Women's Weekly

Women's Weekly: Nationals And Pan-Ams

Women's Weekly: Nationals And Pan-Ams

World teams are on the line as the best wrestlers in America competed in Las Vegas and in Forth Worth over the past two weekends.

May 12, 2022 by Kyle Klingman
Women's Weekly: Nationals And Pan-Ams

2022 Women’s Nationals

The Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, hosted one of the biggest women’s wrestling tournaments in the country over Mother’s Day weekend. Women’s Nationals set the stage for the upcoming age-level World Championships later this year. 

Winners of the U17 (Cadet) and U20 (Junior) divisions will represent the United States in their respective weight classes at Worlds while the U23 team is yet to be determined. 

The highest-ranked, age-eligible athlete from the 2022 Senior Women’s Freestyle National Team will represent the United States at the U23 World Championships if she chooses to take the spot. If a wrestler on the National Team does not meet the age requirements then the winner of the U23 Nationals will represent the United States.

That means three-time age-level World champion Emily Shilson — who was defeated in the 50-kilogram semifinals at U23 Nationals to eventual winner Nyla Valencia — can still make the U23 World Team if she places in the top three at the Senior World Team Trials and another age-eligible athlete does place higher than her. The winner of the U23 National Championship will be offered an overseas tour for winning the tournament even if she does not make the team. 

Five Takeaways

— After Audrey Jimenez made the 50 kg U20 World team on Saturday, she began competing in the U17 National tournament at 49 kg — approximately 2.2 pounds lower — as soon as she won her best-of-three series. That means Jimenez weighed one kilogram lower than necessary during the U20 tournament and made the U17 team the following day. She won six matches in each tournament to go 12-0 on the weekend. 

— Amit Elor won Cadet and Junior World titles last year and will have a shot at three 72-kilogram World titles this year. She made the U20 team by winning all six of her matches with falls or technical superiorities in the first period. She also won the U23 tournament, so she has a shot at making that team and the Senior World Team in a few days.

— Katie Gomez, a 2021 Cadet World champion, made a U20 World team at 53 kg — then she flew home for prom. “I have to catch my flight,” Gomez said during her post-match interview. “I have my prom right now. Unfortunately, it was on the same day but I had to make a Junior World team. It worked out perfect.”


Katie Gomez after she won U20 Nationals

— Nanea Estrella will still be the #1 seed at 59 kilograms during the upcoming Senior World Team Trials even though she did not win U20 or U23 Nationals. She reached the finals of the U20 tournament but dropped straight matches to Savannah Cosme. Estrella won the US Open the previous week, which guaranteed her the top seed in Coralville. 

— Iowa Wesleyan freshman Adaugo Nwachukwu had never heard of wrestling four years ago. Now, she will represent the United States at the U20 World Championships. Nwachukwu lost her first match in the best-of-three finals series, 16-11, to judo specialist Skylar Hattendorf, but won by technical superiority in her next two matches to make the 62-kg U20 World team. She also won an NAIA championship in March before placing third at the US Open the previous weekend. 

2022 U20 National champions and World Team

50 kg: Audrey Jimenez

53 kg: Katie Gomez

55 kg: Adriana Dorado Marin

57 kg: Sofia Macaluso

59 kg: Savannah Cosme

62 kg: Adaugo Nwachukwu

65 kg: Reese Larramendy

68 kg: Destiny Rodriguez

72 kg: Amit Elor

76 kg: Tristan Kelly

Members of the U20 World team (missing: Katie Gomez)

2022 U17 National champions and World Team

40 kg: Megan Valdez

43 kg: Erica Pastoriza

46 kg: Gabriella Gomez

49 kg: Audrey Jimenez

53 kg: Elena Ivaldi

57 kg: Shelby Moore

61 kg: Valerie Hamilton

65 kg: Lizzie Shunn

69 kg: Jasmine Robinson

73 kg: Amarisa Manuel

Members of the U17 World team with USA Wrestling developmental coach Jessica Medina

2022 U23 National champions

50 kg: Nyla Valencia

53 kg: Felicity Taylor

55 kg: Alisha Howk

57 kg: Nichole Moore

59 kg: Brenda Reyna

62 kg: Macey Kilty

65 kg: Ashlynn Ortega

68 kg: Ana Luciano

72 kg: Amit Elor

76 kg: Yelena Makoyed

Who's No. 1?

This year's US Open added incentive to the tournament even though most of the top women had already qualified for the World Team Trials Challenge tournament. The winner of each weight class receives the top seed, which should make seeding look different than in years past. Kayla Miracle has received a bye to Final X since she is a returning World medalist. 

US Open champions and top seeds at World Team Trials

50 kg: Erin Golston

53 kg: Felicity Taylor

55 kg: Jacarra Winchester

57 kg: Adrian Dorado Marin

59 kg: Nanea Estrella

62 kg: Kayla Miracle

65 kg: Emma Bruntil

68 kg: Sienna Ramirez

72 kg: Skylar Grote

76 kg: Dymond Guilford

High School Recruiting Showcase

Finals of the High School Recruiting Showcase were held alongside the US Open. Four of the champions should look familiar since they made the U17 World team over the weekend.

100: Gabriella Gomez

106: Audrey Jimenez

112: Karlee Brooks

117: Persaeus Gomez

122: Zao Estrada

127: Shelby Moore

132: Janida Garcia

138: Paige Wehrmeister

144: Maddie Kubicki

152: Destiny Rodriguez

164: Amarissa Manuel

180: Alyvia White

200: Catherine Dutton

225: Karla Padilla Zepeda

Pan-American Championships

The United States won the Pan-American Championships thanks to five gold medals and two silvers. Sarah Hildebrandt was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after she won all three of her matches by a 30-0 count. 

U.S. results

50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt, GOLD

53 kg: Dom Parrish, GOLD

55 kg: Jacarra Winchester, SILVER

57 kg: Cam Guerin, FIFTH

59 kg: Xochitl Mota-Pettis, DNP

62 kg: Kayla Miracle, SILVER

65 kg: Forrest Molinari, GOLD

68 kg: Alara Boyd, DNP

72 kg: Skylar Grote, GOLD

76 kg: Dymond Guilford, GOLD

Final Team Standings

United States, 190

Canada, 165 

Mexico, 120

Ecuador, 80

Brazil, 79