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Molinari, Grote win women’s golds at Pan American Championships, as Team USA adds six medals

by Adam Engel, Special to

Forrest Molinari of the USA works in par terre at the 2022 Pan American Championships. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

ACAPULCO, Mexico — The United States won two women’s freestyle gold medals and a silver medal on day two of the Pan American Championships.

At 65 kg, 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari continued to punish opponents with her leg lace. Using her lace to lead 8-0, Molinari worked an arm bar to flatten Canada’s Miki Rowbottom for a fall at 2:25. Molinari collected her second career Pan-American gold medal.

Skylar Grote continued her offensive outburst with a first period 10-0 technical fall over Mexico’s Maria Garcia Bautista at 72 kg. After her final takedown, Grote pumped her first in a nonchalant manner to celebrate her first Senior Pan-American gold medal.

2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester allowed a late takedown to Canada’s Karla Godinez Gonzales to receive a silver medal at 55 kg. Godinez was fifth in the 2019 U23 World Championships.

Winchester scored a blast takedown for an early first-period score. Twenty seconds into the second period, Godinez connected on a single leg and flung Winchester to the mat for a 4-2 lead. Tied at 5-5 with 10 seconds remaining, Godinez evaded a shot and circled behind for the gold-medal winning takedown. After a challenge was reviewed, the takedown remained.

Xochitl Mota-Pettis claimed a bronze medal in a three-person 59 kg bracket. Her two matches, both losses, were held during the first session of competition.

On the men’s side, two U.S. Greco-Roman athletes claimed bronze medals.

At 77 kg, RaVaughn Perkins defeated Mexico’s Emmanuel Benitez Castro 3-2. Castro carried a 2-0 lead into the break. In a flurry of motion in the second period, Perkins originally scored a four-point throw. Benitezchallenged the call. Upon review, Perkins four points were negated. Trailing by one with 30 seconds remaining, Perkins scored the eventual bout-winning takedown on the edge of the mat. This is Perkins’ third Pan-American medal.

Tyler Cunningham defeated Colombia’s Nestor Tafur via disqualification for the second time Friday. In Cunningham’s second round robin bout this morning, Taffur committed three cautions. In the bronze medal rematch on Friday afternoon, Tafur was disqualified again after a second leg foul.

The United States claimed the Pan American Greco-Roman team title with 165 points, ahead of runner-up Mexico with 148 points and third place Cuba with 101 points. The USA finished with four champions and three bronze medalists.

The men’s freestyle competition begins Saturday with the 79 and 92 kg weight classes while the women’s competiton will conclude with six more weight classes. Sessions are at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time, which is the same as U.S. Central Time. All of the action is on FloWrestling.

Pan American Championships

At Acapulco, Mexico, May 6, 2022

Women’s freestyle medalists

55 kg:

Gold — Karla Godinez Gonzales (Canada)

Silver — Jacarra Winchester (USA)

Bronze — Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador)

59 kg:

Gold — Laurence Beauregard (Canada)

Silver — Ameyali Jessel (Mexico)

Bronze ¬— Xochitl Mota-Pettis (USA)

65 kg:

Gold — Forrest Molinari (USA)

Silver — Miki Rowbottom (Canada)

Bronze — Atzima Landaverde Moreno (Mexico)

72 kg:

Gold — Skylar Grote (USA)

Silver — Brenda Aguiar Dos Santos (Brazil)

Bronze — Maria Garcia Bautista

U.S. women’s freestyle performances

55 kg: Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/Cowboy RTC/Titan Mercury WC), silver medal

Group A opponents

WIN Nadia Trujilano La Rosa (Peru), fall, 10-0, 1:26

WIN Lisily Lima Da Silva (Brazil), forfeit

Semifinal: WIN Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador), tech. fall, 11-0, 2:25

Gold medal — LOSS Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 8-3

65 kg: Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids), gold medal

Round Robin

WIN Saidy Chavez Figueroa (Honduras), tech. fall, 10-0, 2:37

WIN Atzimba Landaverde Moreno (Mexico), tech. fall, 10-0, 2:12

WIN Miki Rowbottom (Canada), fall, 8-0, 2:25

72 kg: Skylar Grote (Beaver Dam RTC/New York AC), gold medal

WIN Brenda Aguiar Dos Santos (Brazil), tech. fall, 10-0, 0:40

WIN Taylor Follensbee (Canada), forfeit

WIN vs. Maria Garcia Bautista (Mexico), tech fall, 10-0, 2:37

Greco-Roman medalists

77 kg:

