Seven Women’s World Team members lead large USA team in all styles at Spanish Grand Prix

This week, USA sends a strong team – including seven 2018 Women’s World Team members – to compete at this year’s Senior Grand Prix of Spain, July 14-15 in Madrid, Spain.

The tournament begins on Saturday, July 14, with Greco-Roman first, followed by men’s freestyle later that day. Women’s freestyle competes the next day, Sunday July 15.

The seven World Team members are Sarah Hildebrandt (53 kg), Jacarra Winchester (55 kg), Alli Ragan (59 kg), Mallory Velte (62 kg), Forrest Mollinari (65 kg), Tamayra Mensah-Stock (68 kg)
and Adeline Gray (74).

Gray is a three-time World champion and five-time World medalist. Ragan has won two World silver medals.

Making her first appearance since the 2017 World Team Trials, two-time Olympian and four-time World medalist, Elena Pirozhkova (65 kg) returns to the mat.

Iowa’s NCAA champion and two-time Junior World champion Spencer Lee also puts himself back in to competition at 57 kg in men’s freestyle.

More stars from the men’s freestyle team include Iowa’s past NCAA champion Cory Clark (61 kg) and four-time NCAA All-American Tyler Graff (61 kg).

A team of seven U.S. Marine Corps Greco-Roman wrestlers will compete, led by National Team member Xavier Johnson (63 kg), Peyton Walsh (77 kg) and John Stefanowicz Jr. (82 kg).

at Madrid, Spain, July 14-15 (6 hours ahead of ET)


Friday, July 13
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Qualification rounds through finals (GR 55 kg, 60 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 77 kg, 82 kg, 87 kg, 9 kg, 130 kg)
4:00 p.m – 9:30 p.m. – Qualification rounds through finals (MFS 57 kg, 61 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg)

Saturday, July 14
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Qualification rounds through finals (WFS 50 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 57 kg, 59 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 68 kg, 72 kg, 76 kg)

U.S. Greco-Roman Roster
63 kg: German Diaz Maldonado, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Puerto Rico/USMC)
63 kg: Xavier Johnson, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (USMC)
67 kg: Raymond Bunker, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (USMC)
67 kg: Jamel Johnson, Camp Lejeune, N.C.(USMC)
77 kg: Peyton Walsh, Glen Allen, Va. (USMC)
77 kg: JayShon Wilson, Hubert, N.C. (USMC)
82 kg: John Stefanowicz Jr., Camp Lejeune, N.C.(USMC)

Coach Jason Loukides, Jacksonville, N.C.

U.S. Men’s Freestyle Roster
57 kg: Spencer Lee, Murrysville, Pa (TMWC)
61 kg: Cory Clark, Iowa City, Iowa (TMWC)
61 kg: Tyler Graff, Blacksburg, Virginia (TMWC)

Coach: Mark Perry, Iowa City, Iowa

U.S. Women’s Freestyle Roster
50 kg: Erin Golston, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
50 kg: Charlotte Fowler, Katy, Texas (Campbellsville Univ.)
53 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
53 kg: Haley Augello, Chapel Hill, N.C., (NYAC)
53 kg: Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (TMWC)
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (TMWC)
55 kg: Dominique Parrish, Scotts Valley, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
57kg: Michaela Beck, New York, N.Y. (NYAC)
55 kg: Gracie Figueroa, Fowler, Calif. (TMWC)
57 kg: Alexandra Hedrick, Fair Oaks, Calif. (TMWC)
59 kg: Alli Ragan, Iowa City, Iowa (TMWC)
59 kg: Megan Black, Batavia, Iowa (TMWC)
59 kg: Bri Csontos, Amissville, Va. (TMWC)
62 kg: Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (TMWC)
62 kg: Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids)
65 kg: Elena Pirozhkova, New York, N.Y. (TMWC)
65 kg: Forrest Molinari, Colorado Springs, Colo. (TMWC
68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (TMWC)
68 kg: Alexandria Glaude,West Sacramento, Calif. (TMWC)
76 kg: Adeline Gray, Kingston, Pa. (NYAC)

U.S. Women’s Freestyle National Head Coach: Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo.
U.S. Women’s Freestyle National Assistant Coach: Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach: Brent Barnes, Lake Stevens, Wash.
Coach: Valentin Kalika, New York City, N.Y.
Coach: Cleo Lane, Fresno, Calif.

Support Staff
Referee: Drew Hayes, Tempe, Ariz.
Medical: Jodi Loecke, Windsor, Colo.
Chiropractor: Rosie Main, Meridian, Idaho

Courtesy of




Cruz, Naser, Sorensen and Porter bring home gold from the Canada Cup

GUELPH, Ontario, Canada – Four American wrestlers claimed individual gold medals this past weekend at the Canada Cup.

U.S. champions included Darian Cruz (New York Athletic Club/Lehigh Valley WC) at 57 kg/125.7 lbs., Ali Naser (Sunkist Kids) at 61 kg/ 134.5 lbs., Brandon Sorensen (Titan Mercury WC) at 70 kg/ 153.4 lbs. and Jesse Porter (New York Athletic Club) at 79 kg/ 174.2 lbs.

