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Junior Women’s National Duals preview: California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri headline strong field

by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling

Sabrina Nauss of Michigan celebrates after winning 2021 16U Nationals in Fargo. Photo by Austin Bernard.

The Junior National Women’s Duals returns to Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Cox Business Convention Center from June 15-16. There are currently 27 teams registered from 21 different states, including the returning championship team, California. Joining California from the top of the podium last year is runner-up Illinois, who returns two all-tournament team members.

Traditionally, the Junior National Women’s Duals is loaded with nationally ranked athletes, many who use this event to prepare for the USMC Junior/16U Nationals in Fargo, N.D. in July. This event will have a huge impact on the next national ranking.

The event will be streamed live on FloWrestling.

2021 Junior Women’s Gold/Silver Pool results

1st Place – California, 5-0 record

2nd Place - Illinois Jr Women, 3-2 record

3rd Place - Team MO 1, 3-2 record

4th Place - Pennsylvania Blue, 2-3 record

5th Place - Texas Black, 1-4 record

6th Place - Team Florida, 1-4 record

(of 21 teams)


At Tulsa, OK., June 14-18

Wednesday, June 15

9:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m. - Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Championship Match, Championship Semi-Finals, & Consolation Quarterfinals

1:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Rounds 3, 4 & 5 - Consolation Semi-Finals & 1st Place Match, Placement Match 3rd, 5th, 7th, True 2nd place Match

Thursday, June 16

9:00 a.m – 12:00 noon - Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper,Red/Blue, Green/Yellow) Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Duals

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Rounds 3 & 4 Preliminary Duals & Finals Placement Match Dual

Key teams/wrestlers:

Note: several rosters are unknown as they have not been finalized. Ranked athletes are based upon March 2022 National Girls High School Rankings.

California: The defending champions have a line-up that looks ready to repeat success. Returning all-tournament team member Kiely Tabaldo at 112 (No.16), No. 1 ranked Sam Calkins (180), plus top-10 ranked Arieana Arias at 117 (No.5) and Isabella Marie Gonzales at 117 (No. 7). Rounding out the team from the Golden State are nationally ranked Madison Avila at 110 (No. 16) and Johanna Forman at 152 (No. 13).

Illinois: Last year’s runner-up put together another stacked team this year with returning all-tournament team member and No. 6 ranked Alexis Janiak at 127 and No.4 ranked Maya Davis at 117. They are joined by several other nationally ranked teammates, Shea Riesel at 112, Cadence Diduch at 127, Alexis Ritchie at 152 and Wendy Riley-Washington at 164.

Michigan Junior Girls Blue: Michigan has one of the most decorated teams with eight highly ranked wrestlers. Both ranked No.1 in the nation, Eliana Bommarito at 225 pounds and Sabrina Nauss at 180 pounds are expected to be key contributors for this Michigan team. They are joined by No.7 Gigi Bragg at 106, No.9 Amarisa Manuel at 164, No.11 Kailyn Garrett at 200, No.23 Emaline Hicks at 100 and No. 25 Brynn Green at 152.

Team Missouri 1: Team Missouri 1 had a 3-2 record in the Gold/Silver pool last year to finish third. This year, they will be helped by seven nationally ranked wrestlers. No. 4 Maddie Kubicki at 144 leads the charge followed by No. 7 Angelina Vargas at 112, No. 8 Catherine Dutton at 200, No. 15 Brenya Crahan at 127, No. 16 Amitria McNack at 138 and No. 25 Cassidy Benwell at 117.

Pennsylvania Blue: Pennsylvania Blue will look to break into the top three teams this year. With three athletes ranked in the top ten nationally, this team has the potential for an even better tournament than last year. Ana Malovich (No.7 at 112 pound) and Savannah Witt (No.8 at 122 pounds) were both 2021 16U National place winners. Trinity Monaghan (No.10) is a senior who will bring experience to this squad. Jordyn Fouse at 132 pounds (No.14) and Sierra Chiesa at 117 pounds (No. 25) are among the other nationally ranked members of this team.

Team Florida: The Sunshine State has put together a powerhouse team with five nationally ranked wrestlers, with two in the top five. Andrea Smith (225 pounds) and Henlee Haynes (180 pounds) are ranked third and fourth in the nation, respectively. Last year’s team recorded a 1-4 record in the Gold/Silver pool to take sixth. However, this year’s well-rounded roster suggests a higher finish with Mary Manis at 100 (No.10), Clare Booe at 106 (No.13) and Alyssa Favara at 164 (No.12).

Team Indiana: Team Indiana tallies six nationally ranked wrestlers on this year’s team along with the 2021 National Champion in 16U, No. 6 ranked Mackenzie Smith (106 pounds). Leading the charge will be Rianne Murphy of Wyoming Seminary, ranked No. 2 as a sophomore at 117 pounds. Rose Kaplan at 122 (No.10), Catie Campbell at 127 (No.13), Cailin Campbell at 132 (No.18) and AvaLyn Mosconi at 180 (No.12) round out the field for Indiana.

Ohio Blue: Ohio is quickly becoming a powerhouse state for girls high school wrestling. This team has its share of nationally ranked hammers: No. 5 Savannah Isaac at 200, No. 9 Chloe Dearwester at 106, No. 12 Josie Davis at 127, No. 19 Hayley Snyder at 112, No. 21 Zoe Hussar at 144 and No. 22 Makennah Craft at 100,

Team Texas Blue: Traditionally one of the strongest women’s wrestling states, Team Texas Blue has a young group, but has some nationally ranked veterans on the squad: No. 2 Madeline Welch at 200, No. 8 Avery Ashley 117 and No. 16 Olivia Moreno 122

Colorado Junior Girls: Colorado brings a decorated team with returning all-tournament team member at 132 pounds, Sarah Savidge, who went 9-0 last year and is ranked No.4 nationally. Ciara Monger (No. 8), Blythe Cayko (No. 15), Taylor Knox (No. 16) and Taylor Miess (No.25).

Other teams to watch include Team Washington, Iowa, Oklahoma Outlaws, Kansas, Arkansas and Wisconsin. Look for some new state teams to make an impact, as the growth of girls wrestling is strengthening all of the teams.