).

No. 3 ranked Savannah Witt of Pennsylvania will be competing at both 16U and Juniors this year. Witt went 8-0 at Junior Duals this year. No. 6 Lillian Avalos of California, No. 8 Alejandra Valdiviezo of California, No. 9 at 117 Haley Vann of Oregon and No. 9 at 127 Haylie Jaffe of Pennsylvania are among the other top contenders. Vann was second at the High School Showcase, third at the Folkstyle Nationals, and fourth at the U20 Nationals this year. Jaffe was third in the 2021 16U Nationals.

We must consider the 14 others in the national rankings who are not in the top 10, but have the ability to step forward in Fargo. No. 11 Rose Kaplan of Indiana, No. 12 Bianca Johnson of Washington, No. 13 Catherine Campbell of Indiana, No. 13 at 127 Emily Frost of New York and No. 15 Taylor Colangelo of Arizona can all do big damage. Don’t overlook the rest of those ranked: No. 17 Kierstyn Bockert of Alaska, No. 19 Anna Krejsa of Indiana, No. 19 Katie Ward of Nevada, No. 21 Trinity Howard of Arizona, No. 21 at 127 Ella Jauregui of California, No. 22 Brielle Bibla of Florida, No. 23 Cali Leng of Ohio, No. 26 Alyssa Mahan of Delaware and No. 27 Karianne Baldwin of Washington. All of these athletes have been competing at major events this spring, and should make this weight class highly competitive.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Sofia Macaluso of New York (2nd at 127 at Junior)
Others separated: Emily Frost of New York, Bianca Johnson of Washington, Karianne Baldwin of Washington, Brielle Bibla of Florida, Margaret Buurma of Michigan, Isabella Baccio of Pennsylvania, Savannah Witt of Pennsylvania, Haylie Jaffe of Pennsylvania, Breaunnah Robles of Colorado, Emily Sullenger of Oregon, Haley Vann of Oregon, Alejandra Valiviezo of California, Presley Anderson of California, Anna Kresja of Indiana, Rose Kaplan of Indiana, Sydney Delois of Indiana, Katie Ward of Nevada, Neelie Parker of Texas, Brooklyn Conrad of Minnesota, Destiney Lofton of Minnesota, Trinity Howard of North Carolina, Zoey Barber of Nebraska, Kierstyn Bockert of Alaska
Nationally ranked wrestlers (20): Sofia Macaluso of New York (No. 1 at 122), Savannah Witt of Pennsylvania (No. 3 at 122), Lillian Avalos of California (No. 6 at 122), Alejandra Valdiviezo of California (No. 8 at 122), Haley Vann of Oregon (No. 9 at 117), Haylie Jaffe of Pennsylvania (No. 9 at 127), Rose Kaplan of Indiana (No. 11 at 122), Bianca Johnson of Washington (No. 12 at 122), Catherine Campbell of Indiana (No. 13 at 122), Emily Frost of New York (No. 13 at 127), Taylor Colangelo of Arizona (No. 15 at 122), Kierstyn Bockert of Alaska (No. 17 at 122), Anna Krejsa of Indiana (No. 19 at 127), Katie Ward of Nevada (No. 19 at 122), Trinity Howard of Arizona (No. 21 at 122), Ella Jauregui of California (No. 22 at 127), Brielle Bibla of Florida (No. 22 at 122), Cali Leng of Ohio (No. 23 at 122), Alyssa Mahan of Delaware (No. 26 at 122), Karianne Baldwin of Washington (No. 27 at 127)

127 pounds

There is a lot of talent at 127 pounds, with no huge favorite. With seven returning Junior place winners, this weight is as stacked as they come with experience.

There is a returning Junior Nationals champion in senior Alexis Janiak of Illinois, who has the ability to repeat competing in her last Fargo. Jaclyn Dehney of Massachusetts was second at 117 pounds last year. Janida Garcia of California was third at 127 in the 2021 Junior Nationals. Skylar Little Soldier of Minnesota was fourth in last year’s Juniors and won last year’s 16U Nationals. Alyssa Randles of Idaho was sixth at 127 last year. Sarah Savidge was seventh at 127 and Larissa Kaz was 8th at 127.

