Watters repeats as Women’s U23 World Team Trials champion

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The 2018 U.S. U23 World Team was determined at the finals of the Women’s U23 World Team Trials on Saturday afternoon at the Cox Convention Center.

All five members of the 2017 U23 World Team in the championship finals were able to qualify for their second straight U23 World Team: Cody Pfau of the Titan Mercury WC at 50 kg, Dominique Parrish of the Sunkist Kids at 55 kg, Kayla Miracle of the Sunkist Kids at 62 kg, Forrest Molinari of the Titan Mercury WC at 65 kg and Rachel Watters of Aries WC at 72 kg.

Pfau needed to go all three matches to defeat high school star and Cadet World medalist Alleida Martinez of the Titan Mercury WC for the team spot. All three matches ended with pins. Pfau pinned Martinez in the first match in 1:57, then Martinez got the fall in bout two in 2:02. In the deciding third match, Pfau threw and pinned Martinez in 46 seconds to win the series. Pfau has competed on U.S. World Teams at the Junior and U23 levels.

“I knew what she was doing. She was trying to back up the whole time. That is a frustrating style to wrestle, because you can’t get to the legs, you can barely tie up. If they are going to back up a lot, that makes them more front-heavy and vulnerable to throws, which is why that is pretty much all I got,” said Pfau.

Parrish won a five-athlete roundrobin. In the championship series, she defeated her college teammate at Simon Fraser University Lauren Mason in two straight 10-0 technical falls.

“I felt pretty good. It’s interesting. The tournament is smaller than most two-day tournaments. I had to focus on making the right weight cut, weighing in, hydrating and wrestling. So it went pretty good,” said Parrish.

Miracle, a three-time age-group World medalist for the United States, is returning to the U23 Worlds after placing fifth in 2017. She was dominant in her finals against Brenda Reyna of the McKendree Bearcat WC, scoring a 10-0 technical fall in bout one and getting a pin in 1:03 in the second bout.

“I am feeling pretty good. I am trying some new things, a lace. I don’t really hit that but I hit it in almost every one of my matches. I am just trying to get over this jet lag (after coming back from World Cup in Japan) and trying to make a World Team.

Molinari won a pair of decisions over high school star and Cadet World team member Jayden Laurent of the Musky WC in her finals series, 6-0 in the first match and 4-0 in the second. Like Miracle, she came directly from Japan after wrestling in the World Cup.

“Jaydin is really coming up. She is going to be really good when she hits college. My game plan was to keep the pressure going, be patient with my openings. That’s what I did and it worked out for me today,” said Molinari.

Watters, who wrestles for the host Oklahoma City University, won in two straight matches over Alyvia Fiske of the Titan Mercury WC, a Californian who attends Simon Fraser University in Canada. After winning the first bout 6-3, Watters got her offense going in a 10-0 technical fall in bout two.

“My first match was a little rough. I went out there a little flat. Once I got to that second period and I got to that shot and I finished it, it boosted my confidence a little bit. Once I started to open up, and realized that double leg was there, and figured out her hand fighting, it was easier and I could get to it faster,” said Watters.

2017 Senior World bronze medalist Becka Leathers of the Titan Mercury WC made the team at 57 kg, dominating Koral Sugiyama of Campbellsville University in the finals series. Leathers won a 13-0 technical fall in bout one, then pinned Sugiyama in 1:11 in the second bout.

Making the team at 68 kg/149.5 lbs. was past Junior World Team member Alexandria Glaude of the Titan Mercury WC, who beat her college teammate Jasmine Bailey of the McKendree Bearcat WC in two straight bouts, 3-0 and 8-0.

The other three U23 World Team members came from the college ranks, Charlotte Fowler of Campbellsville University at 53 kg, Emannuel College wrestler Abigail Nette of the Lions Blood WC at 59 kg and McKendree student Korinahe Bullock of the Bearcat Takedown Club at 76 kg. All three made their first U.S. World Teams.

Fowler needed three matches to defeat high school star Sierra Powell of the Virginia Women’s National Team. Powell pinned Fowler in bout one in 2:23, but Fowler came back to win a 4-4 criteria win in bout two. Opening up her offense, Fowler won the deciding third bout with a pin in 5:51.

Nette also needed to go the full three-match series for her victory over Allison Petix of King University, Nette won bout one and Petix won bout two. In the deciding third period, Nette got a strong start and went on to a clutch 6-2 win.

Bullock had to defeat a college teammate in the finals, Janelle Fuamatu of the McKendree Bearcat WC, in two straight close matches, winning 2-1 and 3-2.

