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U.S. Junior athletes set for UWW Junior World Championships, Aug. 30-Sept. 4

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Aug. 25, 2016, 11:34 a.m. (ET)

 Spencer Lee looks to become the first U.S. men's freestyle wrestler to 
win two Junior World titles.
The United States will send three gifted teams to compete against the best 17-20-year-old wrestlers in the world in all three Olympic styles at the UWW Junior World Championships in Macon, France, on Aug. 30-Sept. 4. 

The event will begin with Greco-Roman competition on Aug. 30-31, followed by women’s freestyle on Sept. 1-2 and closing with men’s freestyle on Sept. 3-4.

Two Junior World medalists return to the event, including men’s freestyle champion Spencer Lee (Murraysville, Pa./Young Guns) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and women’s freestyle bronze medalist Becka Leathers of (Choctaw, Okla./ Gator OKCU RTC) at 55 kg/121 lbs.

Lee, who was also a Cadet World champion in 2014, seeks his third-straight World title and looks to become only the third American wrestler to win two Junior World championships, following Ali Bernard in 2003 and 2005 and Victoria Anthony in 2009 and 2010. If achieved, he would be the first U.S. men’s freestyle wrestler to accomplish the feat.

Each team returns wrestlers from the 2015 UWW Junior World Championships.

The Greco-Roman squad, which finished 14th at last year’s World Championships, sends Dalton Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./NMU-OTS), who finished eighth last year at 55 kg and 2016 U.S. Senior Greco-Roman national team member G’Angelo Hancock, who placed 12th at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

Other notable wrestlers for the Greco team are Austria Junior Greco-Roman silver medalist Randon Miranda (Palmdale, Calif./NMU-OTS) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and 2015 Cadet World fifth-place finisher Taylor LaMont (Mapleton, Utah/Champions WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Several Greco-World team members are active on the college scene with Miranda, Roberts and Jamal DeArmond attending the Northern Michigan USOTS, and Taylor LaMont and Nick Reenan starting their first years at Utah Valley and North Carolina State this fall. 

The women’s team looks to build off a sixth-place finish from 2015 with a loaded roster.

In addition to Leathers, three other women will return to the UWW Junior World Championships, including Rachel Watters (Ankeny, Iowa/Gator OKCU RTC), who took fifth at 72 kg/158.5 lbs., Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville, Ky./Sunkist Kids), who finished eighth at 59 kg/130 lbs., and Marina Doi (Kingsburg, Calif./Titan Mercury WC), who competed at 44 kg/97 lbs.

Doi and Miracle earned Junior World bronzes in 2014, in addition to Cadet World medals. Doi produced three World medals at the Cadet level with a gold in 2012, a silver in 2011 and a bronze in 2013. Miracle picked up a silver medal in 2012.

Six of the women’s freestyle wrestlers will return to collegiate competition after Worlds, including Doi at King University, Miracle at Campbellsville University, Maya Nelson at University of the Cumberlands, Alexis Porter at McKendree Univeristy and Leathers and rising freshman Rachel Watters at Oklahoma City University.

The men’s freestyle team is primed for another good finish after taking fourth last year.

On the men’s freestyle team, Mark Hall of Apple Valley, Minn., (74 kg/163 lbs.), a 2014 Cadet World champion, and Zahid Valencia of Pico Rivera, Calif., (84 kg/185 lbs.) look to improve on their 2015 ninth and 10th place finishes, respectively.

Valencia saw Senior international competition earlier this summer at the Grand Prix of Spain, where he competed alongside 2015 Cadet World bronze medalist Daton Fix and Seth Gross, who will also compete in France at the Junior World Championships at 55 kg and 60 kg.

The squad boasts another Cadet World medalist in Jordan Wood (Gilbertsville, Pa./Lehigh Valley WC), who earned silver in 2014. He will compete at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Gross of South Dakota State, Valencia of Arizona State, Alec Pantaleo of Michigan and Kollin Moore of Ohio State will return for another year of NCAA competition, while incoming freshman Hall and Wood will begin their collegiate careers at Penn State and Lehigh, respectively.