When you look at rankings, Garcia is No. 2 at 132, Savidge No. 3 at 127, Little Soldier No. 4 at 127, Dehney is No. 4 at 132, Randles No. 5 at 127 Janiak No. 7 at 127 and Kaz No. 24 at 127. Garcia won the High School Showcase and was third at the U20 Nationals. Savidge went 7-0 at Junior duals, with a win over Janiak, and was fifth at the U20Nationals. Little Soldier was second at the U17 Nationals and won a silver at the U17 Pan American Championships. Dehney was fifth at the U20 Nationals. Randles went unbeaten at Junior Duals and was third in the Showcase. Janiak won seven bouts at Junior Duals. Kaz went 6-2 at Junior Duals and was seventh at the Showcase. All have been busy.

Beyond that, other highly ranked athletes include No. 6 Cadence Diduch of Illinois, No. 10 Kailey Rees of Florida, No. 11 Emily Sindoni of New York, No. 11 at 117 Bayley Trang of Texas and No. 12 Josie Davis of Ohio. Diduch won the 16U Nationals at 117 last year, and will compete in both tournaments this year. Nobody has more USA Wrestling medals than graduated senior Rees. Sindoni won NHSCA Nationals and was fifth at U17 Nationals. Davis went unbeaten at Junior Duals. Others with rankings coming in are No. 16 Natasha Markoutsis of Illinois, No. 25 Cailin Campbell of Indiana, No. 26 Brenya Crahan of Missouri and No. 30 Ragan Retell of New York

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Alexis Janiak of Illinois (1st at 127 in Junior), Jaclyn Dehney of Massachusetts (2nd at 117 in Junior), Janida Garcia of California (3rd at 127 in Junior), Skylar Little Soldier of Minnesota (4th at 127), Alyssa Randles of Idaho (6th at 127 in Junior), Sarah Savidge of Colorado (7th at 127 in Junior), Larissa Kaz of Wisconsin (8th at 127 in Junior)
Others separated: Emily Sindoni of New York, Regan Retell of New York, Josie Davis of Ohio, Brenya Crahan of Missouri, Kailey Rees of Florida, Cadence Diduch of Illinois, Alexis Segura of Colorado, Brooke Schuenemann of Wisconsin, Emma Gruenhagen of Wisconsin, Luiza Nogueira of California, Cailin Campbell of Indiana, Aireanna Gavere of Nevada, Bayley Trang of Texas, Regan Rosseter of Nebraska
Nationally ranked wrestlers (15): Janida Garcia of California (No. 2 at 132), Sarah Savidge of Colorado (No. 3 at 127), Skylar Little Soldier of Minnesota (No. 4 at 127), Jaclyn Dehney of Massachusetts (No. 4 at 132), Alyssa Randles of Idaho (No. 5 at 127), Cadence Diduch of Illinois (No. 6 at 127), Alexis Janiak of Illinois (No. 7 at 127), Kailey Rees of Florida (No. 10 at 127), Emily Sindoni of New York (No. 11 at 127), Bayley Trang of Texas (No. 11 at 117), Josie Davis of Ohio (No. 12 at 127), Natasha Markoutsis of Illinois (No. 16 at 127), Larissa Kaz of Wisconsin (No. 24 at 127), Cailin Campbell of Indiana (No. 25 at 132), Brenya Crahan of Missouri (No. 26 at 127), Ragan Retell of New York (No. 30 at 132),

132 pounds

This weight is also heavy with 22 ranked athletes and four returning Junior All-Americans. The top placer from the 2021 Juniors is Iowa recruit Esther Han of Utah, who was third at 132. Kylie Rule of Wisconsin was fifth at 127, while another Iowa signee, Ella Schmidt of Iowa, was fifth at 117. Taylor Fierbach-Graveman of South Dakota was sixth at 132. Their current rankings are No. 3 Schmit, No. 10 Fierbach-Graveman, No. 12 Han and No. 19 Rule. Schmit was third at the U20 Nationals. Han was fourth at the High School Showcase. Rule went 7-1 at Junior Duals.