A three-time NCAA All-American and 2017 NCAA national champion for Lehigh, Darian Cruz overpowered Canadian Brayden Todd, 10-3. Cruz met his second Canadian, Samuel Jagas and defeated him in a closer match, 3-1. For his finals match, Cruz met another top American, Frank Perrelli and overcame him, 5-3.

Arizona State’s NCAA qualifier Ali Naser received a bye in his first match to put him up against Canada’s Ligrit Sadiku and tech-falled Sadiku, 11-0. In the finals, Naser found himself head-to-head with Canada’s 2017 Pan-American silver medalist Aso Palani. Naser defeated Palani, 11-4 to collect the gold.

The Iowa Hawkeyes’ four-time NCAA All-American, Brandon Sorensen, dominated in his first match against Canada’s Caleb Rutner, tech-falling Rutner 11-0. In the semifinals, Sorensen inched by fellow American, Mario Mason in a 3-3 decision. Sorensen faced two-time NCAA All-American Ganbayar Sanjaa of Mongolia. Sorensen defeated Sanjaa in a close 2-1 decision.

USA Wrestling’s fourth gold medalist, usually known for his Greco-Roman career, wrestled a round-robin. 2017 U23 Greco-Roman World Team member, Jesse Porter, pinned Baljot Mangat of Canada in 1:07. Porter received his second hand-raising by forfeit against Canada’s Brock Munro. In his final match, Porter blasted Canadian Braydon Ambo by technical fall, 15-4.

Joining Perrelli as a silver medalist for the USA was two-time Greco-Roman Olympian Ben Provisor of the NYAC at 92 kg. Bringing home bronze medals from the USA were Josh Rodriguez of the Nittany Lion WC at 57 kg, Rob Mathers of the Sunkist Kids at 65 kg, Mario Mason of the NYAC/LVWC at 70 kg and Lester Calderon of the NYC RTC at 97 kg.

Only one American female entered the women’s division. Alexis Porter of NYAC earned a fifth-place finish by defeating Canada’s Breanne Graham, 8-0.

at Guelph, Canada, July 7

Men’s freestyle medalist

57 kg/ 125.7 lbs.
Gold – Darian Cruz (NYAC/LVWC)
Silver – Frank Perrelli (NYAC/LVWC) (Dec 5-3)
Bronze – Josh Rodriguez (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club)

61 kg/134.5 lbs.
Gold – Ali Naser (Sunkist Kids)
Silver – Aso Palani (BMWC)
Bronze – Ligrit Sadiku (Brock Wrestling Club)

65 kg/143.3 lbs.
Gold – Dillon Williams (Team Impact)
Silver – Michael Asselstine (Bears Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Rob Mathers (Sunkist Kids)

70 kg/ 154.3 lbs.
Gold – Brandon Sorensen (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club)
Silver – Ganbayar Sanjaa (MONGOLIA/NYAC) (Dec 2-1)
Bronze – Mario Mason (NYAC/LVWC)

74 kg/ 163 lbs.
Gold – Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico)
Silver – Jevon Balfour (Brock Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Tyler Rowe (Brock Wrestling Club)

79 kg/ 174.2 lbs.
Gold – Jesse Porter (NYAC)
Silver – Braydon Ambo (London-Western Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Baljot Mangat (Guelph WC)

86 kg/ 189.6 lbs.
Gold – Alex Moore (Montreal WC)
Silver – Ahamed Shamiya (Hamilton Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Hunter Lee (Saskatoon Wrestling Club)

92 kg/ 202.8 lbs.
Gold – Jordie Steen (Montreal WC)
Silver – Ben Provisor (NYAC)
Bronze – Clayton Pye (Brock Wrestling Club)

97 kg/ 213.9 lbs.
Gold – Richard DesChatelets (Brock Wrestling Club)
Silver – Dalton Webb (Guelph WC)
Bronze – Lester Calderon (NYC RTC)

125 kg/ 275.6 lbs.
Gold – Aly Barghout (Montreal WC)
Silver – Sean Molle (BMWC) (Dec 5-2)
Bronze – Frederick Choquette (Montreal WC)

Women’s freestyle medalist

50 kg/ 110.2 lbs
Gold – Jessie MacDonald (Brock Wrestling Club)
Silver – Jiang Zhu (China)
3rd Place – Nadezhda Sokolova (Russia)

53 kg/ 116.8 lbs.
Gold – Stalvira Orshush (Russia)
Silver – Diana Weicker (Brock Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Jie Ni (China)

55 kg/ 121.25 lbs.
Gold – Nina Menkenova (Russia)
Silver – Gabriella Ramos (Puerto Rico)
Bronze – Cara Nania (Dinos Wrestling Club)

57 kg/ 125.7 lbs
Gold – Irina Ologonova (Russia)
Silver – Hannah Taylor (Brock Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Alexandria Town (York Wrestling Club)

59 kg/ 130.1 lbs
Gold – Svetlana Lipatova of Russia
Silver – Xiuyun Chen of China
Bronze – Laurence Beauregard of Montreal WC

62 kg/ 136.7 lbs.
Gold – Jessica Brouillette (Brock Wrestling Club)
Silver – Uliana Tukurenova (Russia)
Bronze – Hongli Yan (China)

65 kg/ 143.3 lbs.
Gold – Yulia Prontsevich (Russia)
Silver – Skylar Grote (Brock Wrestling Club)
Bronze – Yue Zhang (China)

