2022 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

The Complete Women's Freestyle World Team Trials Preview

The Complete Women's Freestyle World Team Trials Preview

Final X spots are on the line this weekend in Coralville. Get ready for all the women's freestyle action with the complete breakdown from Derek Levendusky.

May 18, 2022 by Derek Levendusky
The Complete Women's Freestyle World Team Trials Preview

The World Team Trials Challenge Tournament is almost here. It all goes down this weekend in Coralville, Iowa, and will be streamed live on FloWrestling. There’s a returning World medalist sitting out to Final X at six of the 10 weight classes. This weekend’s champion at those weights — 50 kg, 55 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 68 kg — will advance to Final X and compete either June 3 in Stillwater or June 8 in New York. 

At the other four weights — 53 kg, 59 kg, 72 kg and 76 kg — each of the top two placewinners this weekend will advance to Final X. 

50 kilograms 

Sitting out to Final X: Sarah Hildebrandt 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Erin Golston (New York Athletic Club)

2. Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

3. Sage Mortimer (King/TMWC)

4. Nyla Valencia (TMWC)

5. Emily Shilson (Twin Cities RTC/TMWC)

6. Nina Pham (Texas Wrestling Club)

7. Caitlyn Walker (New York City RTC)

8. Charlotte Fowler (River Valley Wrestling Club)

9. Arelys Valles (Grand View Wrestling Club)

10. Danielle Garcia (Team Tornado Wrestling Club)

11. Mariah Anderson (Air Force Regional Training Center)

12. Sydney Petzinger (Cardinal Wrestling Club)

13. Natalie Reyna-Rodriguez (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club)

Open winner Erin Golston comes in seeded #1 this weekend in a loaded field, though there’s a lot of history in this group with tangled results. Veteran Alyssa Lampe is seeded #2, dropping down from 53 kg where she placed second at last month’s U.S. Open. If Lampe makes the finals, she’d have a rematch against an opponent in Golston that she beat twice last year, 9-4 and 9-0. 2021 Junior and U23 world champ Emily Shilson is seeded fifth, and split with Golston in their last two matches. Meanwhile, California high school star Nyla Valencia had a big win earlier this month at U23 Nationals over Shilson, and it looks like they might have a rematch in the quarters if all goes chalk. #3 seed Mortimer can always play the Cinderella role, though #7 seed Caitlyn Walker had an upset win over her at the U.S. Open. True to this weight class all year, it promises to have compelling matches and upsets from beginning to end. Keep an eye on young Sydney Petzinger, the #12 seed, who has been making strides. 

53 kilograms 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Felicity Taylor (McKendree Bearcat WC/TMWC)

2. Ronna (Heaton) Gross (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

3. Areana Villaescusa (Army/WCAP)

4. Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

5. Alisha Howk (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

6. Estrella Dorado Marin (Army/WCAP)

7. Haley Franich (Air Force Regional Training Center)

#1 seed Felicity Taylor has been on fire of late, winning both the U.S. Open and U23 Nationals. She’ll have her hands full against Ronna (Heaton) Gross, who seems to wrestle her best under the bright lights, just like we saw last year at Olympic Team Trials where she took second. The field goes deep, though, as the top five seeds could all win it. #3 seed Areana Villaescusa has been at it a long time and has big wins in her career, including over the last few years, though Heaton beat Villaescusa 10-0 last fall at the 2021 World Team Trials. #4 seed Dominique Parrish won bronze at the prestigious Yasar Dogu in Istanbul in February and looks ready to contend. #5 seed Alisha Howk just won a U23 national title last weekend in Fort Worth. 

55 kilograms

Sitting out to Final X: Jenna Burkert 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/TMWC)

2. Marissa Gallegos (Colorado Mesa WC/TMWC)

3. Lauren Mason (Brunson UVRTC)

4. Torieonna Buchanan (Red Cobra Wrestling Academy)

5. Victoria Smith (Grand View Wrestling Club)

2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester, seeded #1, is the obvious favorite here, and surely she’s eager to get back to Worlds after falling to Jenna Burkert in one of the most dramatic best-of-three series in the history of domestic women’s wrestling. If she makes it through the Challenge Tournament, she’d have an opportunity for a rematch as Burkert is sitting in Final X due to her bronze at Worlds last year. #2 seed Marissa Gallegos made the National Team last year by placing third at this event, though she’d be a long shot to beat Winchester, especially in a best-of-three. #3 seed Lauren Mason took third at the U.S. Open last month, though she fell to Winchester 10-0 on the championship side. 