WOMEN’S U23 WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Oklahoma City, Okla. March 24

50 kg/110 lbs.
1st – Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Alleida Martinez (Titan Mercury WC), two matches to one
Bout One – Pfau pin Martinez, 1:57
Bout Two – Martinez pin Pfau, 2:02
Bout Three – Pfau pin Martinez, 0:46
3rd – Sarah Allen (University of the Cumberlands) pin Allissa Maldonado (McKendree Bearcat WC), 2:20
5th – Genae Sampract (McKendree BearcatWC) pin Brooke Thurber (Team Wisconsin), 3:54
7th – Jessica Rodriguez (University of the Cumberlands) tech. fall Angel Ogden (University of Jamestown), 11-0 1:27

53 kg/116.5 lbs.
1st – Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville University) dec. Sierra Powell (Virginia Womens National Team), two matches to one
Bout One – Powell pin Fowler, 2:23
Bout Two – Fowler dec. Powell, 4-4
Bout Three – Fowler pin Powell, 5:51
3rd – Vayle Rae Baker (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall Cassidy Jasperson (Aries WC), 12-2
5th – Theresa Rankin (Team Michigan) pin Mayra Ramirez (Wayland Baptist), 1:20
7th – Chelsea Dionisio (University of Jamestown) tech. fall Katherine Sumner (McKendree Bearcat WC), 10-0

55 kg/121 lbs.
1st – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist) dec. Lauren Mason (Burnaby Mountain WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Parrish tech. fall Mason, 10-0
Bout Two – Parrish tech. fall Mason, 10-0
3rd – Makayla Welch (Minnesota Storm)
4th – Kailyn Ramos (Aries WC)
5th – Angeles Cabada (Aries WC)

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1st – Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville University), two matches to none
Bout One – Leathers tech. fall Sugiyama, 13-0
Bout Two – Leathers pin Sugiyama, 1:11
3rd – Alexandra Hedrick (TMWC) dec. Alexia Ward (McKendree Bearcat WC), 8-2
5th – Taylor Resuriz (McKendree Bearcat WC) dec. Monica Mendosa (Aries WC), 9-2
7th – Tygan TJ Nelson (Adrian College) disq. Autumn Potkay (Ferrum University)

59 kg/130 lbs.
1st – Abigail Nette (Lions Blood WC) dec. Allison Petix (King University), two matches to one
Bout One – Nette dec. Petix, 8-7
Bout Two – Petix dec. Nette, 5-3
Bout Three – Nette dec. Petrix, 6-2
3rd – Kaden Campbell (Daughters Of Zion) pin Marizza Birrueta (Lions Blood Wrestling Club), 4:10
5th – Alexandria Liles (Best Trained Elite) forfeit Emma Bruntil Acme, WA (Team Washington)
7th – Julia Vidallon (Virginia) inj. dft. Erika Mihalca (Missouri Baptist)

62 kg/136.5 lbs.
1st – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) dec. Brenda Reyna (McKendree Bearcat WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Miracle tech. fall Reyna, 10-0
Bout Two – Miracle pin Reyna, 1:03
3rd – Teniya Alo (Collier Wrestling Academy) tech. fall Nicole Joseph (King University), 13-0
5th – Brianna Csontos (TMWC) dec. Bridgette Duty (University of the Cumberlands), 9-9
7th – Destiny Lyng (Helix Charter) dec. Breanna Douglas (Team Kansas), 6-4

65 kg/143 lbs.
1st – Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jayden Laurent (Musky WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Molinari dec. Laurent, 6-0
Bout Two – Molinari dec. Laurent, 4-0
3rd – Kayla Marano (Lions Blood Wrestling Club) dec. Katerina Lobsinger (U.S. Army), 13-4
5th – Alexis Porter (McKendree Bearcat WC) dec. Francesca Giorgio (Burnaby Mountain), 6-5
7th – Cierra Foster (Aries WC) pin Marki Simmons (MBU WC), 5:05

68 kg/149.5 lbs.
1st – Alexandria Glaude (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jasmine Bailey (McKendree Bearcat WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Glaude dec. Bailey, 3-0
Bout Two – Glaude dec. Bailey, 8-0
3rd – Anna Naylor (University of the Cumberlands) dec. Marguerite Elliott (Adrian College), 8-4
5th – Ophelia Lara (Lions Blood Wrestling Club) pin Mariya Gaither (Lindenwood University), 0:40
7th- Alexia Foca (Campbellsville Universty) tech. fall Destinee Rivera (Running Eagles), 12-1 1:37

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
1st – Rachel Watters (Aries WC) dec. Alyvia Fiske (Titan Mercury WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Watters dec. Fiske, 6-3
Bout Two – Watters tech. fall Fiske, 10-0
3rd – Hannah Gladden (Lions Blood Wrestling Club) dec. Morgan Becker (Campbellsville Universty), 12-6
5th – Andrea Sennett (McKendree Bearcat WC) tech. fall Payton Rigert (University of the Cumberlands), 10-0 0:22

76 kg/167.25 lbs.
1st -. Korinahe Bullock (Bearcat Takedown Club) dec. Janelle Fuamatu (McKendree Bearcat WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Bullock dec. Fuamatu, 2-1
Bout Two – Bullock dec. Fuamatu, 3-2
3rd – Anastasia Lobsinger (U.S. Army) tech. fall Sarah Moore (University of Jamestown), 10-0
5TH – Myranda Velazquez (University of Jamestown) tech. fall Alyssa Schrull (University of Jamestown), 12-0
7th- Myriam Perez (Uvalde Wrestling Club)

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