68 kg/ 149.9 lbs.
Gold – Danielle Lappage (Dinos Wrestling Club)
Silver – Khanum Velieva (Russia)
Bronze – Olivia Di Bacco (Brock Wrestling Club)

72 kg/ 158.7 lbs
Gold – Jiao Wang of China
Silver – Tatiana Kolesnikova of Russia
Bronze – Galina Bulatova of Russia

76 kg/ 167.6 lbs.
Gold – Erica Wiebe (Dinos Wrestling Club)
Silver Justina Di Stasio (BMWC)
Bronze – Yuqing Ye (China)

U.S. Women’s freestyle performances

62 kg/ 136.7 – Alexis Porter (NYAC), 5th
LOSS Uliana Tukurenova (Russia), 8-1
WIN Wendy Liu (Team Impact), tech-fall 15-2
LOSS Hongli Yan (China), 7-3
WIN Breanne Graham (Dinos Wrestling Club), 8-0

U.S. Men’s freestyle performances

57 kg/ 125.7 lbs – Darian Cruz (NYAC/LVWC), Gold
WIN Brayden Todd (London-Western Wrestling), 10-3
WIN Samuel Jagas (Brock Wrestling Club), 3-1
WIN Frank Perrelli (NYAC/LVWC), 5-3

57 kg / 125.7 lbs – Frank Perrelli (NYAC/LVWC), Silver
WIN Josh Rodriguez (Nittany Lion WC), tech-fall 10-0
WIN Alex Moher (Brock Wrestling Club), tech-fall 10-0
LOSS Darian Cruz (NYAC/LVWC), 5-3

57 kg / 125.7 lbs – Josh Rodriguez (Nittany Lion WC), Bronze
LOSS Frank Perrelli (NYAC/LVWC), tech-fall 10-0
WIN Samuel Jagas (Brock Wrestling Club), 13-0
WIN Brayden Todd (London-Western Wrestling), injury

61 kg / 134.5 lbs – Ali Naser (Sunkist Kids), Gold
WIN Ligrit Sadiku (Brock Wrestling Club), tech-fall 11-0
WIN Aso Palani (BMWC), 11-4

65 kg / 143.3 lbs – Rob Mathers (Sunkist Kids), Bronze
WIN Trystan Kato (Team Impact), tech-fall 10-0
LOSS Michael Asselstine (Bears Wrestling Club), 10-4
WIN Connor McNeice (Dinos Wrestling Club), tech-fall 11-0
WIN Elvir Uzunovic (Guelph WC), tech-fall 11-1

70 kg / 154.3 lbs – Brandon Sorensen (TMWC), Gold
WIN Caleb Rutner (London-Western Wrestling), tech-fall 11-0
WIN Mario Mason (NYAC/LVWC), 3-3
WIN Ganbayar Sanjaa (Mongolia/NYAC), 2-1

70 kg / 154.3 lbs – Mario Mason (NYAC/LVWC), Bronze
WIN Gunnar Sales (Guelph WC), tech-fall 12-1
LOSS Brandon Sorensen (Titan Mercury WC), 3-3
WIN Nick Rowe (Brock Wrestling Club), tech-fall 12-2
WIN Caleb Rutner (London-Western Wrestling), tech-fall 10-0

70 kg / 154.3 lbs – Tony Tolbert (Pennsylvania RTC), 6th
LOSS Ganbayar Sanjaa (Mongolia/NYAC), fall
LOSS Caleb Rutner (London-Western Wrestling), tech-fall 13-0
LOSS Nick Rowe (Brock Wrestling Club), injury

79 kg / 174.2 lbs – Jesse Porter (NYAC), Gold
WIN Baljot Mangat (Guelph WC), fall 1:07
WIN Brock Munro (Keystone), forfeit
WIN Braydon Ambo (London-Western), 15-4

92 kg / 202.8 lbs – Ben Provisor (NYAC), Silver
LOSS Jordie Steen (Montreal WC), 6-4
WIN Don McNeil (NYAC), injury
WIN Kadeem Samuels (LVWC) 3-2
WIN Clayton Pye (Brock Wrestling) forfeit

92 kg / 202.8 lbs – Kadeem Samuels (LVWC), 4th
LOSS Jordie Steen (Montreal WC), 8-2
LOSS Ben Provisor (NYAC), 3-2
LOSS Clayton Pye (Brock Wrestling), 7-6
WIN Don McNeil (NYAC)

92 kg / 202.8 lbs – Don McNeil (NYAC), 5th
LOSS Clayton Pye (Brock Wrestling), injury
LOSS Ben Provisor (NYAC), injury
LOSS Jordie Steen (Montreal WC), forfeit
LOSS Kadeem Samuels (LVWC), forfeit

97 kg / 213.9 lbs– Lester Calderon (NYC RTC), Bronze
LOSS Richard DesChatelets (Brock Wrestling), fall 5:00
LOSS Dalton Webb (Guelph WC), tech-fall 11-0

Courtesy of





UFC 226 results, highlights: Daniel Cormier knocks out Stipe Miocic for heavyweight title

You may or may not agree with placing Daniel Cormier in the conversations among the greatest of all time in the UFC, but after what took place on Saturday night at UFC 226, he has certainly earned the recognition. Cormier went into the Octagon looking to make history and become a simultaneous two-division champion by defeating reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic — and DC did just that.

