photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan; UWW
The second half of the women’s freestyle team took the mat today at the Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. As expected the standout of the squad was Macey Kilty, a silver medalist at the tournament in 2018. Kilty has already booked a spot in the finals for a second consecutive season, but is looking to improve upon her 2018 podium finish, by one place. This morning the Wisconsin native got her tournament started with a 10-0 win on technical superiority over Spain’s Nerea Pampin Blanco. After a slow start in the quarterfinals against Wiktoria Choluj (Poland), Kilty managed to pull away in the second period for a 12-1 tech. The second period wasn’t necessary for Macey in the semis as she took down Hanna Sadchanka (Belarus) and earned a set of exposure points before corralling Sadchanka for the fall. It will be a colossal showdown in tomorrow’s 65 kg finals as Kilty will face off with Miwa Morikawa (Japan) a returning Junior World bronze medalist and a U23 World silver medalist from 2018. Last year the two were in the same 68 kg Junior weight class but were on opposite sides of the bracket.
The only woman on Thursday that was wrestling for a medal was another Wisconsin native, Jayden Laurent at 68 kg. Unfortunately for Laurent, she had to face two-time Junior World Champion Khanum Velieva of Russia, who was upset in the Round of 16 by the same opponent that defeated Jayden, Meerim Zhumanazarova (Kyrgyzstan). Velieva ended up cruising to a 9-1 decision and claimed the bronze medal. She is also the Russian that defeated Kilty in the 2018 Junior finals.
A bright spot for the women’s team is that all five of today’s competitors were able to advance to the quarterfinals. Along with Kilty, the only other semifinalist of the group was 72 kg’er Alyvia Fiske. The rising junior at Simon Fraser posted a 10-0 tech over Germany’s Johanna Meier in the quarters. In the semi’s, Fiske was cradled by Japan’s Yuka Kagami in the first period and pinned. Fiske will take on the winner of Romania’s Maria Nitu and Anastasiya Alpyeyeva of Ukraine for the bronze medal.
The other US woman that advanced to the repechage on Friday was Cameron Guerin at 57 kg. Guerin controlled Ana Pereira Franca (Brazil) 9-3 in her opening match. Next up was a bout with Ukraine’s Alina Akobiia, where Guerin scored the first points but ended up losing by fall in the first period. Akobiia ended up winning by tech in the semi’s which kept Cameron’s medal hopes alive. She will face Youmei Wu (China) in the repechage round, with the winner getting a shot at the bronze medal.
Gracie Figueroa started the day off for the American women with a hard-fought 6-3 win over Rahime Ari of Turkey in the Round of 16. Though she jumped out to an early lead in the quarters against Mariia Tiumerekova (Russia), Figueroa would end up falling 8-5.
Also in action was Alara Boyd at 62 kg. Boyd fell behind early against Irina Kuznetsova (Kazakhstan) but managed to counter a throw attempt from Kuznetsova, which resulted in a fall for the American. In her quarterfinal match, Boyd was not able to generate any offense and was teched by Irina Ringaci (Moldova). Both Figueroa and Boyd’s quarterfinal opponents were upended in the semi’s which dashed any medal hopes for the two.
American draws for day one of Greco action
55 kg: Dylan Ragusin vs. Mukremin Aktas (Turkey)
63 kg: Alston Nutter vs. Zaur Nuriyev (Azerbaijan)
77 kg: Jack Ervien vs. Sajan Sajan (India)
87 kg: Cameron Caffey vs. Ilia Ermolenko (Russia)
130 kg: Cohlton Schultz vs. Dariusz Vitek (Hungary)