57 kilograms 

Sitting out to Final X: Helen Maroulis 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Adriana Dorado Marin (Army/WCAP)

2. Cameron Guerin (McKendree Bearcat WC/TMWC)

3. Alexandra Hedrick (USOPTC/TMWC)

4. Amanda Martinez (Cardinal WC/TMWC)

5. Ngao Shoua Whitethorn (Victory School of Wrestling)

6. Tateum Park (Twin Cities Regional Training Center)

7. Elvie Villa (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club)

8. Genesis Ramirez (All Navy Wrestling)

#1 seed Adriana Dorado Marin emerged as one of the stories of the spring as she won the U.S. Open with a dramatic last-second win over #2 seed Cameron Guerin, and then followed it up by making a U20 World team in Fort Worth. Now she comes in as the top seed this weekend. Can she do it again? Cam Guerin likely welcomes the rematch and it would be a big moment to get her revenge if it happened in the finals. But don’t forget Alex Hedrick, who only lost 2-1 to Guerin at the Open, and would match up well against Dorado Marin (or Martinez) with her disciplined style and efficient leg attacks. #4 seed Amanda Martinez was seeded #1 at the U.S. Open in a group that featured the same top four, so that tells you how close these women are, so get ready for some exciting semis if this bracket goes chalk. 

59 kilograms 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Nanea Estrella (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club)

2. Abby Nette (Army/WCAP)

3. Michaela Beck (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

4. Lexie Basham (Spartan Mat Club)

5. Niya Teresita Gaines (Cardinal Wrestling Club)

6. Claire DiCugno (Colorado Mesa Wrestling Club)

7. Bridgette Duty (Army/WCAP)

8. Montana DeLawder (Team Tornado Wrestling Club)

9. Esther Han (Bruin Wrestling Club)

10. Hailey Corona (Brunson UVRTC)

#1 seed Nanea Estrella had a big month, winning the U.S. Open and taking second at U20 World Team Trials, but she didn’t have #2 seed Abby Nette, #3 seed Michaela Beck, or #4 seed Lexie Basham in those groups. Nette has been a top Senior wrestler for a while, placing third at Olympic Team Trials last year; Beck has been a two-time World teamer (2019 Junior Worlds, 2021 U23 Worlds); and Basham beat Estrella in the NAIA national finals in March. Meanwhile, Niya Teresita Gaines is at a new level, making both the finals in the NCAA and in U23 Nationals. Bridgette Duty can scrap and is a very tough out as the #7 seed. There’s no one at this weight waiting in Final X, so whoever makes the finals will advance to the big stage.

62 kilograms 

Sitting out to Final X: Kayla Miracle 

World Team Trials Seeds 

1. Jennifer Rogers-Page (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC)

2. Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Academy)

3. Andrea Schlabach (Grand View Wrestling Club)

4. Cierra Foster (Idaho/TMWC)

5. Emmily Patneaud (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club)

6. Alexandria Liles (Army/WCAP)

7. Sierra Brown Ton (Twin Cities Regional Training Center)

Looks like the Page-Kilty rivalry could be rekindled this weekend in Coralville, as Page is seeded #1 and Kilty, back from injury, is #2. Page owns the last win, a 4-3 victory at Senior Nationals in 2020, though Kilty had beaten her at 2019 Senior Nationals 5-4. If this finals happens, it’ll certainly be one to watch. 2021 world silver medalist Kayla Miracle waits for the winner at Final X, and if it’s Kilty, we’d get a rematch of the dramatic final between the two at the Olympic Team Trials.

