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Bragg doubles up, Macaluso wins OW in Junior division of Girls Folkstyle Nationals

by Taylor Miller-Gregorio, USA Wrestling

Photo of Outstanding Wrestler Sofia Macaluso of New York (L), presented by multiple-time National Team member Natasha Umemoto. Photo by Chris Mora, chrismoraphoto.com.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Several athletes turned in impressive performances in the Junior division of the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals on Saturday at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., including Outstanding Wrestler Sofia Macaluso of New York and double champion Gigi Bragg of Michigan.

Wrestling at 122 pounds, Sofia Macaluso, who is ranked No. 2 in the country at 127 pounds, pinned all of her opponents in the first period with her longest match going only 1:10. Three of her wins came over 2022 high school state champions, including Trinity Howard of Arizona (1:10), Alexia Woods of Utah (0:45) and Paige Chafin of Oregon (0:22) in her first three matches. In the finals, Macaluso needed just 60 seconds to stick Rose Kaplan from Indiana. Howard and Kaplan are Honorable Mentions in the National Girls High School rankings.

At 100 pounds, 2019 U15 World silver medalist Gigi Bragg scored her second national title of the weekend, winning the 100-pound Junior division less than 24 hours after capturing the 16U title. Ranked No. 10 at her weight, Bragg recorded wins over three others ranked nationally—No. 19 Aspen Blasko of Minnesota, No. 17 Makenzie Smith of Indiana and No. 11 Olivia DeGeorgio of Texas, respectively. For gold, Bragg bested DeGeorgio, 5-3.

Taking the crown in a loaded 106 bracket was 2021 Cadet World bronze medalist and No. 2 at 100 pounds Ava Ward from Missouri. She notched four wins on the day, including two falls to open her tournament. In the semifinals, she earned a decisive 5-0 win over No. 17 at 106 Heather Crull of Indiana. To cap off her run, Ward dominated Idaho state champion Lita Cruz, 16-6.

The nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 127 pounds and high school state champion, Shelby Moore represented Washington in dominant fashion, walking through the 127-pound bracket. Of her five wins, four came in the form of a pin, while the other victory was a 10-2 major decision in the finals over No. 14 at 132 pounds and Oregon state champion Ayana Medina. Moore also took out Hawaii state champ Lainey Eckart in the semifinals.

Madeline Welch, a Texas state champ, impressed at 200 pounds, opening her action with back-to-back pins before a semifinal upset over Indiana’s Riley Dempewolf, who is No. 2 at 200 and No. 20 pound-for-pound in the nation. Welch secured the gold with a second-period fall against Hannah Mariano.

In addition to Moore and Welch, there were seven other high school state champions who won titles on Saturday, counting Jenavi Alejandro of Nevada (117 pounds), Sarah Savidge of Colorado (132 pounds), Paige Wehrmeister of Missouri (138 pounds), Maggie Graham of Tennessee (144 pounds), Haley Ward of Missouri (152 pounds), Shannon Workinger of Washington (164 pounds) and Ella Murphy of Tennessee (180 pounds).

The other two claiming crowns were Isabella Gonzales of California (117 pounds) and Alysse Phillips of California (225 pounds). Both athletes won their respective finals matches by pin.

The tournament continues with the youth divisions on Saturday and closes out with National Duals on Sunday. Fans can watch all the action live on FloWrestling with brackets available on Trackwrestling.