Cormier became the new UFC heavyweight champion on Saturday night in quick and impressive fashion. After battling back and forth for a good portion of the opening round, Cormier landed a stiff right hook to the jaw of the seemingly unstoppable Miocic to shock the world and claim victory. It was Cormier’s first knockout win since he KO’d Patrick Cummins in 2014.

“I am 39 years old, and I’ve been second a lot of times, but today I finally accomplished everything from crying in this very same octagon last year — almost a year to the day — to becoming the UFC heavyweight champion. Joe, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced,” Cormier said after the fight.

Immediately, we would learn who Cormier’s next challenger will inevitably be.

That’s later, however. The main focus of Saturday night is that Cormier quickly added to his legacy at UFC 226 by impressively ending the reign of the most dominant UFC heavyweight champion in history. Cormier joins Conor McGregor in becoming the only other fighter to hold two titles at the same time.

CBS Sports was be with you all night with our live blog below. If you are having trouble viewing the blog, please click here

UFC 226 fight card/results

Daniel Cormier (c) def. Stipe Miocic via first-round TKO (punches)
Derrick Lewis def. Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Mike Perry def. Paul Felder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Anthony Pettis def. Michael Chiesa via second-round submission (Armbar)
Khalil Rountree def. Gokhan Saki via first-round TKO (punches)
Paulo Costa def. Uriah Hall via second-round TKO (punches)
Raphael Assuncao def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Drakkar Klose def. Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Curtis Millender def. Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)







High School Insider: First overseas trip caps busy month of wrestling, fundraising for Nebraska’s Burks brothers

They sold shirts and served pizzas, went door to door sharing their story, helped recruit an Olympian to put on a benefit clinic and plugged their online fundraising drive with social media posts.

In the end, raising the funds to get to Croatia might have been just as challenging as making the Greco-Roman Cadet World Team for Nebraska brothers Jakason and James Burks.

The Cadet World Championships begin early Monday morning in Zagreb, Croatia. The tournament will be streamed live and available on demand on

For the Burks brothers, the four-week sprint to get prepared for their first World-level tournament has been intertwined with a crash course in fundraising and preparation for global travel.

James Burks had never been further from his Omaha home than he was in early June when he won the Cadet World Team Trials in Akron. He’s never flown.

“I’m a little nervous,” he said. “I’ve never been on a plane and I’ve never been across seas. It’ll be new to me. Hopefully I can come out out with a medal or even the championship.”

Jakason hopped on a flight once to North Carolina, but the trip overseas will be a first for him, too.

It’s a first, too, for the United States, which hasn’t had a brother tandem on the same Cadet World Team since the tournament resumed in 2011 after a 12-year break.

“It’s cool to have him with me,” said Jakason, who likes to trade good-natured barbs with his older brother as each tries to top the other’s accolades.

Jakason likes to point out he has the bigger resume on the national level. James will toss it back with mention of his three Nebraska state titles.

“I’ll start to let him win,” Jakason said. “I’ll be the bigger person in the argument.”

Now both can boast World Team bids.

James, who will wrestle next week at 71 kilograms, will be a senior in the fall at Omaha Burke High School, where he set a school record last year with 1,934 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns.

“He’s big and strong and he’s capable of doing a ton,” said Zac Dominguez, who coaches the Burks brothers at MWC Wrestling Academy in Omaha. “He’s an unbelievable talented athlete. Harnessing him in and honing him was probably the difficult part because he already had all that (athleticism). Once he understood what we wanted it was easy to get him going.”

Jakason rallied back from a 7-0 deficit in the second period of the decisive third match to beat Washington’s Aizayah Yacapin in the 51-kilogram final series in Akron.

“Jakasin’s more of a thinker,” Dominguez said. “He’s a great athlete, but he loves working on his technique and he finally started defining what he likes to do as a wrestler. … He truly, truly loves par terre — pick ‘em up, throw ‘em, gut wrench ‘em — he understands the simplicities of Greco sometimes, the overall strategies. For him, that’s where he’s super-talented. Of course, he’s an athlete, too, and that helps, but he’s figured it out quite a bit.”

The Burks brothers have figured out this fundraising business, too. In their quest to raise $8,000 to cover their travel costs and help get personal coach Matt Rein to Croatia as well, the brothers peddled T-shirts and worked at night as servers at Rein’s pizza joint. They had another fundraiser in which Georgi Ivanov, a 2016 Olympian for Bulgaria, put on a clinic with proceeds going to the Burks brothers travel fund.

“Basically, they’ve become door-to-door salesmen,” Dominguez said. “They’ve gotten really good at it. They’re humble young men and they ask nicely, the produce, they show up when they’re supposed to for things like that.”


Abe Assad made an instant impression on Israel Martinez last spring when he was the last wrestler to leave practice on his first night training at Izzy Style.

“You could tell he was there for the right reasons,” Martinez said. “He’s not just there saying he wants to make a change to his career or what he’s doing, he’s actually living to those standards. It’s not often you hear a guy say, ‘This is what I want to do,’ and then watch him work and do it.”

