Kilty, Figueroa, Ortega wrestling for women's freestyle bronze at Cadet Worlds

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | Sept. 15, 2016, 7:37 a.m. (ET)
 Macey Kilty (USA) in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Cadet Worlds
 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: Gerhard Remus,
VIDEO: 2016 Junior World Championships Interviews

TBILISI, Georgia – U.S. women Macey Kilty, Gracie Figueroa and Ashlynn Ortega all advanced to a bronze medal match at the 2016 Cadet World Championships held at New Sport Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia on Thursday.

It was a slow start for the four American women competing in the opening session of women’s freestyle. The U.S. went 1-3 in the first round of action with Kilty being the only woman to advance past her initial foe.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted to start,” U.S. coach Emma Randall noted after the morning session. “We kind of came out on the mats scared, tentative, and that’s not how we wrestle. We got lucky we got pulled back into the tournament, and we did our jobs when it came to repechage.”

Kilty’s opening match at 49 kg/108 lbs. against 2015 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Aktenge Keunimjaeva of Uzbekistan was decided as the final buzzer sounded. Kilty trailed on criteria 6-6 as time expired in the second period while working for a leg-turk turn. The U.S. corner challenged for exposure points and succeeded, granting Kilty an 8-6 win.

The Wisconsin native navigated to the semifinals with impressive wins over two-time Cadet European medalist Szimonetta Szeker of Hungary and Minakshi Minakshi of India. Kilty’s championship run was stopped short by two-time Cadet World champion Yui Susaki of Japan.

Kilty, a 2016 USAW Cadet Freestyle Nationals champion, will square off against 2016 Cadet European silver medalist Zhala Aliyeva of Azerbaijan for the 49 kg bronze medal.

The three U.S. women to lose in round one, Figueroa, Ortega and Caitlyn Walker, were all pulled into the repechage after the finals were determined.

Returning for her second-straight Cadet Worlds, Figueroa was downed by 2016 Junior European champion Anastasia Nichita of Moldova, 12-0, in her opener at 56 kg/123.25 lbs. Figueroa outlasted 2016 Cadet European silver medalist Anna Szel of Hungary, 7-6, in a back-and-forth repechage bout to qualify for the bronze medal match.

The four-time Fargo champion hailing from California takes on last year’s Cadet World bronze medalist Anastasia Sizenko of Russia for bronze tonight.

Ortega, a two-time Cadet World team member, dropped a tough 10-0 bout to Russia’s 2014 Cadet World champion Khanum Velieva in the first round at 65 kg/143.25 lbs. The talented American stormed through the repechage, winning decisive matches over Carin Alden of Sweden and Anastasiya Lavrenchuk of Ukraine to secure her berth in the bronze medal match.

The less-experienced Walker was defeated 9-0 by 2016 Cadet Asian silver medalist Manisha Manisha of India in her first go at 38 kg/83.5 lbs. Walker then fell in a high-paced repechage bout to Shahana Nazarova of Azerbaijan, 13-7.

“I think they did a great job of changing their mentality when we asked them to step up,” Randall added. “Making sure we are reminding them, you know, you flew all the way across the world. Do you want to leave here empty handed? You’ve still got to go out there and get the job done one more time.”

The women’s freestyle medal matches at 38 kg, 43 kg, 49 kg, 56 kg and 65 kg will be wrestled at matches at 10 a.m. (ET) today.

Flowrestling will provide a live stream and archived matches of the 2016 Cadet World Championships to U.S. spectators at A Flo Pro membership is required to view the competition. 

Complete brackets and match-by-match results can be viewed at

Sept. 13-18 at Tbilisi, Georgia

Finals Matchups
38 kg/83.5 lbs.
Gold – Petya Delcheva (Bulgaria) vs. Manisha Manisha (India)
Bronze – Shahana Nazarova (Azerbaijan) vs. Valeriia Chistobaeva (Russia)
Bronze – Tatsiana Blinkouskaya (Belarus) vs. Nada Mohamed (Egypt)

43 kg/94.75 lbs.
Gold – Manami Ueno (Japan) vs. Daria Khvostova (Russia)
Bronze – Reem Ahmed (Egypt) vs. Ankush Ankush (India)
Bronze – Aynur Jamalova (Azerbaijan) vs. Anna Maria Torres Rubio (Spain)

49 kg/108 lbs.
Gold – Mariia Tiumerekova (Russia) vs. Yui Susaki (Japan)
Bronze – Macey Kilty (United States) vs. Zhala Aliyeva (Azerbaijan)
Bronze – Emanuela Liuzzi (Italy) vs. Zeynep Yetgil (Turkey)

56 kg/123.25 lbs.
Gold – Anastasia Nichita (Moldova) vs. Andoriahanako Sawa (Japan)
Bronze – Krystsina Sazykina (Belarus) vs. Oksana Chudyk (Ukraine)
Bronze – Anastasia Sizenko (Russia) vs. Gracie Figueroa (United States)

65 kg/143.25 lbs.
Gold – Miwa Morikawa (Japan) vs. Khanum Velieva (Russia)
Bronze – Aukse Rutkauskaite (Lithuania) vs. Meerim Zhumanazarova (Kyrgyzstan)
Bronze – Tuende Elekes (Hungary) vs. Ashlynn Ortega (United States)

U.S. women’s freestyle results
38 kg/83.5 lbs. – Caitlyn Walker, Hartboro, Pa.
LOSS Manisha Manisha (India), 9-0
LOSS Shahana Nazarova (Azerbaijan), 13-7

49 kg/108 lbs. – Macey Kilty, Stratford, Wisc.
WIN Aktenge Keunimjaeva (Uzbekistan), 8-6
WIN Szimonetta Szeker (Hungary), 9-4
WIN Minakshi Minakshi (India), Fall 3:19
LOSS Yui Susaki (Japan), Fall

56 kg/123.25 lbs. – Gracie Figueroa, Selma, Calif. 
LOSS Anastasia Nichita (Moldova), 12-0
WIN Anna Szel (Hungary), 7-6

65 kg/143.25 lbs. – Ashlynn Ortega, Pueblo, Colo. 
LOSS Khanum Velieva (Russia), 10-0
WIN Carin Alden (Sweden), 8-0
WIN Anastasiya Lavrenchuk (Ukraine), 10-0