Final four U.S. women weigh in and get draws at FILA Junior Worlds in Croatia

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Aug. 07, 2014, 4:25 p.m. (ET)
ZAGREB, Croatia – The final four U.S. women freestyle wrestlers have weighed in and received their draws for the FILA Junior World Championships on Friday, August 8.

The only returning FILA Junior World Team member is Cody Pfau (Brush, Colo./OKCU Gator RTC) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Pfau placed fifth at the 2013 FILA Junior World Championships, and is a star for Oklahoma City University.

Pfau drew Milana Dadisheva of Russia, who was third in 2012 European Junior Championships in the opening round.

“Cody was fifth here last year. She is hungry and wants to move up that ladder,” said U.S. coach Jenna Pavlik

A pair of 2013 U.S. FILA Cadet World Team members will also wrestle, Becka Leathers (Choctaw, Okla./Choctaw WC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (New York AC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

Leathers drew Anastassia Krasanova of Estonia in her first match. Krasanova was fifth in 2014 European Junior Championships.

“Becka is one of the captains of the team. She is very technical and very strong. We are looking for good things from her,” said Pavlik

Porter will battle 2012 European Cadet champion Signe Fidge of Norway in her first round.

“Alexis has proven herself on multiple levels. She has a great attack, a great offense. If she gets that going, she will do well,” said Pavlik.

College star Victoria Francis (Litchfield, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Lindenwood) will face Pooja of India at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Pooja was third the in 2014 Asian Junior Championships and fifth in 2013 Cadet World Championships

“Victoria is a brawler, very strong. She goes hard for six minutes. When you do that, good things happen for you,” said Pavlik.

Three of the four athletes competing Friday have been on previous age-group World Teams, and Francis competed overseas a number of times already this year.

“We are excited about this group. Anytime you have international experience, nothing is new for you. We try to stress that the mat size is the same no matter where you are. Nothing changes. Sometimes, we get caught up in everything outside of the mat. The girls that have been there before know how to block that out and focus on the job at hand,” said Pavlik.

At Zagreb, Croatia

U.S. Women’s Freestyle draws for Friday

48 kg/105.5 lbs. –Cody Pfau, Brush, Colo. (OKCU Gator RTC)
Vs. Milana Dadisheva (Russia), 3rd in 2012 European Junior Championships, 7th in 2014 European Junior Championships

55 kg/121 lbs. –Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Choctaw WC)
Vs. Anastassia Krasanova (Estonia), 5th in 2014 European Junior Championships, 8th in 2013 European Junior Championships

63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (New York AC)
Vs. Signe Fidge (Norway), 2012 European Cadet champion

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Victoria Francis, Litchfield, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Lindenwood)
Vs. Pooja (India), 3rd in 2014 Asian Junior Championships, 5th in 2013 Cadet World Championships