In the 16 months since, Martinez has watched Assad make “night and day” improvement with his handfighting, “leaps and bounds” growth with his positioning on leg attacks and his belief in his skills has mushroomed, too.

Assad’s progress manifested itself in Akron when he swept the 80-kilogram titles in both styles at the Cadet World Team Trials. It put Assad in the same situation as the one Izzy Style training partner Will Lewan faced last year.

Ultimately, Lewan opted to gear his focus toward freestyle and he won a Cadet World title last September in Greece.

Assad will try to do the same.

“We think our best shot to get a gold is to focus on freestyle,” Martinez said. “The other thing, too, Abe didn’t want to take it from someone else.”

Idaho’s Jonathon Fagan will take Assad’s place on the Greco-Roman team.


Daniel Kerkvliet is bidding to win his second Cadet World title and maintain Minnesota’s lock on the Cadet World heavyweight gold. Minnesota native Gable Steveson won Cadet World golds at heavyweight in 2015 and 2016. … Kerkvliet is one of three past medalists on the American roster this week. Emily Shilson, another Minnesotan, claimed a silver last year in Greece. Wisconsin’s Macey Kilty bagged a bronze in 2016.

(Photo: Jakason Burks, left, and James Burks are set to become the first brother tandem to represent the United States at the Cadet World Championships since the tournament resumed in 2011/photo courtesy of the Burks brothers)


Courtesy of




UFC & Wrestle Like a Girl team up for Empowerment Camp and Clinic at UFC Performance Institute

LAS VEGAS – The UFC’s latest International Fight Week kicked off Monday with a couple of fighters teaching the community to wrestle like a girl.

UFC fighters Jessica-Rose Clark (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Gina Mazany (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) teamed up with Wrestle Like a Girl to host a wrestling clinic at the UFC Performance Institute for aspiring female amateur wrestlers between the ages of 5 and 18.

“What our goal is, is to bring to them the sport of wrestling so they can learn how to fight – fight for their sport, fight for their physical activity, fight for their values, fight for their beliefs – knowing that the mothers, the women in this world, they’re the caretakers of our families, of our planets,” Wrestle Like A Girl Founder and Executive Director Sally Roberts told MMAjunkie. “They’re the ones that are able to help really bring something special to the table, and by helping them learn how to fight, we can help empower them in a level that is unprecedented.”

Girls from Nevada and six other surrounding states attended the clinic, which Roberts said focused not just on wrestling technique, but also the empowerment of attendees in hopes of potentially changing the trajectory of their life – which the Wrestle Like a Girl founder says she did through her own experience in the sport.

After hosting the clinic, UFC officials also presented the organization with a donation of $10,000.

Roberts – a former wrestling national champion, as well as an Army Special Operations veteran – believes that the UFC’s assistance efforts could not only change participants’ lives but also help find future athletes willing to step into the octagon, which will only help increase the quality of competition.

“You’re going to get more people tuning in,” Robert said. “You’re going to be able to draw on more sponsors that are able to recognize the value because now you’re opening up even more to the other half of the population, so this is just a wonderful fit between local organizations because it’s not just impactful on the family trajectory and the family lives, but what happens in the business world when you see you can include women and still be successful.”

To see more, check out the video above.


Courtesy of





Cadet Thursday morning recap: USA sends four to the semis, Ikei to wrestle for bronze

The United States secured one medal on the first day of women’s freestyle competition at the Cadet World Championships when Emily Shilson reached the finals for the second straight year.

The Americans will have an opportunity to bring home five more over the course of the next two days after a big performance in Thursday’s morning session in Zagreb, Croatia.

The U.S. went 8-1 in matches, four Americans advanced to Thursday’s semifinal round and assured themselves of matches in Friday’s medal round and Tiare Ikei won her repechage match to set up a bronze medal bout.

Sterling Dias, Olivia Shore, Leilah Castro and Macey Kilty advanced to the semifinals, which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Dias downed Mongolia’s Buman Ayush Enkhbold 6-2 in the quarterfinals at 40 kilograms.

Shore pinned Turkey’s Seyma Kizmaz in her first bout of the tournament and then rallied back from a four-point deficit in the quarterfinals to beat Russia’s Nadezhda Matveeva 4-4 at 46 kilograms.

Castro notched a pair of 10-0 technical superiority wins before downing Russia’s Tatiana Kabanova 4-2 in the quarterfinals at 53 kilograms.

Macey Kilty opened her tournament by pinning India’s Sonika Hooda before rolling up Ukraine’s Anastasiya Alpyeyeva 12-1 in the quarters at 69 kilograms.

Courtesy of



U.S. women put four into Cadet World semifinals

ZAGREB, Croatia – An energetic session from the U.S. women’s freestyle Cadet World Team pushed four of its five competitors into Thursday night’s semifinals at the 2018 Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Earning spots in the semifinals was Sterling Dias at 40 kg, two-time World Team member Olivia Shore at 46 kg, Leilah Castro at 53 kg and 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Macey Kilty at 69 kg.

At  40 kg, Dias advanced to the semifinals after a decisive 6-2 win over Buman Enkhbold of Mongolia, who took eighth at last year’s Cadet World Championships. All eight of the bouts points came in the first period with Dias taking the lead on a takedown and gut wrench for the eventual win.

