Heaton-Kilty tussle headlines star-studded USMC Junior Nationals women's freestyle finals

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | July 21, 2017, 12:08 p.m. (ET)
Photo: Defending champion Cameron Guerin (Washington) in the Junior Nationals semifinals. Photo by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling.

FARGO, N.D. – The women’s freestyle championship matchups have been determined at the U.S. Marine Corps Junior Nationals after gripping round of semifinals were wrestled on Friday morning inside the notorious Fargodome.

The premier finals contest will come at 127 pounds as Cadet World champion Ronna Heaton of South Dakota will square off against Cadet World bronze medalist Macey Kilty of Wisconsin. Heaton grinded through a 10-4 decision over Texas’ Xochitl Mota-Pettis in her semifinal. Kilty downed defending champion Brenda Reyna of Washington, 9-8, in a captivating contest to solidify her finals berth.

Heaton was a champion at this event in 2015. She has earned a gold and silver medal at the Cadet Worlds, and will take her second trip to the Junior World Championships this year. Kilty has won the Cadet Nationals in back-to-back years, also earning the Outstanding Wrestler award in Cadet’s earlier this week.

At 117 pounds, two returning champions will meet for all the marbles. California’s Alleida Martinez, a two-time Cadet World medalist, stands opposite Junior World Team member and Cadet Pan American champion Cameron Guerin of Washington. Both women were dominant in the semifinals, Martinez winning 10-0, and Guerin scoring a pin in 0:58.

Two World Teamers will battle at 106 pounds, with Ohio’s McKayla Campbell and Pennsylvania’s Vayle Baker meeting on the raised platform. Campbell, a member of the Junior World Team, won 10-0 over Idaho’s Cadet Nationals champion Brelane Huber in her semifinal. Baker, a two-time Cadet World Team member, outlasted Michigan’s Katlyn Pizzo in the opposite semifinal, 9-8.

California sensation Gracie Figueroa continued her dominant run in Fargo with an 11-0 win over Marisol Nugent of Maine. Figueroa, a Cadet World bronze medalist and two-time Junior Nationals champion, looks for a three-peat against Colorado’s Kortney Boehm tonight at 122 pounds.

Cadet World bronze medalist and returning champion Alara Boyd of Indiana looked sharp in a 12-2 win over Illinois product Grace Kristoff in the 144-pound semifinals. She will be tested by 2016 Cadet Nationals champion and Junior Pan American champion Jayden Laurent of Wisconsin.

Georgia’s Kayla Marano is in position for a Junior Nationals repeat after torching Wisconsin’s Kiana Pugh, 12-0. The Cadet World bronze medalist will face last year’s Cadet Nationals runner-up Alexis Gomez of Illinois for the 152-pound title.

Defending champions Emily Shilson of Minnesota and Alexandria Liles of Texas navigated back to the Junior Nationals finals with impressive semifinal showings.

Shilson, a Cadet World Team member, teched Junior Pan American bronze medalist Charlie Hamer of Texas, 10-0. Her finals opponent at 100 pounds is talented Illinois wrestler Genae Sampract, who will make her first finals appearance in Fargo.

Junior World Team member Liles powered through Joessie Gonzales of Wisconsin, 12-1, to book her spot in the 132-pound championship. Breanna Douglas of Kansas will try her hand at Liles later this evening.

Junior Pan American champion Emma Bruntil solidified a finals berth for the second-consecutive year by soundly defeating Cadet Pan American champion Hannah Ramos of Wisconsin, 11-0. She will see past Cadet Nationals champion Jerzie Estrada for the 138-pound crown.

Cadet World Team member Alisha Howk of Wisconsin escaped Cadet Nationals champion Stefana Jelacic of Arizona with a narrow 8-7 semifinal win. Howk stands opposite Junior Folkstyle Nationals champion Autumn Gordon of Ohio in the 112-pound finals.

Virginia’s Jesse Kirby flexed her muscle against Wisconsin’s Natalie Kemp, 11-0, in a battle of Cadet Nationals champions. Kansas talent Marissa Patterson is Kirby’s finals opponent at 180 pounds.

Cadet Nationals champion Jasmin Clarke of California will go for her second title in Fargo this week at 225 pounds against fellow Californian Arianna Cobian.

Folkstyle Nationals champion Corey Burton is matched against Alexandra Castillo at 200 pounds in the second all-California battle in the finals.

At 164 pounds, California’s Dymond Guilford and Alaska’s Sydnee Kimber will compete for the top spot.