2022 GIRLS FOLKSTYLE NATIONALS

at Broadmoor World Arena (Colorado Springs) | March 18-20, 2022

Junior results

100 pounds
1st - Gigi Bragg (Michigan Revolution Wrestling Club) won by decision over Olivia DeGeorgio (Boneyard Wrestling Academy) (Dec 5-3)
3rd - Makenize Smith (Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES) won by decision over Rylee Balcazar (Fort Lupton Metro Wrestling Club) (Dec 11-6)
5th - Katey Valdez (Betterman Elite Wrestling) won by fall over Tenley Jones (North Summit Youth Wrestling Club) (Fall 0:58)
7th - Brenda Nunez (California) won by injury default over Sarahi Chavez (Oregon) (Inj. 3:00)

106 pounds
1st - Ava Ward (BullTrained Wrestling) won by major decision over Lita Cruz (Team Idaho Wrestling Club) (Maj 16-6)
3rd - Heather Crull (Northeastern Wrestling Club) won by decision over Clare Booe (Palm Harbor University High School Wrestling) (Dec 8-3)
5th - Alexsys Jacquez (Betterman Elite Wrestling) won by fall over Lorianna Piestewa (Stars and Stripes Wrestling Club) (Fall 2:25)
7th - Kaylee Annis (Thurston High School Wrestling) won by decision over Adriana Gomez (Arizona Girls Wrestling) (Dec 8-2)

112 pounds
1st - Jenavi Alejandro (Aniciete Training Club) won by fall over Skyla Zimmerman (Team Idaho Wrestling Club) (Fall 1:17)
3rd - Reanah Utterback (Sebolt Wrestling Academy) won by fall over Ella-Lina Gonzalez (Tennessee) (Fall 0:55)
5th - Janessa George (Chatfield Wrestling Club) won by decision over Leiannah Landreth (Mulvane Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-1)
7th - Adacelli Salaiz-Noriega (Arizona Girls Wrestling) won by major decision over Brooklyn Pace (Champions Wrestling Club) (Maj 10-2)

117 pounds
1st - Isabella Marie Gonzales (Wolf Den Wrestling Club) won by fall over Isabell Ortiz (Garden City Wrestling Club) (Fall 0:34)
3rd - Haley Vann (All-Phase Wrestling Club) won by fall over Phoebe Dowty (Indian Creek Wrestling Club) (Fall 0:51)
5th - Rian Grunwald (Minnesota Storm) won by fall over Jalynn Goodale (Iowa) (Fall 2:01)
7th - Bayley Trang (All American Wrestling Club) won by fall over Hope Horan (North Carolina) (Fall 1:45)

122 pounds
1st - Sofia Macaluso (New York) won by fall over Rose Kaplan (Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES) (Fall 1:00)
3rd - Julianna Morris (Connecticut) won by decision over Alyssa Ruiz (All American Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-0)
5th - Paige Chafin (Sweet Home High School Wrestling) won by fall over Chloe Herrick (Kobra Kai Training) (Fall 0:41)
7th - Haley Narahara (Hawaii) won by decision over Bianca Johnson (Ascend Wrestling Academy) (Dec 5-0)

127 pounds
1st - Shelby Moore (White River Hornets Wrestling Club) won by major decision over Ayana Medina (Hillsboro Mat Club) (Maj 10-2)
3rd - Celeste Detoles (Westlake Wrestling Club) won by fall over Karianne Baldwin (Ascend Wrestling Academy) (Fall 3:10)
5th - Luiza Nogueira (Birmingham Community Charter High School Wrestling) won by fall over Lainey Eckart (Hawaii) (Fall 0:32)
7th - Frankie Graham (Team Idaho Wrestling Club) won by fall over Leighanna Patz (Kansas) (Fall 4:06)

132 pounds
1st - Sarah Savidge (Betterman Elite Wrestling) won by decision over Lauren Walton (Carr Wrestling Academy) (Dec 5-2)
3rd - Esther Han (Bruin Wrestling Club) won by fall over Isis France (Arizona Girls Wrestling) (Fall 2:20)
5th - Piper Cadden (Thorobred Wrestling Club) won by decision over Alanna Haney (Washington) (Dec 6-4)
7th - Breaunnah Robles (Colorado) won by fall over Bridgette Sotomayor (Arizona Girls Wrestling) (Fall 2:44)

