Sancho, Nelson among 12 tough wrestlers to win U23 World Team Trials on Saturday

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 07, 2017, 8:47 p.m. (ET)
Cover photo: Alejandro Sancho puts Sahid Kargbo to his back in the 66 kg Greco-Roman finals. Mark Lundy photo.
Lower photo: Maya Nelson gets a leg attack against Alexis Porter in the 63 kg women's finals. Mark Lundy photo.


ROCHESTER, Minn. – The first half of the 2017 U.S. U23 World Team was set on Saturday, when the day one finals were held in USA Wrestling’s U23 World Team Trials at the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday afternoon.

All eight U.S. women’s freestyle team members were determined, as well as four of the Greco-Roman team members. This is the qualifying event in all three Olympic disciplines for the U23 World Championships, set for Bydgoszcz, Poland, November 21-26.

Earning a spot on the 2017 U23 Greco-Roman team, after placing second in the 2017 U.S. Senior World Team Trials, was Alejandro Sancho of the New York AC/NMU-OTS, who defeated Sahid Kargbo of Patriot Elite WC, two matches to none, at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Sancho scored an 8-0 technical fall in the first match, and followed with a 10-4 decision in bout two. It was a rematch of the 2013 UWW Junior World Team Trials finals, won by Kargbo.

Sancho has been in the finals of six World Team Trials events since his days in the UWW Junior division, with all five of the finals of the previous events going the full three matches. This time, he was able finish it off in two straight bouts.

“I try get it done as fast as possible. I knew I had it in me. I finished a few good throws and finished well down in par terre. I had an incredible opponent. He one of the toughest guys I wrestle in America. It was a great match,” said Sancho.

2017 Junior World champion Maya Nelson of the Sunkist Kids made her second U.S. age-group World Team of the year, earning the 63 kg/138.75 lbs. team berth with a two-match sweep over Alexis Porter of the New York AC. Nelson won the first match, 5-0, then scored a takedown in the final seconds of bout two to win 4-2.

In 2016, Nelson and Porter were teammates on the U.S. Junior World Team and both won World bronze medals, Nelson at 63 kg and Porter at 67 kg. Nelson is currently No. 3 on the Senior Women’s National Team.

“She is a tough opponent. I remember during the summer, we worked together at the Olympic Training Center. Being able to pull out big wins like that against tough opponents goes to show that hard work pays off. I am going to continue to work hard and get better every day,” said Nelson.

Four other 2017 U.S. Senior National Team members on the women’s side won their finals series to make the U23 World Team: Cody Pfau of Lions WC/Emmanuel at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Amy Fearnside of Titan Mercury WC at 53 kg/116.5 lbs., Dominique Parrish of the Sunkist Kids at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Kayla Miracle of Sunkist Kids at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Pfau defeated her college teammate Maria Vidales of the Lions WC /Emmanuel in two straight dominant matches, winning a 14-1 technical fall in bout one and getting a pin in 1:14 in bout two. Pfau, who has made UWW Junior World Teams, will seek her first World medal in Poland at the U23 Worlds.

Fearnside, a University World silver medalist, scored a pair of technical falls in the 53 kg/116.5 lbs. finals, defeating Dajan Treder 12-0 in the first match and 13-0 in the second match.

Parrish, who competes in college for Simon Fraser, did not allow a point in defeating 2015 Cadet World champion Ronna Heaton of the Sunkist Kids. Parrish scored a 10-0 technical fall in bout one and beat Heaton 8-0 in bout two.

Miracle’s finals series against past Cadet World champion Teshya Alo was a bit unconventional. Miracle won the first match by injury default, when Alo was not able to compete. However, in round two, Alo had been cleared medically, and they wrestled the bout, with Miracle claiming an 11-3 victory.

Also making the U23 World Team in women’s freestyle were Megan Black of New York AC/McKendree) at 58 kg/128 lbs., Forrest Molinari of Titan Mercury WC) at 69 kg/152 lbs. and Rachel Watters (New York AC/OKC RTC) at 75 kg/165 lbs. All three also won their finals series in two straight matches.

Black made her first U.S. age-group World team, stopping Areana Villeascusa of Army WCAP, 8-6 in bout one then 11-1 in bout two. Molinari, who has been on a Junior World Team, stopped Niauni Hill of the New York AC, with an 11-0 technical fall in bout one and a 2-1 decision in bout two. Watters, a two-time Junior World Team member, swept Mariah Harris of Campbellsville, winning 8-0 and 3-1.

In Greco-Roman, in a battle of highly respected young stars at 75 kg/165 lbs. Jesse Porter of the New York AC/FLWC stopped Jon Jay Chavez of the New York AC/FLWC in two straight bouts. Porter won bout one 7-2 and bout two, 7-3, getting impressive lifts in both matches. Chavez was a member of the Senior Greco-Roman National Team, by placing third at the 2017 World Team Trials.

