2023 Final X - Newark

Women's Freestyle Veterans Prevail Over Youth At Final X

Women's Freestyle Veterans Prevail Over Youth At Final X

Nine of 10 women's freestyle World team spots are set following a memorable Final X in Newark, New Jersey.

Jun 11, 2023 by Kyle Klingman
Women's Freestyle Veterans Prevail Over Youth At Final X

There was talk of a youth movement at this year’s Final X in Newark, New Jersey. Five participants were teenagers, and only Amit Elor had made a previous senior-level World team.

The future is bright for the United States in women’s freestyle wrestling, but a tough group of veterans told the next generation that 2023 is not their time. Six of our current nine-member World team have won medals at the Worlds or the Olympics. The remaining three wrestlers — Jennifer Page, Macey Kilty, and Emma Bruntil — are established senior-level wrestlers who have been on the cusp of making teams before. 

Four-time World and Olympic champion Helen Maroulis delayed her 57-kilogram Final X series with Xochitl Mota-Pettis, so, if she wins, there could be another experienced wrestler in the mix. 

That’s good news for the United States after last year’s second-place World Championship performance that included seven medalists (three gold, two silver, and two bronze). This team already has 15 combined World/Olympic medals, and that will only increase after the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on September 16-24. 

Below are five Final X takeaways along with our current World team and Final X results

Adeline Gray Is A Mental Monster

Is it possible that six-time World champion Adeline Gray is wrestling better than ever at the age of 32 after giving birth to twins 10 months prior? Not only is it possible — it’s true. 

Gray made most of her previous World and Olympic teams with relative ease, but she’s never faced a domestic field like this. Seven active 76-kilogram wrestlers have reached Final X at least once, while two of the wrestlers — teenage stars Kylie Welker and Kennedy Blades — are age-level World champions. 

Surviving seemed unlikely following a shaky US Open performance. Gray fell behind Dymond Guilford 8-0 in the semifinals before storming back to win by disqualification. She was teched 12-2 by Blades in the finals, which appeared to be the passing of the torch. 

That torch returned to Gray when she pinned Skylar Grote and teched Welker and Guilford to win the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Blades was a formidable Final X opponent, but Gray proved why she’s an all-time great.

She fell behind 5-4 in match one but scored two on a late takedown and a lost challenge to win, 7-5. Gray was behind in match two but stayed poised and eventually earned a fall with a bar arm to make her 10th World team. There’s no telling what she will do in Belgrade. 

Watch the match that earned Gray her 10th World/Olympic team

At Last!

Macey Kilty is only 22, but she has been on the cusp of making World teams before. The 2018 Cadet World champion split with Kayla Miracle at the 2020 Olympic Trials but defaulted with a shoulder injury within the first 32 seconds of their deciding third match. Kilty reached the 2022 World Team Trials Challenge tournament finals against Jennifer Page but defaulted after 31 seconds due to the same shoulder injury. 

The Stratford, Wisconsin, native moved up to 65 kg and defeated two-time World bronze medalist Mallory Velte in straight matches. Kilty reached Final X by defeating Emma Bruntil in the US Open finals, which forced her to move up to 68 kilograms. 

Bruntil, 24, looks sharper than ever in her new weight class. She dominated the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament and defeated 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari in a tough Final X series that went three matches. This was their seventh meeting after facing off four previous times.

Losing in the US Open finals worked in Jennifer Page’s favor, too. She fell to Adaugo Nwachukwu at 62 kilograms before moving down to 59 for the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, where she dominated the field. 

Page, 30, earned a pair of 11-0 techs over Michaela Beck to make her first World team. 

Amit Elor Is A 19-year-old Veteran

Elor made history in 2022 by winning a U20, U23, and Senior World title in the same year. Oh, by the way, she was only 18 when she did it. She will attempt the hat trick again in 2023 after qualifying for all three tournaments. Her wins over Joye Levendusky at Final X earned her a spot on the U23 and Senior World teams. 


Hear from 19-year-old Amit Elor after making her second senior World team

U23 World Team Is Set

Audrey Jimenez, Katie Gomez, Alisha Howk, Michaela Beck, and Kennedy Blades lost their Final X series but get to compete at the U23 World Championships in Tampere, Finland on October 23-29. Our U23 World team is officially set now after Elor defeated Levendusky, who was also U23 eligible. 

U23 World team
50 kg: Audrey Jimenez
53 kg: Katie Gomez
55 kg: Alisha Howk
57 kg: Xochitl Mota-Pettis
59 kg: Michaela Beck
62 kg: Adaugo Nwachukwu
65 kg: Macey Kilty
68 kg: Katerina Lange
72 kg: Amit Elor
76 kg: Kennedy Blades

Domination Was A Theme

Ten of the 19 women’s matches ended in shutouts. Sarah Hildebrandt, Dominique Parrish, Jacarra Winchester, Jennifer Page, and Amit Elor didn’t surrender a point, while Kayla Miracle outscored Adaugo Nwachukwu, 16-4, over two matches. The only series that went three matches was between Emma Bruntil and Forrest Molinari. 

2023 World Team

50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt
53 kg: Dominique Parrish
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester
57 kg: Helen Maroulis or Xochitl Mota-Pettis+
59 kg: Jennifer Page
62 kg: Kayla Miracle
65 kg: Macey Kilty
68 kg: Emma Bruntil
72 kg: Amit Elor
76 kg: Adeline Gray

Final X Series Results

50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt over Audrey Jimenez, two matches to none

Match One: Hildebrandt over Jimenez, 8-0

Match Two: Hildebrandt tech Jimenez, 11-0

53 kg: Dominique Parrish over Katie Gomez, two matches to none

Match One: Parrish pin Gomez, 1:54

Match Two: Parrish over Gomez, 5-0

55 kg: Jacarra Winchester over Alisha Howk, two matches to none

Match One: Winchester tech Howk, 10-0

Match Two: Winchester tech Howk, 11-0

59 kg: Jennifer Page vs. Michaela Beck, two matches to none 

Match One: Page tech Beck, 11-0

Bout Two: Page tech Beck, 11-0

62 kg: Kayla Miracle over Adaugo Nwachukwu, two matches to none

Bout One: Miracle over Nwachukwu, 6-1

Bout Two: Miracle over Nwachukwu, 10-3

65 kg: Macey Kilty over Mallory Velte, two matches to none

Bout One: Kilty pin Velte, 5:50

Bout Two: Kilty over Velte, 6-5

68 kg: Emma Bruntil over Forrest Molinari, two matches to one

Bout One: Bruntil over Molinari, 6-3

Bout Two: Molinari over Bruntil, 3-2

Bout Three: Bruntil over Molinari, 3-2

72 kg: Amit Elor over Joye Levendusky, two matches to none

Bout One: Elor tech Levendusky, 10-0

Bout Two: Elor tech Levendusky, 10-0

76 kg: Adeline Gray over Kennedy Blades, two matches to none

Bout One: Gray dec. Blades, 7-5

Bout Two: Gray pin Blades, 4:38