65 kilograms 

Sitting out to Final X: Forrest Molinari 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Emma Bruntil (USOPTC/TMWC)

2. Mallory Velte (Beaver Dam RTC/TMWC)

3. Maya Letona (New York City RTC)

4. Amanda Hendey (Colorado Mesa WC/TMWC)

5. Ashlynn Ortega (New York Athletic Club)

6. Emily Se (California)

7. Rachel Watters (Hawkeye WC/TMWC)

8. Dalia Garibay (Colorado Mesa Wrestling Club)

9. Destiny Lyng (California)

#1 seed Emma Bruntil and #2 seed Mallory Velte have been in a back-and-forth rivalry for the last few years, with Bruntil owning the 3-2 series lead. A testament to how close they are, Bruntil won their last match 4-4 in the finals of the U.S. Open last month. She’s also had massive success internationally of late, winning the Yariguin and then taking bronze at the Yasar Dogu, where she split with the opponent she’d face if she advanced to Final X, Forrest Molinari. #5 seed Ashlynn Ortega looks to be the biggest threat to either of the top two seeds, though Bruntil beat Ortega 12-1 in the finals of the NCAA national tournament last year, the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships. Rachel Watters, the #7 seed, is a multi-time age-group World Team member who wrestled in Final X in 2018. 

68 kilograms 

Sitting out to Final X: Tamyra Mensah Stock 

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Sienna Ramirez (Southern Oregon Regional Training Center)

2. Nahiela Magee (Army/WCAP)

3. Alara Boyd (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club)

4. Solin Piearcy (Menlo Wrestling Club)

5. Ana Luciano (Team Tornado Wrestling Club)

6. Kairah Cantillo (Grand View Wrestling Club)

7. Aury Naylor (Georgia)

8. Olivia Pizano (Southern Oregon Regional Training Center)

#1 seed Sienna Ramirez put together a stellar performance at the U.S. Open, but she’ll have her hands full to make the finals of this event, as #4 Solin Piearcy, the 2021 Senior Nationals Champion, and #5 seed Ana Luciano, the U23 national champion, are on her side of the bracket. Then, coming out of the bottom side, she’d likely have to face #2 seed Nahiela Magee or #3 seed Alara Boyd in the finals if she made it through. Boyd beat Ramirez 12-0 at Olympic Team Trials last year. Watch that #4 vs. #5 quarter between Piearcy and Luciano, and look for the semis of this group to be fun to watch. The winner of this group will be rewarded with an opportunity to wrestle Olympic gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock at Final X.

72 kilograms

World Team Trials Seeds

1. Skylar Grote (New York Athletic Club)

2. Amit Elor (NYC RTC/TMWC)

3. Marlynne Deede (Twin Cities Regional Training Center)

4. Marilyn Garcia (California)

5. Skie Roulo (Cougar Wrestling Club)

6. Jessica Kemgne (New York City RTC)

#1 seed Skylar Grote is coming off a big month, with a U.S. Open title last month and a gold at the Pan Am Championships last weekend. As good as she is, we’ve yet to see Amit Elor’s ceiling domestically. The 2021 Junior World champion absolutely dominated the field last week in Fort Worth, winning both the U20 and U23 divisions. #3 seed Marlynne Deede is always in the mix, but this one looks like a Grote vs. Elor final as the gap was pretty wide last weekend when Elor and Deede met in the U23 finals. It was similar when Grote met Deede in the U.S. Open finals. 

76 kilograms 

World Team Trials Seeds 

1. Dymond Guilford (USOPTC/TMWC)

2. Precious Bell (Victory School of Wrestling/TMWC)

3. Yelena Makoyed (Cardinal WC/TMWC)

4. Victoria Francis (Hawkeye WC/TMWC)

5. Tristan Kelly (Army/WCAP)

6. Jordan Nelson (Hawkeye WC/TMWC)

7. Olivia Robinson (Peninsula Wrestling Club)

8. Melissa Jacobs (Twin Cities Regional Training Center)

9. Joye Levendusky (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club)

Guilford followed up her NAIA national title in March with a U.S. Open title in April. Then she followed that up with gold last weekend at the Pan Am Championships in Mexico. That being said, 76 kg has proven to be a deep weight class this spring, and this weekend is no exception. Precious Bell is seeded #2 and two-time World teamer Victoria Francis is seeded #4, both of whom have impressive Senior level resumes. Meanwhile, other than her loss to Guilford at the U.S. Open, #3 seed Yelena Makoyed has been competing at a very high level and certainly could make the final. #5 Tristan Kelly has looked good since her return to the mat as an Army/WCAP team member and she also dominated the U20 bracket last weekend in Fort Worth to make a world team. #6 Jordan Nelson owns a win over Guilford this year in college, and #9 seed Joye Levendusky gave Bell a tough match at the U.S. Open, falling 6-3 in a battle that came down to the last 30 seconds. That gives you an idea of how deep this group is.