In a battle of Minnesota Storm teammates at 85 kg/187.5 lbs. Barrett Stanghill beat Richard Carlson, with a 6-0 decision in bout one and a 3-0 decision in bout two.

In another teammate battle in 98 kg/215 lbs., Blake Smith defeated NMU-OTS teammate Anthony Riopelle in two straight. Smith scored an 8-0 technical fall in bout one, and followed with a pin in 1:33 in bout two.

On Sunday, all eight men’s freestyle weights will be held, along with the final four Greco-Roman weights. All of the action will be broadcast live by Trackwrestling, with sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

U23 WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Rochester, Minn.

Women’s Freestyle results


48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1st- Cody Pfau (Lions WC/Emmanuel) dec. Maria Vidales (Lions WC /Emmanuel), two matches to none
Bout One – Pfau tech. fall Vidales, 14-1
Bout Two – Pfau pin Vidales, 1:14
3rd – Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville Univ.) tech. fall Aleeah Gould (King Univ.), 10-0

53 kg/116.5 lbs.
1st - Amy Fearnside (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Dajan Treder (unattached), two matches to none
Bout One – Fearnside tech. fall Treder, 12-0
Bout Two – Fearnside tech. fall Treder, 13-0
3rd - Alexis Encinas (Lions WC/Emmanuel) pin Michelle Lomas (Aires WC/ OKC RTC), 5:15

55 kg/121 lbs.
1st - Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids) dec. Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Parrish tech. fall Heaton, 10-0
Bout Two – Parrish dec. Heaton, 8-0
3rd – Brenda Reyna (NYAC/McKendree) tech. fall Monica Mendoza (Aires WC/OKC RTC), 10-0

58 kg/128 lbs.
1st - Megan Black (New York AC/McKendree) vs. Areana Villeascusa (Army WCAP)
Bout One –Black dec. Villaescusa, 8-6
Bout Two – Black tech. fall Villaescusa, 11-1
3rd – Allison Petrix (King Univ.) tech. fall Erika Mihalca (Missouri Baptist WC), 10-0

60 kg/132 lbs.
1st - Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) dec. Teshya Alo (Titan Mercury WC)
Bout One – Miracle inj. dft. Alo, 0:00
Bout Two – Miracle dec. Alo, 11-3
3rd – Emma Bruntil (Choker WC) dec. Alexia Ward (McKendree Bearcat WC), 6-2

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1st - Maya Nelson (Sunkist Kids) dec. Alexis Porter (New York AC/McKendree), two matches to none
Bout One – Nelson dec. Porter, 5-0
Bout Two – Nelson dec. Porter, 4-2
3rd – Desiree Zavala (Choker WC) dec. Teniya Alo (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0

69 kg/152 lbs.
1st - Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Niauni Hill (New York AC), two matches to none
Bout One – Molinari tech. fall Hill, 11-0
Bout Two – Molonari dec. Hill, 2-1
3rd – Alexandria Glaude (Titan Mercury WC) dec Yvonne Galindo (Aires WC/OKC RTC), 2-2

75 kg/165 lbs.
1st - Rachel Watters (New York AC/OKC RTC) dec. Mariah Harris (Campbellsville Univ), two matches to none
Bout One – Watters dec. Harris, 8-0
Bout Two – Watters dec. Harris. 3-1
3rd – Tatum Sparks (Argo WC) dec. Victoria Francis (Titan Mercury WC), 10-8

Greco Roman results

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st - Alejandro Sancho (New York AC/NMU-OTS) dec. Sahid Kargbo (Patriot Elite WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Sancho tech. fall Kargbo, 8-0
Bout Two – Sancho dec. Kargbo, 10-4
3rd – Britton Holmes (NMU-OTS) dec. Travis Rice (NMU-OTS), 2-1

75 kg/165 lbs.
1st - Jesse Porter (New York AC/FLWC) dec. Jon Jay Chavez (New York AC/FLWC), two matches to none
Bout One – Porter dec. Chavez, 7-2
Bout Two – Porter dec. Chavez, 7-3
3rd – Curt Calovecchi (NMU-OTS) tech. fall Mason McDaniel (Southern Illinois TC), 8-0

85 kg/187.5 lbs.
1st - Barrett Stanghill (Minnesota Storm) dec. Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm), two matches to none
Bout One – Stanghill dec. Carlson, 6-0
Bout Two – Stanghill dec. Carlson, 3-0
3rd – Matt Reed (Tiger WC) dec. Richard Robertson (BRTC), 6-5

98 kg/215 lbs.
1st - Blake Smith (NMU-OTS) dec. Anthony Riopelle (NMU-OTS), two matches to none
Bout One – Smith tech. fall Riopelle, 8-0
Bout Two – Smith pin Riopelle, 1:33
3rd – Hayden Maley (Stanford – unattached) tech. fall Trent Osnes (U.S. Marine Corps), 11-2