NewsUSA WrestlingWomenHigh School & YouthUSAW

Ward and Perry win their pool on day one of U17 action at the Klippan Lady Open in Sweden

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Sydney Perry (USA) competing in the 2022 Pan American U17 Championships.
Sydney Perry (USA), shown at the 2022 U17 Pan American Championships, won her first two bouts at the Klippan Lady Open today. United World Wrestling photo.

KLIPPAN, Sweden - Team USA entered three talented high school stars in the U17 event at the Klippan Lady Open: Ava Ward of Missouri at 49 kg, Sydney Perry of Illinois at 65 kg and Skylar Little Soldier of Minnesota at 65 kg.

Ward opened with a pair of 10-0 technical falls to capture Pool A at 49 kg, putting away Stella Orensztajn of Sweden and Tilla Vangstein of Norway. Ward will advance to the medal rounds on Saturday morning, with the opponent to be determined.

Ward was a 2021 U17 World bronze medalist and a 2022 U17 Pan American champion.

Perry has also clinched first place in Pool A at 65 kg, winning both of her Friday matches by decision. She stopped Tilda Wanngard of Sweden, 9-4, then stopped Charlotte Biclot of France, 5-4. Perry will also be in the medal rounds, with an opponent to be determined.

Perry was a 2022 Pan American U17 silver medalist and was fifth in the 2022 U17 Worlds.

Little Soldier was eliminated after a pair of losses in Pool B at 65 kg. She opened with a 4-0 loss to Yurina Honda of Japan, then was pinned in 1:25 by Wilma Hoffman of Sweden. Little Soldier will not advance to a medal match, and will place eighth in the final standings.

Little Soldier was a 2022 Pan American U17 silver medalist.

All three are among the highest ranked high school wrestlers in the nation, with Perry (No. 2 at 144), Ward (No. 2 at 117) and Little Soldier (No. 3 at 144) based on the February National Girls High School Rankings which were released today.

The U17 division completes on Saturday morning, with both Ward and Perry still capable of going on to win a gold medal.

The Senior division will start competition on Saturday afternoon. The United States has entered 10 athletes in the Senior division, all who are young talents who are still also U20 eligible. The Senior division competition will continue on Sunday with medal rounds.


At Klippan, Sweden, Feb. 17

U.S. U17 women’s freestyle results

49 kg - Ava Ward, Centralia, Mo.

WIN Stella Orensztajn (Sweden), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Tilla Vangstein (Norway), tech. fall 10-0

65 kg - Sydney Perry, Batavia, Ill.

WIN Tilda Wanngard (Sweden), 9-4

WIN Charlotte Biclot (France), 5-4

65 kg - Skylar Little Soldier, Welch, Minn.,eliminated/8th place

LOSS Yurina Honda (Japan), 4-0

LOSS Wilma Hoffman (Sweden) pin 1:25

U.S. Senior women’s freestyle wrestlers (draws not yet available)

50 kg - Genesis Cejudo, Phoenix, Colo.

53 kg - Elena Ivaldi, Newcastle, Calif.

53 kg - Estrella Dorado Marin. Colorado Springs, Colo.

55 kg - Shelby Moore, Buckley, Wash.

62 kg - Skylar Hattendorf, Hookset, N.H.

62 kg - Ella Schmit, Bettandorf, Iowa

65 kg - Elleni Johnson, West Jordan, Utah

68 kg - Chloe Ogden, Geneva, Fla.

72 kg - Rose Cassioppi, Roscoe, Ill.

76 kg - Tristan Kelly, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Note: These U.S. wrestlers are also U20 age-eligible.

Remaining Event Schedule

(local time is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time)

Saturday, February 18

9:00 a.m. – U17 competition through finals

1:00 p.m. – Senior competition Session I

5:00 p.m. – Senior competition Session II

Sunday, February 19

10:00 a.m. – Senior competition Session III

1:00 p.m. – Senior Finals