California pushed a whopping seven athletes to tonight’s finals. Wisconsin boasts the second-most finalists with three. Washington, Illinois and Colorado all had two wrestlers make the finals.

The women’s freestyle finals at the U.S. Marine Corps Junior Nationals will commence at 4 p.m. (CT) on Friday. All the action can be viewed live on Flowrestling.com. Complete brackets can be found on Flowrestling’s FloArena platform.

July 19-21 at Fargo, N.D.

Finals Matchups
100 lbs. – Genae Sampract (Illinois) vs. Emily Shilson (Minnesota)
106 lbs. – McKayla Campbell (Ohio) vs. Vayle Baker (Pennsylvania)
112 lbs. – Autumn Gordon (Ohio) vs. Alisha Howk (Wisconsin)
117 lbs. – Alleida Martinez (California) vs. Cameron Guerin (Washington)
122 lbs. – Gracie Figueroa (California) vs. Kourtney Boehm (Colorado)
127 lbs. – Ronna Heaton (South Dakota) vs. Macey Kilty (Wisconsin)
132 lbs. – Alexandria Liles (Texas) vs. Breanna Douglas (Kansas)
138 lbs. – Jerzie Estrada (Colorado) vs. Emma Bruntil (Washington)
144 lbs. – Alara Boyd (Indiana) vs. Jayden Laurent (Wisconsin)
152 lbs. – Kayla Marano (Georgia) vs. Alexis Gomez (Illinois)
164 lbs. – Dymond Guilford (California) vs. Sydnee Kimber (Alaska)
180 lbs. – Marissa Patterson (Kansas) vs. Jesse Kirby (Virginia)
200 lbs. – Alexandra Castillo (California) vs. Corey Burton (California)
225 lbs. – Jasmin Clarke (California) vs. Arianna Cobian (California)

Semifinal Results
100 pounds
Genae Sampract (Illinois) fall Nina Pham (California), 1:35
Emily Shilson (Minnesota) tech. fall Charlie Hamer (Texas), 10-0

106 pounds
McKayla Campbell (Ohio) tech. fall Brelane Huber (Idaho), 10-0
Vayle Baker (Pennsylvania) dec. Katlyn Pizzo (Michigan), 9-8

112 pounds
Autumn Gordon (Ohio) tech. fall Viktorya Torres (Washington), 15-2
Alisha Howk (Wisconsin) dec. Stefana Jelacic (Arizona), 8-7

117 pounds
Alleida Martinez (California) tech. fall Sierra Powell (Virginia), 10-0
Cameron Guerin (Washington) fall Ainslie Lane (Oklahoma), 0:58

122 pounds
Gracie Figueroa (California) tech. fall Marisol Nugent (Maine), 11-0
Kourtney Boehm (Colorado) dec. Cheyenne Sisenstein (New York), 12-11

127 pounds
Ronna Heaton (South Dakota) dec. Xochitl Mota-Pettis (Texas), 10-4
Macey Kilty (Wisconsin) dec. Brenda Reyna (Washington), 9-8

132 pounds
Alexandria Liles (Texas) tech. fall Joessie Gonzales (Washington), 12-1
Breanna Douglas (Kansas) fall Cara Broadus (Connecticut), 0:22

138 pounds
Jerzie Estrada (Colorado) tech. fall Sariah Stewart (New York) 10-0
Emma Bruntil (Washington) tech. fall Hannah Ramos (Wisconsin), 11-0

144 pounds
Alara Boyd (Indiana) tech. fall Grace Kristoff (Illinois), 12-2
Jayden Laurent (Wisconsin) fall Brooke Logan (Arizona), 2:27

152 pounds
Kayla Marano (Georgia) tech. fall Kiana Pugh (Wisconsin), 12-0
Alexis Gomez (Illinois) dec. Anatli Smalley (California), 11-0

164 pounds
Dymond Guilford (California) dec. Hailey Cancelleri (New York), 5-0
Sydnee Kimber (Alaska) fall Olivia Robinson (Oregon), 5:57

180 pounds
Marissa Patterson (Kansas) dec. Kaylee Seabolt (Georgia), 9-4
Jesse Kirby (Virginia) tech. fall Natalie Kemp (Wisconsin), 11-0

200 pounds
Alexandra Castillo (California) fall Alyssa Marianccio (Maryland), 2:25
Corey Burton (California) tech. fall Taja Showers (Virginia), 10-0

225 pounds
Jasmin Clarke (California) fall ShaMiia Wells (Tennessee), 2:16
Arianna Cobian (California) fall Khadeja Ayers (New York), 0:32