In the semifinals, the Nevada native will face 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist Luchana Bekbaulova of Russia.

Shore pulled out two late wins to land a spot in the semifinals at 46 kg in her second trip to the World stage.

In her first bout, Shore battled Seyma Kizmaz of Turkey. The American trailed 2-1 in the last 20 seconds, when she hit an inside trip to pin the Turk in 3:43.

The Ohioan moved on to the semis with another come-from-behind win, this time taking out Nadezhda Matveeva of Russia. Down 4-2 in the second period, Shore scored on a go-behind takedown to clinch a 4-4 win on criteria.

Tonight, Shore will take on 2018 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Otgonjarga Dolgorjav of Mongolia.

In her opening match at 53 kg, Castro was dominant collecting eight quick points before pinning her opponent AizhanSabyrbek Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan in 1:15. To move onto the quarters, the Ohio native breezed past two-time Nordic champion Othelie Hoeie of Norway with a second-period, 10-0 tech fall.

Castro pulled out a close win against 2018 Schoolboy/girl European champion Tatiana Kabanova of Russia in the quarterfinals. Trailing 2-0 with less than a minute left, Castro picked up a takedown to take the lead on criteria. She put an exclamation on the win with a crotch lift in the closing seconds for a 4-2 win and a spot in the semifinals.

In tonight’s semis, Castro will face Meenakshi Meenakshi of India, who was fourth at the 2018 Cadet Asian Championships.

To begin her second Cadet World tournament at 69 kg, Kilty took on 2016 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Sonika Hooda of India. A slow start, Kilty led 2-1 at the break but brought her offense hard in the second period, with two takedowns and eventually putting the Indian to her back for a fall in 3:00.

Kilty stayed dominant in her quarterfinal match, rolling to a 12-1 technical fall against 2018 Cadet European bronze medalist Anastasia Alpyeva of Ukraine. Kilty put up four takedowns en route to the match.

In the 69 kg semis, Kilty will go head-to-head with 2018 Cadet Asian champion and 2017 Cadet Asian bronze winner Mengwei Zhang of China.

At 61 kg, Morgan Norris wrapped up her 2018 Cadet World Championships after falling to Alina Antipova of Latvia in the first round. Antipova lost to Riko Takayama of Japan in the next round, ending Norris’ tournament.

The semifinals begin Thursday at 5: 30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET), followed by medal matches for the first five women’s weights at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) live on

at Zagreb, Croatia, July 2-8

Women’s freestyle results

40 kg/88 lbs. – Sterling Dias, Las Vegas, Nev. (Slam WC)
WIN Buman Enkhbold (Mongolia), 6-1
vs. Luchana Bekbaulova (Russia)

46 kg/101 lbs. – Olivia Shore, St. Paris, Ohio (Shore Sports Club)
WIN Seyma Kizmaz (Turkey), fall 3:43
WIN Nadezhda Matveeva (Russia), 4-4
vs. Otgonjarga Dolgorjav (Mongolia)

53 kg/117 lbs. – Leilah Castro, New Lexington, Ohio (Shore Sports Club)
WIN Aizhan Sabyrbek Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), fall 1:15
WIN Othelie Hoeie (Norway), 10-0
WIN Tatiana Kabanova (Russia), 4-2
vs. Meenakshi Meenakshi (India)

61 kg/134 lbs. – Morgan Norris, Sparks, Nev. (AGA Wolfpack WC)
LOSS Alina Antipova (Latvia), fall 0:47

69 kg/152 lbs. – Macey Kilty, Stratford, Wisc. (Sunkist Kids)
WIN Sonika Hooda (India), fall 3:00
WIN Anastasia Alpyeva (Ukraine), 12-1
vs. Mengwei Zhang (China)

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Cadet Day 3 Wrap and Day 4 Preview: Ramos grabs gold, Shilson reaches finals


The Fourth of July celebration for the United States at the Cadet World Championships included a near-perfect second session for the Americans in Zagreb, Croatia. Matthew Ramos captured a gold, Alex Facundo and A.J. Ferrari rallied back with late takedowns to bag bronzes and Emily Shilson continued her dominant path through the women’s freestyle bracket at 43 kilograms by rolling up Russia’s Viktoriia Aleksandrova 11-1 in the semifinals. The only loss for the United States in Wednesday’s second session came when Uzbekistan’s Shakhbos Komilov defeated Chance Lamer 10-2 for a bronze at 45 kilograms.



His resume includes four Fargo podium finishes, including a pair of Cadet finals appearances last summer.

His last two trips to the Illinois high school state tournament netted fifth- and third-place finishes.

Matthew Ramos has regularly put himself in the mix to win big tournaments, but he’s never won anything like this. Only a select fraternity of Americans have.

On Wednesday, Ramos became the 41st wrestler in United States history to capture a Cadet men’s freestyle World title.

“I can’t even explain it right now,” Ramos said in an interview with USA Wrestling. “It’s amazing. I wish I could’ve gotten to my offense, but I don’t even care right now. I’m just so excited right now.”

