photo courtesy of Jeff Behsey; TheGuillotine.com
History was made on multiple fronts Wednesday afternoon in the Fargodome. The Outstanding Wrestler, Emily Shilson (Minnesota), captured her sixth stop sign in spectacular fashion. She only needed 68 seconds to rack up a 10-0 tech fall over the U16 national champion Faith Cole (Missouri). The title puts Shilson in exclusive company is only the second woman to win six combined titles (U16 and Juniors). Hawaii’s Teshya Alo was the first. Shilson also joins a group of 11 others (men and women) that have won at least six. The score of Shilson’s championship bout was identical to the score of her previous five matches at the tournament, 10-0.
Team Washington also had its share of history made, as well. They stopped California’s nine-year streak of Junior Women’s titles. Washington joined California and Texas as the third state to officially win a Junior Women’s championship (Michigan would have won in 2003 if team scores had been kept). California was also prevented from crowning a champion for the first time since 2004. The margin of victory for Washington was 12 points and 14 of their wrestlers earned All-American honors. In the 132 lb finals, a pair of Washington natives squared off and it was Kaylee Moore who prevailed over Viktorya Torres, 8-4. This was the third time that Kaylee has placed at the Junior level and her first championship.
Sage Mortimer (UT) and Kennedy Blades (IL) both won their second tournament of the week. Both earned championships at the Junior level after winning U16’s on Monday. Mortimer hit a spectacular headlock to win her championship in only 34 seconds. It was her second fall of the tournament. In Mortimer’s remaining four matches, she won by tech. Blades needed to knock off a returning double champion, Tristan Kelly (Colorado), to get into that status herself. Kennedy did not surrender a single point in her six matches, two of which ended by a fall and the other three were techs.
Texas came in third behind Washington and Colorado and won both of their finals matches. Both of their champions were able to repeat their championship performances from a year ago. First was Xochitl Mota-Pettis who earned her stop sign after registering a 14-1 tech fall. Gabrielle Holloway closed the tournament in style with a pin of Illinois’ Isabeau Shalack in 3:37.
Another Gabrielle put an exclamation point on her title with a pin in the finals. This one was Gabrielle Hamilton of Illinois. Hamilton fought off of her back early in the bout to get the fall herself.
After a subpar performance by their U16 team, the Hawaiian Juniors did excellently and finished four points behind Texas in fourth place. Hawaii was the only squad to push four wrestlers into the finals, two of which came away with titles. US Open champion Tiare Ikei won by fall over U16 champion Jennifer Soto 2:04. Kelani Corbett cruised to the 180 lb championship on the strength of an 8-0 victory. In five matches, Kelani outscored her competition 28-2 and was credited with two pins.
It was quite the day for the newly formed Augsburg women’s wrestling team. Three members of their first recruiting class came away with Junior national titles. They are Shilson, Moore, and Gabrielle Skidmore. Gabrielle prevailed 5-2 in a hard-fought, physical contest against Hawaii’s Nanea Estrella. The Hawaiian was in on a shot in the final seconds of the match and Skidmore was able to fend her off until just after the final whistle.
Pennsylvania was able to come through with two champions, Montana Delawder at 112 lbs and Tiffani Baublitz at 152. Delawder was the seventh seed in a deep 112 lb weight class. In the final minute of the match, Montana was able to score 5 unanswered points and pull away from Josie Bartishofski (Wisconsin), 9-3. Baublitz got on the scoreboard about 30 seconds into the match and never relinquished her lead, winning 4-2.
One of the most decorated women in the tournament without a Junior Championship, finally got over the hump when Alara Boyd (Indiana) won the 138 lb weight class with a 12-1 tech. After Boyd’s victory, the most exciting and competitive match of the finals took place. Alaska’s McKenzie Cook won 8-7 over Jerzie Estrada on the strength of an early 6-0 lead where she had almost pinned Estrada on multiple occasions. Jerzie made a late charge, but ultimately came up just short. For the third consecutive year, her tournament ended with a finals defeat.
Women’s Junior Final Results
100 lbs – Sage Mortimer (UT) over Rayan Sahagun (MI) Fall :34
106 lbs – Emily Shilson (MN) over Faith Cole (MO) 10-0
112 lbs – Montana Delawder (PA) over Josie Bartishofski (WI) 9-3
117 lbs – Tiare Ikei (HI) over Jennifer Soto (CA) Fall 2:04
122 lbs – Gabrielle Skidmore (WI) over Nanea Estrella (HI) 5-2
127 lbs – Xochitl Mota-Pettis (TX) over Lana Perez (HI) 14-1
132 lbs – Kaylee Moore (WA) over Viktorya Torres (WA) 8-4
138 lbs – Alara Boyd (IN) over Morgan Norris (NV) 12-1
144 lbs – McKenzie Cook (AK) over Jerzie Estrada (CO) 8-7
152 lbs – Tiffani Baublitz (PA) over Kiley Hubby (WA) 4-2
164 lbs – Kennedy Blades (IL) over Tristan Kelly (CO) 10-0
180 lbs – Kelani Corbett (HI) over Elisa Robinsson (KS) 8-0
200 lbs – Gabrielle Hamilton (IL) over Angela Buenrrostro (CA) Fall 1:33
225 lbs – Gabrielle Holloway (TX) over Isabeau Shalack (IL) Fall 3:37