New York makes history wins 2013 Junior Women s Freestyle Duals 39 17 over California

By Bryan Baumgartner | July 19, 2013, 7:13 a.m. (ET)
New York's Yuneris Taveras (blue) won by fall over Milagros Gracia of California (red). Photo by John Sachs.

FARGO, N.D. - New York made history at the 2013 USA Wrestling Women's Junior Freestyle Duals by becoming the first team to win the championship other than California and Texas. Rachel Hale (121 lbs.), Rosemary Flores (125 lbs.) and Shannon Henry (130 lbs.) rattled off three straight pins to finish the match and secure a 39-17 victory over the defending champion California.

"I went into the meeting a couple days ago and told them that New York planned on winning the duals and I think I was laughed out of there" New York head women's coach Rob Hirsch said. "We knew we had lost a strong leader in Jeff Blatnick and with his picture on the back of our singlet's it says Dream Big. We looked at everyone and said we believe we can win this and little by little everyone else in the building will too."

New York's victory came less than a year after Blatnick's, an Olympic gold medalist and great supporter of women's wrestling in New York, death after complications with heart surgery.

"His inspiration will forever echo. He has made an impact that will forever ripple. He supported everything we did and he supported women's wrestling in New York" Hirsch said. "He gave more money to women's wrestling in New York and he was the first one to push upstate and downstate working together. He inspired the togetherness and team that we have today."

California and New York met earlier in the 2013 Duals, but Hirsch made a strategic move and did not wrestle all of his starters, giving up a shot at a higher seed in the championship.

"Marcie Van Dusen talked to me at the lunch room and asked, 'Hirsch what was up with that, why wouldn't you want to take us on and go for a better seed?' And I told her we know that you have numbers and that you could rest some and wrestle some. I said that we don't have that privilege" Hirsch said. "So we wrestled some of our extras. I told Marcie I planned on seeing her in the finals, that David only threw one rock when he faced Goliath and I'm going to throw the best one I can. I left Marcie and said that I had to go find that rock."

Forrest Molinari kicked off the finals for California with a win at 139 lbs. over Alexis Bleau of New York. Molinari held off a late comeback by Bleau for the 7-6 decision.

Women's freestyle junior national champion Alexis Porter was relentless with her shots against Junior National finalist Jasmine Mendoza at 148 lbs. Porter scored early and often before picking up the 14-1 technical fall victory in the second period.

At 159 lbs. New York's Kenneddi Eddins picked up a trio of takedowns in the second period against Alyssa Hernandez to take an 8-2 lead. Hernandez stormed back late scoring two on a takedown and two for exposure but Eddins held on for the 8-6 decision.

Destane Garrick of New York scored four points in the first minute against Courteney Tompkins of California at 172 lbs. Garrick stretched that to 9-0 late in the first period, but Tompkins scored a late take down making it 9-2 in favor of the New Yorker at the break. Garrick took Tompkins down to her back early in the second for three points and a 12-2 technical fall.

New York led the defending champion California 12-6 after the first for matches.
"Our whole team from the top of the lineup through the bottom of the lineup had a lot of talent and it was nice that we all worked together towards this goal" New York 121 pounder and 2013 Cadet Women's Freestyle champion Rachel Hale said.

At 198 lbs. Yuneris Taveras of New York shot out to a 4-0 lead over California's Milagros Gracia of California early in the first period. At 2:33 Taveras put Gracia to her back to for the fall and scoring five more points for New York.

Cadet women's freestyle 95 lbs. champion McKenzie Bacich came right back with a technical fall over Kim Cardenas of New York at 97 lbs. Bacich had Cardenas on her back with a chance for the pin and five crucial team points for California, but Cardenas was able to keep her shoulders off the mat.

California's Angelica Llanes, a 2013 Women's Freestyle Cadet champion at 108 lbs., was able to secure the pin at over New York's Jennifer Juarez picking up a big five points for California at 105 lbs.

Kelsey Gray of New York scored two big takedowns on Annastasia Ramirez of California at 112 lbs. and led 8-4 at the break. Gray took Ramirez down three more times in the second period to pick up the 14-4 technical fall.

After two-thirds of the matches New York held a 21-16 lead over California.

"Each girl was feeding off the last girl's energy. I got a pin and we just kept rolling through the lineup" Hale said.

New York's Sara Anderson jumped out to a 4-0 lead over California's Ricki Liang in the first period at 117 lbs. Anderson tallied five more points in the second period for the 9-1 decision, stretching New York's lead to 24-17 with three matches remaining.

After that came the three consecutive falls from Hale, Flores and Henry to close out the final. Hale's came over Isabella Fernandez in 0:52, Flores took 0:26 to pin Ismileyna Valles and Henry finished off Jasmine Mendez in 3:34.

Hale credit's New York's coach with instilling the right mindset in the team.