A rising talent is No. 6 Kaidence Gerg of Washington, who placed fourth in the U17 Nationals and won eight straight bouts there. Other young risers are No. 11 Gianna Dibenedetto of California, No. 13 Piper Cadden of Arizona and No. 14 Alicen Dillard of Texas. Dibenedetto was second at the High School Showcase, Cadden placed at the Showcase and the U20 Nationals and Dillard went 8-1 at Junior Duals. Others with top 20 rankings in this field are No. 16 Cece Ravanelle of Rhode Island, No. 17 Lily Luft of Iowa and No. 18 Estella Gutches of Oregon, Luft was seventh and Ravanelle was eighth at the U17 Nationals. Gutches was second at the Showcase.

Others in the rankings are No. 21 Camryn Brown of Connecticut, No. 22 Alanna Haney of Washington, No. 23 Jordyn Fouse of Pennsylvania, No. 24 Nicole Redmond of Kansas, No. 26 Aileen Lester of Alaska, No. 26 at 138 Taydem Khamjoi of California, No. 28 Magdelena Ivanova of Idaho, No. 29 Alice Rickett of Oregon and No. 30 at 138 Isis France of Arizona.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Esther Han of Utah (3rd at 132), Kylie Rule of Wisconsin (5th at 127 in Junior), Ella Schmit of Iowa (5th at 117 at Junior), Taylor Fierbach-Graveman of South Dakota (6th at 132 in Junior)
Others separated: Mia Collins of New York, Peyton Weese of Missouri, Alanna Haney of Washington, Kaidence Gerg of Washington, Camryn Brown of Connecticut, Jordyn Fouse of Pennsylvania, Isis France of Arizona, Piper Cadden of Arizona, Bridgette Sotomayor of Arizona, Taylor Miess of Colorado, Lily Luft of Iowa, Sophia Barnes of Iowa, Cece Ravenelle of Rhode Island, Gianna DiBenedetto of California, Taydem Khamjoi of California, Madyson Gray of Kansas, Nicole Redmond of Kansas, Alissa Caltigirone of Massachusetts, Kristen Schellenberg of Nebraska, Brinley Green of Wyoming.
Nationally ranked wrestlers (22): Ella Schmit of Iowa (No. 3 at 132), Kaidence Gerg of Washington (No. 6 at 138), Madyson Gray of Kansas (No. 8 at 132), Taylor Fierbach-Graveman of South Dakota (No. 10 at 132), Gianna Dibenedetto of California (No. 11 at 132), Esther Han of Utah (No. 12 at 132), Piper Cadden of Arizona (No. 13 at 132), Alicen Dillard of Texas (No. 14 at 138), Cece Ravanelle of Rhode Island (No. 16 at 132), Lily Luft of Iowa (No. 17 at 132), Morgan Edwards of Pennsylvania (No. 17 at 127), Estella Gutches of Oregon (No. 18 at 122), Kylie Rule of Wisconsin (No. 19 at 132), Jordyn Fouse of Pennsylvania (No. 23 at 132), Nicole Redmond of Kansas (No. 24 at 132), Camryn Brown of Connecticut (No. 21 at 132), Alanna Haney of Washington (No. 22 at 132), Aileen Lester of Alaska (No. 26 at 132), Taydem Khamjoi of California (No. 26 at 138), Magdelena Ivanova of Idaho (No. 28 at 132), Alice Rickett of Oregon (No. 29 at 132), Isis France of Arizona (No. 30 at 138)

138 pounds

2019 U17 World silver medalist Skylar Hattendorf, who will represent Massachusetts in Fargo, missed over a year with injury, but has risen to No. 1 this season by claiming the NHSCA Nationals and placing second at the U20 Nationals. She won gold at the U20 Pan Ams this week, then is scheduled to wrestle in Fargo. She will face three returning Junior All-Americans at this weight class, No. 14 Caitlyn Davis of South Carolina, who was fourth at 138 last year, No. 12 Faith Bartoszek of Wisconsin, who was fifth at 144 last year, and No. 10 Alondra Morales of Washington, who was eighth at 138 in the 2021 Juniors. Bartoszek was third at the U17 Nationals and Morales was second in the High School Showcase. Davis was third in the Showcase and unbeaten in the Junior Duals.

