Photo: Alara Boyd advanced to the Cadet World semifinals at 65 kg. Photo by Richard Immel.
ATHENS, Greece – Two U.S. women’s wrestlers, Alara Boyd and Emily Shilson, advanced to the semifinals in the first day of women’s action of the 2017 Cadet World Championships in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday morning.
Medal hopes for all four of the today’s U.S. wrestlers remain alive.
2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Boyd advanced to the 65 kg/145 lbs. semifinals after a strong showing in the morning session.
In her first match, she faced 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist and 2017 Cadet European champion Oksana Chudyk of Ukraine. With a 1-0 lead for Boyd after the break, the two wrestlers exchanged takedowns, but late exposure for the American sealed the 5-2 win.
The quarterfinals pit Boyd against 2017 Cadet Pan American bronze medalist Nyla Burgess of Canada. Boyd struck first with a takedown on the edge. It was just the beginning as the U.S. representative rattled off nine more points, thanks to a step out, takedowns and exposure for an 11-0 tech fall.
Boyd is set to face Bulgaria’s Siyka Ivanova, who took 10th at last year’s Cadet Worlds. Earlier this summer, she finished 11th at the Cadet European Championships.
2016 Cadet Pan American champion Shilson made her Cadet World debut on Wednesday, wrestling at 43 kg/95 lbs.
In her tournament opener, Shilson gave up the first takedown against Russia’s Aldynai Darzhaa. Moments later, the American took over with a pair of takedowns and strong top game for a 12-2 win in the first period.
The Minnesota native blew past 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Ayazhan Markasheva of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. The two went back and forth in the period, with Shilson carrying a 4-2 lead into the break. Early in the second period, Shilson scored a takedown and locked up a gut wrench to end it in another 12-2 tech fall and secure a spot in the semifinals.
Shilson will battle Ukraine’s Karina Chornomor in the semifinals. Chornomor collected two decisions in the morning session, an 8-1 win over Tatsiana Blinkouskaya of Belarus before edging out Thi Oahn Nguyen of Vietnam, 8-7.
Gracie Figueroa and Vayle Baker will await their fates in tonight’s semifinals to see if they will be pulled back into repechage.
2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Figueroa was the first on the mat for the USA women, facing 2017 Cadet Asian silver medalist Nuraida Anarkulova of Kyrgyzstan, who she stuck in 1:28. Seconds prior to the fall, Gracie brought the score to 10-0.
In the second round, Figueroa, who also competed at Junior Worlds earlier this summer, took on 2017 Cadet European bronze winner Violleta Petrovska of Ukraine. With the threat of the shot clock hanging over her halfway through the first period, Figueroa cranked up her offense, scoring seven points in 35 seconds and eventually ended the match early, 11-0.
In the 56 kg/123 lbs. quarterfinals, it was a battle of Cadet World bronze medalists as Figueroa took on Ida Joensson of Sweden. Figueroa was on the board first with a takedown, but Joensson responded with a four-point throw, putting Figueroa to her back and getting the pin in 1:18.
At 49 kg/108 lbs., 2015 Cadet World Team member Baker was stopped in the round of 16 by 2016 Cadet World champion and 2015 Cadet Asian champion Suzuna Yoshimura of Japan, 10-0. In her first match, Baker dominated Greece’s Maria Triantafyllidou, recording a first-period pin in 1:19.
The semifinals will begin at 5:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET). Fans can find live streams and brackets on Trackwrestling.com.
U.S. women’s freestyle results
43 kg/95 lbs. – Emily Shilson, Maple Grove, Minn. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Aldynai Darzhaa (Russia), 12-2
WIN Ayazhan Markasheva (Kazakhstan), 12-2
49 kg/108 lbs. – Vayle Baker, Benton, Pa. (Team Pennsylvania)
WIN Maria Triantafyllidou (Greece), fall 1:19
LOSS Suzuna Yoshimura (Japan), 10-0
56 kg/123 lbs. – Gracie Figueroa, Selma, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Nuraida Anarkulova (Kyrgyzstan), fall 1:28
WIN Violleta Petrovska (Ukraine), 11-0
LOSS Ida Joensson (Sweden), fall 1:18
65 kg/145 lbs. – Alara Boyd, Muncie, Ind. (CIA)
WIN Oksana Chudyk (Ukraine), 5-2
WIN Nyla Burgess (Canada), 11-0