"Rob Hirsch definitely worked us really hard in the week leading up to Fargo" Hale said. "He prepared us and told us that he believed we had the ability and the talent to win it. We're all really pumped that we reached that goal."

Texas defeated Michigan 29-27 in a battle for third; Washington knocked off California #2 for fifth place 42-13 and Texas #2 defeated Hawaii 25-22 to finish in seventh.

2013 USA Wrestling Junior Women's Freestyle Duals
At Fargo, N.D., July 17, 2013

Finals Results

New York over California #1, 39-17
139 - Forrest Molinari (California #1) over Alexis Bleau (New York) Dec 7-6
148 - Alexis Porter (New York) over Jasmine Mendoza (California #1) TF 14-1
159 - Keneddi Eddins (New York) over Alyssa Hernandez (California #1) Dec 8-6
172 - Destane Garrick (New York) over Courteney Tompkins (California #1) TF 12-2
198 - Yuneris Taveras (New York) over Milagros Gracia (California #1) Pin 2:33
97 - McKenzie Bacich (California #1) over Kim Cardenas (New York) TF 10-0
105 - Angelica Llanes (California #1) over Jennifer Juarez (New York) Pin 5:02
112 - Kelsey Gray (New York) over Annastasia Ramirez (California #1) TF 14-4
117 - Sara Andresen (New York) over Ricki Liang (California #1) Dec 9-1
121 - Rachel Hale (New York) over Isabella Fernandez (California #1) Pin 0:52
125 - Rosemary Flores (New York) over Ismileyna Valles (California #1) Pin 0:26
130 - Shannon Henry (New York) over Jasmine Mendez (California #1) Pin 3:34

Third Place Match

Texas #1 defeats Michigan 29-27
139 - Anel Cantu (Texas 1) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
148 - Rachel Bates (Texas 1) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
159 - Autumn Rux (Michigan) over Taylor Rosario (Texas 1) Dec 1-1
172 - Kaitlyn Hill (Michigan) over Cassie Garcia (Texas 1) TF 11-0
198 - Nicola Newton (Texas 1) over Brenna Ramirez (Michigan) Pin 1:53
97 - Alma Cardenas (Texas 1) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
10 - Patricia Martin (Michigan) over Tayler Resuriz (Texas 1) Pin 1:46
112 - Bobbi Navarette (Texas 1) over Brook Harvey (Michigan) TF 10-0
117 - Steffanie Hampton (Michigan) over Lindsay Spjut (Texas 1) Pin 2:43
121 - Kesey Ricketts (Michigan) over Nancy Alvarez (Texas 1) Pin 2:33
125 - Cassidy Jasperson (Texas 1) over Alyssa Greenleaf (Michigan) TF 10-0
130 - Marlie Gillis (Michigan) over Montana Stewart (Texas 1) Pin 1:37

Fifth Place Match

Washington defeats California #2 42-13
97 - Feliza Perez (California #2) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
105 - Marizza Birrueta (Washington) over Gabriella Garcia (California #2) Dec 10-8
112 - Kassi Strano (Washington) over Maddy Tung (California #2) Pin 1:49
117 - Viannei Perez (Washington) over Nicole Mattz (California #2) TF 12-0
121 - Rachel Archer (Washington) over Marina Briceno (California #2) Pin 0:53
125 - Arian Carpio (Washington) over Daishea Jaime (California #2) Dec 8-2
130 - Amberlee Brasch (Washington) over Maraya Carmona (California #2) Pin 1:41
139 - Tatum Sparks (Washington) over Solin Piearcy (California #2) TF 11-0
148 - Desiree Zavala (Washington) over Katie Auxier (California #2) TF 17-4
159 - Jessica Rodriguez (California #2) over Kelsi Syverson (Washington) Pin 0:24
172 - Kiaya Van Scoyoc (Washington) over Nahiela Magee (California #2) TF 12-0
198 - Ryan Gibbons (Washington) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

Seventh Place Match

Texas #2 defeats Hawaii 25-22
139 Emma Mooneyham (Texas 2) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
148 Destiny Garza (Texas 2) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
159 Jennifer Scaggs (Texas 2) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
172 Double Forfeit
198 Raegan Hernandez (Texas 2) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
97 Double Forfeit
105 Miranda Oda (Hawaii) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
112 Brittany Bates (Texas 2) over Marissa Hesapene (Hawaii) Pin 0:43
117 Rebekah Johnson (Hawaii) over Dineesha Jones (Texas 2) TF 10-0
121 Kristin Yamaska (Hawaii) over Caerah Wilkins (Texas 2) TF 11-0
125 Teshya Alo (Hawaii) over Deedrah Cattouse (Texas 2) TF 10-0
130 Shannon Paaaina (Hawaii) over Ramsey Minto (Texas 2) Pin 2:20