No. 6 Marissa Rumsey of Pennsylvania comes in hot, placing second at the U17 Nationals and second at the U17 Pan American Championships. No. 12 Attalia Watson of Illinois, No. 15 at 152 Genesis Gilmore of Tennessee, No. 17 Amitria McNack of Missouri, No. 18 Liv Wieber of Idaho, No. 18 at 132 May Prado of Georgia and No. 19 Caroline Gilstrap of South Carolina are also in the top 20 of the rankings. McNack was 6-1 at Junior Duals and Wieber was unbeaten at Junior Duals. The others in the rankings are No. 21 Alessandra Elliott of New York and No. 30 Desza Munson of Colorado.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Caitlyn Davis of South Carolina (4th at 138 in Junior), Faith Bartoszek of Wisconsin (5th at 144 in Junior), Alondra Morales of Washington (8th at 138 in Junior),
Others separated: Allesandra Elliott of New York, Taylor Johnson of Missouri, Amitria McNack of Missouri, Bella Wazny of Michigan, Marissa Rumsey of Pennsylvania, Attalia Watson of Illinois, Camryn Scott of Colorado, Mattie Papenthien of Wisconsin, Nya Jolley of Utah, Breanna Clanton of Utah, Gabriella Ocasio of Kentucky, Josie Newby of Idaho, Josie Hause of Indiana, Skylar Hattendorf of Massachusetts, Genesis Gilmore of Tennessee, Caroline Gilstrap of South Carolina
Nationally ranked wrestlers (13): Skylar Hattendorf of Massachusetts (No. 1 at 138), Marissa Rumsey of Pennsylvania (No. 6 at 132), Alondra Morales of Washington (No. 10 at 138), Faith Bartoszek of Wisconsin (No. 12 at 144), Attalia Watson of Illinois (No. 12 at 138), Caitlyn Davis of South Carolina (No. 14 at 144), Genesis Gilmore of Tennessee (No. 15 at 152), Amitria McNack of Missouri (No. 17 at 138), Liv Wieber of Idaho (No. 18 at 138), May Prado of Georgia (No. 18 at 132), Caroline Gilstrap of South Carolina (No. 19 at 138), Alessandra Elliott of New York (No. 21 at 127), Desza Munson of Colorado (No. 30 at 144)

144 pounds

Returning Junior Nationals Savannah Gomez, the winner last summer at 138, is one of three in the field who placed in last summer’s Junior division. No. 3 Gomez, ranked No. 3 at 138, was a California state champion this year. The No. 3 at 144, Maddie Kubicki of Missouri, was seventh at 144 last summer. Kubicki was unbeaten at Junior Duals, won the High School Showcase and was third at the U20 Nationals. No. 17 Nebi Tsarni of Maryland was eighth at 144 last year in the Junior division, and won the 16U National title.

