72 kg U23 Women’s Freestyle World Team Member Kennedy Blades (Illinois). Photo courtesy of Kadir Caliskan/UWW.
Official release courtesy of Taylor Miller/USA Wrestling.
Wrapping up an exciting weekend of competition at the 2021 Women’s Nationals in Irving, Texas, the U.S. U23 women’s freestyle team is set with 10 ladies snagging spots on Sunday afternoon.
The winners at the 10 U23 weight classes will represent the USA at the 2021 U23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, on Nov. 1-7.
Making the team was Emily Shilson (50 kg), Ronna Heaton (53 kg), Alex Hedrick (55 kg), Cheyenne Sisenstein (57 kg), Michaela Beck (59 kg), Emma Bruntil (62 kg), Ashlynn Ortega (65 kg), Alyvia Fiske (68 kg), Kennedy Blades (72 kg) and Kylie Welker (76 kg).
Shilson, Blades and Welker each made their second World Teams of the weekend as they also secured spots on the 2021 Junior World Team at the same weights. Shilson and Welker carry Cadet World medals into the summer with Shilson holding a 2018 gold and 2017 silver, while Welker won a bronze in 2019. Heaton joins them as a returning World medalist, owning a 2015 gold and a 2016 silver at the Cadet level.
This summer will mark Blades’ second and third World Championships run. Also returning to World stage is Hedrick, Beck, Ortega and Fiske. Hedrick and Fiske were on the 2018 and 2019 Junior World Teams, and Beck joined them on the 2019 squad. Ortega’s last World Championship appearance was the 2016 Cadet Worlds.
En route to making the team, Shilson, Ortega and Blades defeated World medalists in the best-of-three finals. At 50 kg, Shilson upended 2015 Cadet World silver and 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Alleida Martinez for the spot. Ortega battled hard against 2017 Cadet World silver and 2016 Cadet World bronze winner Alara Boyd, who won the 2021 Junior World Team spot earlier this weekend. At 72 kg, Blades dominated 2015 Cadet World bronze medalist Kayla Marano with a pair of technical falls.
Newcomers to the World Team include Sisenstein and Bruntil, who are both college stars at King University and McKendree University, respectively.
Find the complete results to this weekend’s event on FloWrestling.org.
50 kg: Emily Shilson (MN) df. Alleida Martinez (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Shilson df. Martinez, 12-2
Round 2 – Shilson df. Martinez, fall 3:19
53 kg: Ronna Heaton (WI) df. Alisha Howk (WI), two matches to none
Round 1 – Heaton df. Howk, 5-3
Round 2 – Heaton df. Howk, 1-1
55 kg: Alex Hedrick (CA) df. Sophia Mirabella (NY), two matches to none
Round 1 – Hedrick df. Mirabella, 10-1
Round 2 – Hedrick df. Mirabella, 8-0
57 kg: Cheyenne Sisenstein (NY) df. Amanda Martinez (IL), two matches to none
Round 1 – Martinez df. Sisenstein, 10-10
Round 2 – Sisenstein df. Martinez, fall 2:09
Round 3 – Sisenstein df. Martinez, 7-5
59 kg: Michaela Beck (NY) df. Brenda Reyna (WA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Beck df. Reyna, 5-0
Round 2 – Beck df. Reyna, 6-0
62 kg: Emma Bruntil (WA) df. Ana Luciano (FL), two matches to none
Round 1 – Bruntil df. Luciano, 3-0
Round 2 – Bruntil df. Luciano, 2-1
65 kg: Ashlynn Ortega (CO) df. Alara Boyd (IN), two matches to none
Round 1 – Ortega df. Boyd, 4-3
Round 2 – Ortega df. Boyd, 4-1
68 kg: Alyvia Fiske (CA) vs. Tiyahna Askew (GA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Fiske df. Askew, 10-0
Round 2 – Fiske df. Askew, 7-2
72 kg: Kennedy Blades (IL) df. Kayla Marano (GA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Blades df. Marano, 15-4
Round 2 – Blades df. Marano, 14-3
76 kg: Kylie Welker (WI) df. Yelena Makoyed (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Makoyed df. Welker, 7-2
Round 2 – Welker df. Makoyed, 3-2
Round 3 – Welker df. Makoyed, fall 5:37