Flowrestling is expected to live stream the competition on its website, Those interested in watching will need a FloPro account. Results can also be found at

Follow the action daily on and through USA Wrestling’s social media outlets.

At Macon, France, August 30-Sept. 4

U.S. Greco-Roman roster
50 kg/110 lbs. – Randon Miranda, Palmdale, Calif. (NMU-OTS)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Dalton Roberts, Fowlerville, Mich. (NMU-OTS)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Taylor LaMont, Mapleton, Utah (Champions WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Jamal DeArmond, Marquette, Mich. (NMU-OTS)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kamal Bey, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Front Range WC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Nick Reenan, Dallas, Texas (Dallas Dynamite WC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Front Range WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Michael Rogers, Round Rock, Texas (Bison Legend WC)
Greco-Roman National Coach – Matt Lindland, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team coach – Ahad Javansalehi, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team coach – Derrick Waldroup, Kingwood, Texas

Women’s Freestyle roster
44 kg/97 lbs. – Marina Doi, Kingsburg, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – McKayla Campbell, Wauseon, Ohio (Ohio National Team)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Brenda Reyna, Mount Vernon, Wash. (Vandit Wrestling Academy)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Becka Leathers, Choctaw, Okla. (Gator OKCU RTC)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Maya Nelson, Denver, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Alexis Porter, Ballston Lake, N.Y. (McKendree University)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Rachel Watters, Ankeny, Iowa (Gator OKCU RTC)
Assistant Women’s National Coach – Erin Tomeo, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team coach – Tricia Saunders, Phoenix, Ariz.
World Team coach – Sam Schmitz, Lebanon, Ill.
World Team coach – Brent Barnes, Lake Stevens, Wash.

Men’s Freestyle roster
50 kg/110 lbs. – Spencer Lee, Murraysville, Pa. (Young Guns)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Daton Fix, Sand Springs, Okla. (Team BIG)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Seth Gross, Rosemount, Minn. (Jackrabbit WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Alec Pantaleo, Canton, Mich. (Michigan RTC)
74 kg163 lbs. – Mark Hall, Apple Valley, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Zahid Valencia, Pico Rivera, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kollin Moore, Burbank, Ohio (Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Jordan Wood, Gilbertsville, Pa. (Lehigh Valley WC)
Assistant Freestyle National Coach – Brandon Slay, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team Coach – Mitch Hull, Sun Prairie, Wisc.
World Team Coach – Jamill Kelly, Redwood City, Calif.
Coach – Chris Bono, Brookings, S.D.
Coach – Jon Reader, Brookings, S.D.
Coach – Zeke Jones, Tempe, Ariz.
Coach – Chris Pendleton, Tempe, Ariz.
Coach – Jeff Buxton, Easton, Pa.
Coach – Tom Ryan, Columbus, Ohio
Coach – Josh Churella, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Coach – Cael Sanderson, State College, Pa.
Medical – Dr. Bryan Warme, Ames, Iowa
Medical – Eitan Gelber, San Jose, Calif.
Referee – Casey Brennan Goessl, St. Paul, Minn.
Referee – Danny Blackshear, Oklahoma City, Okla.

UWW Junior Worlds Schedule
Listed is local time in Macon, which is six hours before U.S. Eastern time

Tuesday, August 30
Greco-Roman, 50 kg, 60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg (Miranda, LaMont, Bey, Hancock)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
7:00 p.m. – Opening Ceremony
7:30 p.m. – Finals

Wednesday, August 31
Greco-Roman 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg (Roberts, DeArmond, Reenan, Rogers)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
6:00 p.m. – Finals

Thursday, September 1
Women’s Freestyle 44 kg, 51 kg, 59 kg, 67 kg (Doi, Reyna, Miracle, Porter)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
6:00 p.m. – Finals

Friday, September 2
Women’s Freestyle 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg (Campbell, Leathers, Nelson, Watters)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
7:30 p.m. – Finals

Saturday, September 3
Men’s Freestyle 50 kg, 60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg (Lee, Gross, Hall, Moore)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
6:00 p.m. – Finals

Sunday, September 4
Men’s Freestyle 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg (Fix, Pantaleo, Valencia, Wood)
10:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
6:00 p.m. – Finals