The top ranked wrestler in the field is No. 2 Elleni Johnson of Utah, who was second in the U17 Nationals, with wins over Kubicki and then No. 2 Grace Stem of Pennsylvania. No. 5 Sydney Perry of Illinois was second at the U17 Nationals, losing twice to Johnson in the finals series. Perry was also a 16U runner-up last summer. Other top 10 talents are No. 7 Mia Furman of Idaho and No. 10 Maggie Graham of Tennessee. Furman was third at the High School Showcase and Graham won the Junior Folkstyle Nationals. Others with national rankings are No. 12 Clarissa Agostini of Michigan, No. 16 Isabella Amaro of Oregon, No. 22 Marisa Roth of Wisconsin, No. 24 Ashlynn Goodwin of Kansas, No. 27 Celina Cook of Nevada and No. 29 Micah Fisher of West Virginia.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Savannah Gomez of California (1st at 138), Maddie Kubicki of Missouri (7th at 144), Nebi Tsarni of Maryland (8th at 144)
Others separated: Paityn Delong of New York, Raven Cook of Georgia, Maria Slaughter of Missouri, MaryAnn Reyes of Washington, Alyssa Johnson of North Dakota, Clarissa Agostini of Michigan, Sydney Perry of Illinois, Marisa Roth of Wisconsin, Elleni Johnson of Utah, Emma Peach of Iowa, Mia Furman of Idaho, Tyler Richardson of Oregon, Isabella Amaro of Oregon, Elly Janovsky of Indiana, Kaylie Petersen of Indiana, Celine Cooke of Nevada, Ashlyn Goodwin of Kansas, Abigail Ervasti of Minnesota, Maggie Graham of Tennessee, Kohana Renner of Tennessee
Nationally ranked wrestlers (13): Elleni Johnson of Utah (No. 2 at 144), Savannah Gomez of California (No. 3 at 138), Maddie Kubicki of Missouri (No. 3 at 144), Sydney Perry of Illinois (No. 5 at 144), Mia Furman of Idaho (No. 7 at 144), Maggie Graham of Tennessee (No. 10 at 144), Clarissa Agostini of Michigan (No. 12 at 152), Isabella Amaro of Oregon (No. 16 at 144), Nebi Tsarni of Maryland (No. 17 at 144), Marisa Roth of Wisconsin (No. 22 at 138), Ashlynn Goodwin of Kansas (No. 24 at 144), Celina Cook of Nevada (No. 27 at 138), Micah Fisher of West Virginia (No. 29 at 138)

152 pounds

This weight boasts a returning national champion who is also ranked No. 1 in her weight class, Destiny Rodriguez of Oregon. Rodriguez won the U20 Nationals and the High School Showcase this year. Three other 2021 Junior All-Americans return this year, No. 11 Stella Steigler of Virginia, who was fifth at 15, No. 14 Skylar Caringi of New York, who was sixth at 144, and No. 23 Aspen Barber of Colorado, who was eighth at 152 last summer. Steigler went 7-1 at the Junior Duals.

Wrestling at her best right now is No. 4 Mishell Rebisch of Michigan, who was second in the U17 Nationals and second in the U17 Pan American Championships. Avery Beckman of Texas, now at No. 6, was 7-2 at Junior Duals and was fifth at the U17 Nationals. Aynslee Hester of Washington, was fourth at the High School Showcase. Other ranked wrestlers seeking a podium position are No. 18 Trinity Gottler of Kentucky, No. 18 at 144 Johanna Forman of California, No. 20 Brynn Green of Michigan, No. 20 at 144 Ruby Rios of Washington, No. 21 Genevieve An of Georgia and No. 23 Taya Hunt of Oklahoma.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Destiny Rodriguez of Oregon (1st at 144 at Junior), Stella Steigler of Virginia (5th at 152 at Junior), Skylar Caringi of New York (6th at 144 at Junior), Aspen Barber of Colorado (8th at 152 at Junior)
Others separated: Genevieve An of Georgia, Mishell Rebisch of Michigan, Brynn Green of Michigan, Lexi Ritchie of Illinois, Gianna Falise of Colorado, Skylur Lewis of Arkansas, Zoe Fries of Idaho, Zoey Smalley of Oregon, Delise E Villa of California, Avery Beckman of Texas, Kaylee Anderson of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers (13): Destiny Rodriguez of Oregon (No. 1 at 152, No. 11 P-4-P), Mishell Rebisch of Michigan (No. 4 at 152), Avery Beckman of Texas (No. 6 at 152), Aynslee Hester of Washington (No. 9 at 152), Stella Steigler of Virginia (No. 11 at 152), Skylar Caringi of New York (No. 14 at 144), Trinity Gottler of Kentucky (No. 18 at 152), Johanna Forman of California (No. 18 at 144), Brynn Green of Michigan (No. 20 at 152), Ruby Rios of Washington (No. 20 at 144), Genevieve An of Georgia (No. 21 at 144), Aspen Barber of Colorado (No. 23 at 144), Taya Hunt of Oklahoma (No. 23 at 152),

164 pounds

With 20 entries with national rankings, three returning Junior All-Americans and some excellent young stars, this weight class should be a meat grinder in Fargo. No. 8 Rose Cassioppi of Illinois placed second at the 2021 Junior Nationals at 152 and was second at the U20 Nationals this year. Cassioppi was a U20 Pan Am bronze medalist this weekend. No. 9 Shannon Workinger of Washington was fourth at 164 at last year’s Juniors, while No. 17 Olivia Stean of Kansas was sixth at 164 in the 2021 Fargo Juniors. Last year, Stean placed at both the Junior and the 16U Nationals in Fargo.