The path to gold was filled with landmines. Ramos needed a late takedown to seal a 5-3 win against Greece’s Ioanis Martidis in his first match of the tournament. He dug himself out of a five-point deficit during a 10-5 quarterfinal win against Mongolia’s Dashhtseren Purvee. He made a two-point tilt stand in a 2-2 criteria win in the semis against Iran’s Seyederfan Jafariangelyerdi and he trailed 5-2 after the break when he cranked Japan’s Kota Takahashi to his back with a bundle-arm stepover for a fall.

“He’s been scrapping all week — all week at training camp,” Cadet freestyle coach Kellen Russell said in an interview with USA Wrestling. “He’s a very unorthodox-type of wrestler and it really works to his advantage in the finals. He was getting in deep, using his funky hips and was able to get that bundle and stepover. I think he got it on that guy four times and the last time he sealed the deal. But he kept wrestling through every position and not giving up easy points.”

The United States topped off the day with two dramatic wins in bronze medal bouts.

Alex Facundo trailed by five with less than a minute remaining, but rallied back to beat Russia’s

Makhmud Magomedov 6-6 at 71 kilograms. Facundo scored four when he tossed Magomedov from a rear-standing position and then snapped the Russian down and spun around to score with 17 seconds left.

Ferrari registered a pair of wins against Asian Cadet medalists Wednesday morning and positioned himself to make the comeback to bronze at 92 kilograms when he took a 1-0 lead into the final minute against Germany’s Johannes Mayer, a European Cadet silver medalist. But Ferrari got put on the activity clock and then gave up a step-out point, forcing him to find points late. He got in on a single and finished with four seconds left to win a 3-2 decision.

The United States concluded the men’s freestyle tournament with six medals — one gold (Ramos), two silvers (Richard Figueroa II and Greg Kerkvliet) and three bronzes (Facundo, Ferrari and Abe Assad) — and finished second to Iran in the team race with 132 points. The Iranians took home three golds, a silver and three bronzes and accumulated 152 points. Russia was third with 116.

Shilson cruised into the Cadet World finals for the second straight year with a dominant run through her side of the bracket. She scored a pin and a technical superiority win Wednesday morning and rolled up Russia’s Viktoriia Aleksandrova 11-1 in the semifinals. She’ll face Azerbaijan’s Shahana Nazarova on Thursday for the 43-kilogram gold. Nazarova won Cadet gold last year at 38 kilograms.

The only other American who survived the tournament’s first day of women’s freestyle action was Tiare Ikei, who got pulled back into the repechage at 49 kilograms, thanks to a semifinal win by Russia’s Polina Lukina.

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Cadet Wednesday morning recap: Ferrari reaches medal round, Shilson rolls into semis

Good morning and Happy Fourth of July, folks. If you’re just getting up, here’s what you missed during the early session on Day 3 of the Cadet World Championships (the full brackets are linked below):

A.J. Ferrari handled a pair of Asian Cadet medalists to reach the bronze medal bout at 92 kilograms. He’s one of four Americans who will wrestle in today’s men’s freestyle medal round, which is scheduled to begin at noon ET after the conclusion of the women’s freestyle semifinals.

Ferrari started his day with an 8-2 win against Asian Cadet silver Yunus Gafurov of Kazakhstan and followed that up with an 8-1 victory against India’s Monu Dahiya, an Asian Cadet bronze medalist. The Texas native will wrestle Germany’s Johannes Mayer for bronze.

Even with Ferrari’s performance, the United States merely held serve with Iran in the team race during Wednesday’s first session. The Iranians, who entered the day with the lead, picked up two wins from Aliakbar Fazlikhalili, who reached the 60-kilogram bronze medal bout.

The first session of women’s freestyle produced a mixed bag of United States results. Emily Shilson reached the 43-kilogram semifinals with two dominant performances, but she was the only American to get through the first session unscathed.

Shilson kicked off her tournament with a fall against Romania’s Ana Maria Gabriela Cristescu and dismantled India’s Simran Simran 10-0 in the quarterfinals. The Minnesota native’s performance resembled her early-round work last September in Greece when she collected a Cadet World silver.

Shilson mowed down everybody in here path to the finals last year before falling to Japan’s Umi Ito in the gold medal bout. Shilson won’t have to go through a Japanese opponent this time to take home gold. Azerbaijan’s Shahana Nazarova handled Japan’s Anna Ueno 9-2 in the opening round at 43 kilograms. It was the only loss of the session for Japan.

The United States experienced a bumpier ride Wednesday morning. The Americans were down one wrestler right off the bat when Cheyenne Bowman forfeited her first bout of the day. Russia’s Valeriia Trifonova downed Tristan Kelly 12-0 in the first round at 73 kilograms.

Tiare Ikei and Kiana Pugh each notched a fall before suffering defeats in the quarterfinal round. Pugh spotted Ukraine’s Oksana Chudyk an 8-0 lead before falling 9-5 at 65 kilograms.

(Photo: Cadet World silver medalist Emily Shilson scored a fall and a technical superiority win in her two bouts Wednesday morning/Richard Immel)

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Cadet Day 2 Wrap and Day 3 Preview: USA claims two silvers and a bronze; Ramos takes aim at gold on Wednesday and women’s freestyle begins




The United States finished the day with four medals in the bag and an opportunity to increase that number to seven when men’s freestyle competition wraps up on Wednesday. Richard Figueroa II and Daniel Kerkvliet dropped decisions in the finals and claimed silver medals, Abe Assad won three matches Tuesday to grab a bronze and Matthew Ramos wrestled his way into Wednesday’s gold medal match at 51 kilograms. Americans Chance Lamer and Alex Facundo will wrestle Wednesday for bronze and A.J. Ferrari needs two wins to reach the medal round.