138 pounds
1st - Paige Wehrmeister (BullTrained Wrestling) won by fall over Gianna DiBenedetto (Swamp Monsters Wrestling Club) (Fall 1:30)
3rd - Princess Altsisi (Stout Wrestling Academy) won by decision over Amitria McNack (Missouri) (Dec 10-4)
5th - Brinley Green (RawTown Elite Wrestling Club) won by decision over Taylor Miess (Chatfield Wrestling Club) (Dec 2-0)
7th - Mariz Soliman (Team Quest Wrestling Club) won by fall over Alondra Morales (Ascend Wrestling Academy) (Fall 4:56)

144 pounds
1st - Maggie Graham (Bluff City Wrestling Club) won by fall over Isabella Mir (Gold Rush Wrestling) (Fall 5:58)
3rd - Aubrey Yauger (All American Wrestling Club) won by fall over Paityn Delong (Vermont) (Fall 0:53)
5th - Lizzie Shunn (Westlake Wrestling Club) won by fall over Brielle Brick (Cottage Grove Wrestling Club) (Fall 4:49)
7th - AshLynn Goodwin (Maize Wrestling Club) won by decision over Allyssa Johnson (Grand Forks Gladiators Wrestling Club) (Dec 5-3)

152 pounds
1st - Haley Ward (MO West Championship Wrestling Club) won by decision over Brooklyn Hays (Champions Wrestling Club) (Dec 8-2)
3rd - Piper Fowler (Higher Calling Wrestling Club) won in sudden victory - 1 over Lydia Krauss (Simmons Academy Of Wrestling) (SV-1 11-6)
5th - Anya Hatch (Utah) won by fall over Megan Stottsberry (California) (Fall 2:24)
7th - Sage Rosario (Kansas) won by decision over Zoey Smalley (Oregon) (Dec 7-0)

164 pounds
1st - Shannon Workinger (Ascend Wrestling Academy) won by decision over Ella Pagel (Minnesota) (Dec 3-0)
3rd - Amarisa Manuel (Michigan Revolution Wrestling Club) won by fall over Kaylee Ricketts (Nebraska) (Fall 3:33)
5th - Stella Steigler (Virginia Assassins Wrestling Club) won by decision over Jenna Joseph (Colorado) (Dec 4-0)
7th - Kimberly Carlin (Colorado) won by fall over Delise E Villa (San Fernando High School Wrestling) (Fall 0:55)

180 pounds
1st - Ella Murphey (Tennessee) won by fall over Cheyenne Ruiz (Utah) (Fall 5:26)
3rd - Kassidee Savaria (Montana) won by fall over Katelyn Lewis (Fox Valley Elite Wrestling Club) (Fall 4:36)
5th - Shenita Lawson (Trinity High School Wrestling) won by decision over Maggie Smith (Top Of The Rock Wrestling Club) (Dec 9-5)
7th - Aurellia Ramos (Champions Wrestling Club) won by fall over Maranda Bell (Kansas) (Fall 3:31)

200 pounds
1st - Madeline Welch (Texas) won by fall over Hannah Mariano (New Mexico) (Fall 4:47)
3rd - Riley Dempewolf (Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES) won by fall over Taylor Knox (Colorado) (Fall 1:43)
5th - Keilikki Nau Rarick (Team Pride Academy) won by fall over Kennedy Juarez (Texas) (Fall 0:18)
7th - Madison Parson (Squires of the Roundtable Wrestling Club) won by medical forfeit over Tirza Twoteeth (Montana)

225 pounds
1st - Alysse Phillips (California) won by fall over Kiara Ganey (Illinois) (Fall 3:21)
3rd - Leilani Sanchez (Montwood High School Wrestling) won by fall over Stefania Jaramillo (Knights Youth Wrestling) (Fall 2:25)
5th - Ciara Monger (Betterman Elite Wrestling) won by fall over Deonne Gonzalez Topete (Texas) (Fall 2:30)
7th - Karla Padilla Zepeda (Utah) won by medical forfeit over Erica Cobos (Montwood High School Wrestling) (MFF)

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