There are two athletes ranked higher than Cassioppi in the field, No. 3 Piper Fowler of Tennessee and No. 6 Haley Ward of Missouri. Fowler was a 16U Folkstyle champion and second in three big events, the Junior Folkstyle Nationals, the High School Showcase and the U17 Nationals. Ward was second in the Showcase at 164, and third at the U20 Nationals at 158. 2021 16U Nationals champion Ella Pagel of Minnesota moves up to Juniors and will attempt to win both 16U and Junior this year. Pagel lost to Fowler in the U17 Nationals and withdrew, then went unbeaten at Junior Duals. This weight has extensive depth, with other top-15 ranked athletes being No. 13 Naomi Simon of Iowa, No. 14 Kaylee Ricketts of Nebraska, No. 15 Brooklyn Hays of Utah. Simon was sixth at the U17 Nationals and 7-1 at Junior Duals. Ricketts was fifth at U17 Nationals. Hays was fifth at the U23 Nationals. A pair of Texans are having strong spring seasons, No. 18 Selena Sifuentes Shaffer and No. 19 Faith Macharia. Check the list below for the rest of the ranked wrestlers who make this a very tough weight class.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Rose Cassioppi of Illinois (2nd at 152), Shannon Workinger of Washington (4th at 164 at Junior), Olivia Stean of Kansas (6th at 164 at Junior),
Others separated: Haley Ward of Missouri, Alyssa Favara of Florida, Kylee Lindsley of Montana, Bo Geibe of Michigan, Abbie Miles of Pennsylvania, Jael Miller of Pennsylvania, Alison Evans of Colorado, Jenna Joseph of Colorado, Brooklyn Hays of Utah, Naomi Simon of Iowa, Kiley McClain of California, Grace Johns of Kansas, Caitlyn Flaherty of Texas, Ella Pagel of Minnesota, Piper Fowler of Tennessee, Kaylee Ricketts of Nebraska, Taylor Waddy of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers (20): Piper Fowler of Tennessee (No. 3 at 152), Haley Ward of Missouri (No. 6 at 164), Rose Cassioppi of Illinois (No. 8 at 164), Shannon Workinger of Washington (No. 9 at 164), Ella Pagel of Minnesota (No. 10 at 164), Naomi Simon of Iowa (No. 13 at 164), Kaylee Ricketts of Nebraska (No. 14 at 164), Brooklyn Hays of Utah (No. 15 at 164), Taylor Waddy of Virginia (No. 16 at 180), Kaila Shrive of California (No. 16 at 164), Olivia Stean of Kansas (No. 17 at 164), Selena Sifuentes Shaffer of Texas (No. 18 at 164), Faith Macharia of Texas (No. 19 at 164), Wendy Riley-Washington of Illinois (No. 20 at 164), Caitlyn Flaherty of Texas (No. 21 at 164), Jenna Joseph of Colorado (No. 22 at 164), Alyssa Favara of Florida (No. 24 at 180), Bo Geibe of Michigan (No. 24 at 164), Calyese Dupree of Missouri (No. 24 at 152), Jael Miller of Pennsylvania (No. 27 at 164),

180 pounds

The finals at 180 pounds could be a showdown between a pair of No. 1 ranked stars, Sabrina Nauss of Michigan who ranks at 180 and Sam Calkins of California who ranks at 200. Calkins, an Iowa recruit, won the 2021 Junior Nationals at 200. Nauss won the 2021 U16 Nationals at 180, and was third in the Junior Nationals also. They met at the 2022 National Duals, when Calkins dropped in weight, and Nauss beat her in the finals dual meet. Calkins is back at 180 for Fargo and looking for a rematch.

