Women's International Wrestling

Meet Your Women’s Freestyle Junior World Team

Photo and release courtesy of Taylor Miller/USA Wrestling. 

The U.S. Junior World Team in women’s freestyle is set with 10 impressive athletes after an entertaining finals session on Friday night at the 2021 Women’s Nationals in Irving, Texas.

The winners at the 10 weights will represent the USA at the 2021 Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia, Aug. 16-22. Runners-up will wrestle for the USA at the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships in Oaxtepec, Mexico, June 9-13.

At 50 kg, Emily Shilson made her fourth age-group World Team, defeating Pan American champion Samara Chavez in two-straight matches for the spot. Both wins came by fall in the second period.

Shilson is a 2018 Cadet World champion, a 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion and a 2017 Cadet World silver medalist. She was also on the 2019 U23 World Team.

Tiare Ikei won the crown at 53 kg. She returns to the World stage for the first time since 2018, when she won Cadet World bronze medal.

To earn the spot, Ikei defeated Jaslynn Gallegos of Colorado in two dominant matches, winning with a 10-0 tech fall in the first round and a pin in 2:48 in the second round.

Payton Stroud heads to Russia as the U.S. representative at 55 kg. She took out Amani Jones in two matches, 14-3 and 10-6.

En route to the finals, Stroud won three-straight matches by technical fall, giving up only one point in the challenge tournament.

Representing the USA at 62 kg is Korina Blades, a 2019 U15 World champion, who is still Cadet-eligible. Korina downed Aliyah Yates with two impressive wins, claiming a 10-0 and 12-1 victory.

Amit Elor put together an impressive day, winning the World spot at 68 kg and receiving the Outstanding Wrestler honor.

Elor stopped 2018 Cadet World Team member Cheyenne Bowman with two commanding wins , including a first-period fall in the first round and a quick 10-0 tech in the second round.

On the day, Elor went 6-0, recording four technical falls and two pins. She didn’t give up a single point all day.

At 72 kg, Olympic Team Trials runner-up Kennedy Blades earned the spot with wins by forfeit over 2019 Cadet World Team member Lillian Freitas.

This is Kennedy’s second World Team. She was on the 2019 Cadet World Team.

Another Olympic Team Trials runner-up was in the field, Kylie Welker, who competed at 76 kg. Welker, who is a 2019 Cadet World bronze medalist, defeated Yelena Makoyed in two matches, including a fall in 1:17 and a 13-2 tech fall.

Three weights went to three matches in the championship series, 57 kg, 59 kg and 65 kg.

At 57 kg, Claire DiCugno lost her first match in the finals series to 2019 U15 World champion Jennifer Soto. DiCugno bounced back, winning the next two matches by tech fall, 11-0 and 11-1, respectively, to make her first international team.

Earning the spot at 59 kg is Pan American champion Mia Macaluso of New York, who bookended the finals series with wins over London Houston.

Macaluso won the first bout by pin but Houston stormed back with a tech fall in the second period. Macaluso wrapped up the three-match series with another pin.

2017 Cadet World silver medalist Alara Boyd heads back to the World stage, making the team at 65 kg.

In the finals, she dropped the first match to Katerina Lange, but came back so win the next two matches, 4-3 and 11-1.

The tournament continues tomorrow with the Cadet World Team Trials and the 10U and 14U competition. Wrestling begins at 9 am CT on FloWrestling.

Finals results
50 kg: Emily Shilson (MN) df. Samara Chavez (TX), two matches to none
Round 1 – Shilson df. Chavez, fall 4:04
Round 2 – Shilson df. Chavez, fall 5:04

53 kg: Tiare Ikei (CO) df. Jaslynn Gallegos (CO), two matches to none
Round 1 – Ikei df. Gallegos, 10-0
Round 2 – Ikei df. Gallegos, fall 2:48

55 kg: Payton Stroud (WA) df. Amani Jones (GA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Stroud df. Jones, 14-3
Round 2 – Stroud df. Jones, 10-6

57 kg: Claire DiCugno (WA) df. Jennifer Soto (CA), two matches to one
Round 1 – Soto df. DiCugno, 7-4
Round 2 – DiCugno df. Soto, 11-0
Round 3 – DiCugno df. Soto, 11-1

59 kg: Mia Macaluso (NY) df. London Houston (WA), two matches to one
Round 1 – Macaluso df. Houston, fall 2:13
Round 2 – Houston df. Macaluso, 14-4
Round 3 – Macaluso df. Houston, fall 5:41

62 kg: Korina Blades (IL) df. Aliyah Yates (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Blades df. Yates, 10-0
Round 2 – Blades df. Yates, 12-1

65 kg: Alara Boyd (IN) vs. Katerina Lange (MN), two matches to one
Round 1 – Lange df. Boyd, fall 0:32
Round 2 – Boyd df. Lange, 4-3
Round 3 – Boyd df. Lange, 11-1

68 kg: Amit Elor (CA) vs. Cheyenne Bowman (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Elor df. Bowman, fall 1:30
Round 2 – Elor df. Bowman, 10-0

72 kg: Kennedy Blades (IL) df. Lillian Freitas (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Blades df. Freitas, win by forfeit
Round 2- Blades df. Freitas, win by forfeit

76 kg: Kylie Welker (WI) df. Yelena Makoyed (CA), two matches to none
Round 1 – Welker df. Makoyed, fall 1:17
Round 2 – Welker df. Makoyed, 13-2

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