4:30 a.m. ET — Men’s freestyle repechage at 45, 51, 60, 71 and 92 kilograms and women’s freestyle qualification rounds at 43, 49, 57, 65 and 73 kilograms.

11:30 a.m. ET — Women’s freestyle semifinals at 43, 49, 57, 65 and 73 kilograms.

Noon ET — Men’s freestyle medal matches at 45, 51, 60, 71 and 92 kilograms.


The pendulum was bound to swing back the other way at some point. The United States had been on a men’s freestyle roll at the Cadet World Championships that defied the law of percentages.

The Americans reached the Cadet finals 18 times in the seven years since United World Wrestling reinstated the tournament. They won 16 of those 18 title bouts, including 10 of 11 during the past three years.

Greg Kerkvliet was part of that gold rush. He was one of four American gold medalists last year in Greece when he took home the title at 100 kilograms. But UWW increased the weight limit this year at heavyweight to 110 kilograms, and Kerkvliet — who will wrestle at 97 kilograms in September at the Junior World Championships — ran into a full-grown man with a beard in Tuesday’s heavyweight gold medal bout.

Iran’s Amir Hossein Abbas Zare controlled the center of the mat and stymied Kerkvliet with underhooks, driving the Minnesota native out four times for step-out points, saddling Kerkvliet with two cautions in the process, and tacking on another takedown on the edge to win a 7-4 decision.

Kerkvliet was bidding to become the fourth men’s freestyle repeat Cadet World champ in American history.

“I just got a chance to watch the video again and I don’t know if we underestimated the kid a little bit, but it looked like we underestimated him a little bit,” USA Wrestling freestyle developmental coach Kevin Jackson said in an interview with USA Wrestling. “We have to stay in that handfight. Being able to handfight, being able to defend yourself from distance — head and hands position — that’s a world-class skill, and we just didn’t stay consistent with the handfight, we didn’t stay consistent with addressing the underhook when it happened right now.”

It brought an end to a day when the United States made a charge in the team race but lost critical ground late to the Iranians.

Abe Assad battled back Tuesday with three wins to bag a bronze at 80 kilograms, but Chance Lamer and Alex Facundo dropped semifinal matches and the other American finalist, Richard Figueroa II, fell victim to a four-point takedown in the second period that gave Azerbaijan’s  Alihasan Amirli the lead on his way to a 6-1 win at 48 kilograms and his second Cadet gold.

“It was a tough day — tough session,” Jackson said. “Obviously, we thought we had some opportunities to advance to the finals. We had an opportunity to win a gold medal at 48 kilos and got caught with a four-point move. I like our guy’s effort, there’s just some areas we need to spend more time in, especially at that age group — those handfights, those underhooks, beating those positions and really being able to counter those strong tie-ups. I think we need to get better in those positions. Obviously, our guys are wrestling hard, bringing home some medals, but this was a tough, tough session tonight.”

Assad’s run through the repechage and the performance of Matthew Ramos, another Illinois native, eased some of the sting.

Ramos had to get a late takedown to seal a 5-3 win against Greece’s Ioannis Martidis in his first match of the day at 51 kilograms and rallied back from a 5-0 deficit to post a 10-5 win against Mongolia’s Dashtseren Purvee in the quarterfinals. He made a two-point exposure stand as the difference in the semifinals when he downed Iran’s Seyederfan Jafariangelyerdi 2-2.

“Man, he’s a competitor,” Jackson said of Ramos, who will face Japan’s Kota Takahashi in Wednesday’s gold medal bout. “He’s got some offensive skills I didn’t know he had and I think other people didn’t know he had. He’s been known as a defensive wrestler, but at a World Championship you have to bring your skills, you have to be able to take guys down and get your offense off, and he’s been able to do that.”

Lamer gritted through a pair of matches in Tuesday’s early session, stopping Pavel Sagdy’s go-ahead gutwrench attempt in the closing seconds and holding the Russia on his back for a fall and breaking open a tight match after the break to defeat Japan’s Shusei Yamashita 12-3 in the quarterfinals at 45 kilograms.

The Oregon native, though, ran into a buzzsaw in the semifinals. Armenia’s Rafayel Harutyunyan scored a quick takedown and locked up a gut for four turns to register his third 10-0 tech of the day, bouncing Lamer into the bronze medal bout.

Facundo led 5-2 with less than a minute left in the 71-kilogram semifinals, but India’s Baliyan Gourav scored a pair of takedowns to win a 6-5 decision.

Ferrari got pulled back into the repechage when Iran’s Alireza Abdollahi reached the 92-kilogram gold medal bout. The Texan will try to duplicate what Assad did Tuesday when he reeled off three straight victories to claim a bronze. Assad finished his run with a 7-6 victory against Azerbaijan’s Sagadulla Agaev.

“Abe battled the whole tournament,” Jackson said. “He kind of had to refocus three or four times throughout the course of this tournament. Throughout the course of matches he kind of got down on himself, but then he got it back together and he competed like a champion.

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