The other returning Junior All-American is No. 2 ranked Alivia White of Washington, who was fourth at 180 in last year’s Juniors. White has been consistent, winning the High School Showcase, placing fourth at the U20 Nationals down at 167 and losing only to Nauss at the Junior Duals. Looking to make her first impact in Fargo is No. 4 Cheyenne Ruiz of Utah, who won the 16U Folkstyle Nationals and was second in the Junior Folkstyle Nationals. No. 6 Henlee Haynes of Florida lost to White in the finals of the Showcase, and was 6-1 at Junior Duals. Also in the top 10 are No. 8 Katelyn Lewis of Wisconsin, who has been tough all spring, and No. 10 Sophie Pollack of New York. A talented freestyler is No. 11 Maliya Castillo of California, who was 7-1 at Junior Duals and placed seventh in the Showcase. Montana has a pair of ranked wrestlers, No. 12 Kassidee Savaria and No. 20 Tirza Twoteeth. Others seeking podium positions are No. 15 Shenita Lawson of Colorado, No. 18 Ella Beam of North Carolina, No. 21 Eryn Hubble of Virginia, No. 24 Taylor Knox of Colorado, No. 26 Kami Senlycki of Minnesota and No. 27 Kali Hayden of Oklahona.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Sam Calkins of California (1st at 200 at Junior), Sabrina Nauss of Michigan (3rd at 180 at Junior), Alivia White of Washington (4th at 180 at Junior)
Others separated: Sophie Pollack of New York, Henlee Haynes of Florida, Tirza Twoteeth of Montana, Kassidee Savaria of Montana, Kaitlyn Pegarella of Pennsylvania, Taylor Knox of Colorado, Shenita Lawson of Colorado, Katelyn Lewis of Wisconsin, Cheyenne Ruiz of Utah, Aurellia Ramos of Utah, Avalyn Mosconi of Indiana, Ella Beam of North Carolina, Maggie Smith of Wyoming
Nationally ranked wrestlers (16): Sabrina Nauss of Michigan (No. 1 at 180, No. 15 P-4-P), Sam Calkins of California (No. 1 at 200), Alivia White of Washington (No. 2 at 180), Cheyenne Ruiz of Utah (No. 4 at 180), Henlee Haynes of Florida (No. 6 at 180), Katelyn Lewis of Wisconsin (No. 8 at 180), Sophie Pollack of New York (No. 10 at 180), Maliya Castillo of California (No. 11 at 180), Kassidee Savaria of Montana (No. 12 at 180), Shenita Lawson of Colorado (No. 15 at 180), Ella Beam of North Carolina (No. 18 at 180), Tirza Twoteeth of Montana (No. 20 at 200), Eryn Hubble of Virginia (No. 21 at 180), Taylor Knox of Colorado (No. 24 at 180), Kami Senlycki of Minnesota (No. 26 at 200), Kali Hayden of Oklahoma (No. 27 at 180)

200 pounds

Looking to win Junior Nationals in her final Fargo is No. 3 Riley Dempewolf of Indiana, who was second at this weight class last year behind Sam Calkins. Dempewolf has won medals at major USA Wrestling events over the last few seasons. Two Missouri stars were also Junior All-Americans last summer, No. 9 Catherine Dutton, who placed third, and No. 7 Mariyah Brumley, who was fifth. The other returning Junior placers are No. 14 Trinity Monaghan of Pennsylvania, who was seventh at 200, and No. 5 Dasia Yearby of South Carolina, who was eighth at 180. Yearby has been a Super 32 finalist three times, with a 2019 title and second place in 2020 and 2021.