Gold — Yosvanys Pena Flores (Cuba)

Silver: David Choc Huoc (Guatemala)

Bronze — RaVaughn Perkins (USA)

Bronze - Joilson De Brito (Brazil)

82 kg:

Gold — Daniel Vicente Gomez (Mexico)

Silver — Reinier Jimenez (Guatemala)

Bronze — Tyler Cunningham (USA)

87 kg:

Gold — Daniel Gregorich (Cuba)

Silver — Johan Batista (Dominican Republic)

Bronze — Alfonso Leyva (Mexico)

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

77 kg: RaVaughn Perkins (USOPTC/New York AC), bronze medal

Qualifying: WIN Jerome Hoyte (Barbados), fall, 8-0, 1:02

Quarterfinals: WIN Jair Cuero Munoz (Colombia), 8-3

Semifinals: LOSS Yosvanys Pena Flores (Cuba). 4-1

Bronze medal — WIN Emmanuel Benitez Castro (Mexico), 3-2

82 kg: Tyler Cunningham (MWC Academy), bronze medal

Round Robin

WIN Brayden Ambo (Canada), fall, 8-1, 2:08

WIN Nestor Tafur Barrios (Colombia), disq., 2:12

Semifinal: LOSS Daniel Vicente Gomez (Mexico), 7-6

Bronze medal — WIN Nestor Tafur Barrios (Colombia), disq. 1:56

87 kg: Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm), 8th place

Quarterfinal: LOSS Carlos Munoz Jaramillo (Colombia)

Pan American Greco-Roman team standings

No. 1: U.S. — 165 points

No. 2: Mexico — 148

No. 3: Cuba — 101

No. 4: Colombia — 89

No. 5: Brazil — 83

No. 6: Dominican Republic — 81

No. 7: Guatemala — 71

No. 8: Honduras — 60

No. 9: Chile — 43

No. 10: Peru — 38

No. 11: Canada — 22

No. 12: Panama — 16

No. 13: Ecuador — 14

No. 14: Argentina — 10

No. 14: Puerto Rico — 10

No. 16: Barbados — 2

No. 16: Paraguay —2

U.S. women’s freestyle draws for Saturday

50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/New York AC)

Vs. winner of Shammika Miranda Diaz (Puerto Rico) and Margariata Gonzalez Grez (Chile)

Miranda – 2019 Pan Am U15 champion

Gonzalez – 5th 2017 South American Cadet Games

53 kg: Dom Parrish (Sunkist Kids)

Vs. winner of Karla Acosta Martinez (Mexico) and Lourdes Grenno Maune (Paraguay)

Acosta – 2nd 2018 Pan Am Junior Championships

Grenno – no information

57 kg: Cameron Guerin (Titan Mercury WC)

Antonia Valdes Arria (Chile) – 5th in 2021 Pan American Junior Games

62 kg: Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids)

Vs. winner of Gloria Segura Febles (Dominican Republic) and Yolanda Cordero Vargas (Cuba)

Segura – 3rd 2021 Pan American Junior Games

Cordero – 2nd 2021 Pan American Junior Games, 2021 Pan American Junior champion

68 kg: Alara Boyd (McKendree Bearcat WC)

Vs. Yessica Oviedo Perez (Dominican Republic) – 2nd in 2013, 2017 and 2021 Pan Am Championships,

76 kg: Dymond Guilford (USOPTC/Titan Mercury WC)

Vs. Ruthy Pinhal Dos Santos (Brazil) – 8th 2018 Pan Am Championships

U.S. men’s freestyle draws for Saturday

79 kg: Jordan Burroughs (Pennsylvania RTC/Sunkist Kids)

Round robin

Samuel Barmish (Canada) – 3rd 2021 Pan Am Championships, 2nd 2017 Maccabiah Games

Miguel Ornelas Reynoso (Mexico) – 3rd 2018 Pan Am Junior Championships

Juan Sebastian Rivera Garcia (Colombia) – 5th 2021 Pan Am Championships

Victor Santos Acosta (Puerto Rico) – no information

92 kg: J’den Cox (Michigan RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

Round robin

Jeremy Poirier (Canada) – 8th 2021 World Championships, 2nd 2021 Pan Am Championships

Gilberto Ayala Rodriguez (Venezuela) – 4th 2021 Pan Am Championships

Cristian Sanchez Hernandez (Mexico) – 2nd 216 Pan Am U15 Championships