Ranked at No. 2 at 200 is Madeline Welch of Texas, a Junior Folkstyle champion whose only loss at Junior Duals was to 2021 Junior champion Calkins. True title contenders are No. 3 at 180 Ella Murphey of Tennessee and No. 4 Savannah Isaac of Ohio. Murphey won the Preseason Nationals and was second at the Junior Folkstyle Nationals. Isaac went 8-0 at the Junior Duals. Missouri is loaded with stars at 200 pounds, with No. 10 Brooke Bennett also in the title hunt. Bennett lost to Dutton at the 2022 Missouri states to place third, and had 1 6-2 mark at Junior Duals. No. 8 Blythe Cayko of Colorado had a win over Dutton in Junior Duals. Two other contenders to watch are No. 11 Kailyn Garrett of Michigan and No. 22 Cheyenne Cruce of Florida.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Riley Dempewolf of Indiana (2nd at 200 at Junior), Catherine Dutton of Missouri (3rd at 200 in Juniors), Mariyah Brumley of Missouri (5th at 200 in Juniors), Trinity Monaghan of Pennsylvania (7th at 200 in Junior), Dasia Yearby of South Carolina (8th at 180 in Junior)
Others separated: Savannah Isaac of Ohio, Brooke Bennett of Missouri, Cheyenne Cruce of Florida, Kailyn Garrett of Michigan, Blythe Cayko of Colorado, Madeline Welch of Texas, Ella Murphey of Tennessee
Nationally ranked wrestlers (11): Madeline Welch of Texas (No. 2 at 200), Riley Dempewolf of Indiana (No. 3 at 200), Ella Murphey of Tennessee (No. 3 at 180), Savannah Isaac of Ohio (No. 4 at 200), Dasia Yearby of South Carolina (No. 5 at 200), Mariyah Brumley of Missouri (No. 7 at 180), Blythe Cayko of Colorado (No. 8 at 200), Catherine Dutton of Missouri (No. 9 at 200), Brooke Bennett of Missouri (No. 10 at 200), Kailyn Garrett of Michigan (No. 11 at 200), Trinity Monaghan of Pennsylvania (No. 14 at 200), Cheyenne Cruce of Florida (No. 22 at 200)

225 pounds

One of the most dominant heavyweights in Junior women’s history is returning champion and No. 1 ranked Eliana Bommarito of Michigan, who concludes her high school career seeking another Junior title. Bommarito, No. 7 in the Pound-For-Pound rankings, is a powerful pinner who has won every major USA Wrestling event she has entered in the last few seasons. Bommarito will face three other 2021 Junior All-Americans in her bracket, No. 9 Karla Padilla Zepeda, who was sixth last year, No. 14 Stefania Jaramillo of Colorado, who was seventh last year, and No. 15 Andrea Smith of Florida, who was eighth last year. Zepeda won the High School Showcase this year.

No. 5 Kiara Ganey of Illinois and No. 6 Ciara Monger of Colorado will fight for a spot in the finals. Most recently, Gainey was second at the Junior Folkstyle Nationals, and was 5-2 at the Junior Duals, with a loss to Bommarito and a win over Monger, who had a 4-3 record at Junior Duals. Monger won a loaded weight at the Colorado state meet this year. No. 7 Makayla Rivera of Kansas was 4-1 at Junior Duals with a few ranked wins. Others who have podium capabilities are No. 8 Faith Spicer of Missouri, No. 10 Haley Thompson of Indiana, No. 11 Rewa Chababo of Texas, No. 17 Giana Faura of New Jersey and No. 18 Kennedy Eggering of Missouri. Watch for some new talent to emerge this year as well.

Returning 2021 Fargo Junior All-Americans: Eliana Bommarito of Michigan (1st at 225 in Junior), Karla Padilla Zepeda of Utah (6th at 225 in Junior), Stefania Jaramillo of Colorado (7th at 225 in Junior), Andrea Smith of Florida (8th at 225 in Junior),
Others separated: Jessica Edwards of Ohio, Kiara Ganey of Illinois, Ciara Monger of Colorado, Alysse Phillips of California
Nationally ranked wrestlers (12): Eliana Bommarito of Michigan (No. 1 at 225, No. 7 P-4-P), Kiara Ganey of Illinois (No. 5 at 225), Ciara Monger of Colorado (No. 6 at 225), Makayla Rivera of Kansas (No. 7 at 225), Faith Spicer of Missouri (No. 8 at 225), Karla Padilla Zepeda of Utah (No. 9 at 225), Haley Thompson of Indiana (No. 10 at 225), Rewa Chababo of Texas (No. 11 at 225), Stefania Jaramillo of Colorado (No. 14 at 225), Andrea Smith of Florida (No. 15 at 225), Giana Faura of New Jersey (No. 17 at 225), Kennedy Eggering of Missouri (No. 18 at 225),
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