USA Wrestling Large field of natio...

Large field of nationally ranked stars compete in first session of USMC Girls Junior Folkstyle Nationals in Oklahoma City

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 23, 2018, 8:39 p.m. (ET)

Texas state champion Augustina Ijoma wins a match at the USMC Girls Folkstyle Nationals. Photo by Dana Strange.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Returning champion Emily Shilson of the Minnesota Storm (100) is among the stars to compete on the first day of the U.S. Marine Corps Girls Junior Folkstyle Nationals, which held its first session on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.

Last year, Shilson won both the Cadet Nationals and Junior Nationals in folkstyle in Oklahoma City. This year, she is only eligible in the Junior division. Shilson was a Cadet World silver medalist in freestyle last summer.

2017 Junior Folkstyle Nationals runners-up who are back seeking another shot at gold are Nichole Moore (Team Kansas at 108), , Felicity Taylor (Female Elite Wrestling – IA at 112), Breanna Douglas (Team Kansas at 132), Kiana Pugh (Team Wisconsin at 152) and Alexandra Castillo (California at 180)

Joining Shilson as 2017 Cadet National Folkstyle champions competing as Juniors this year are Samara Chavez of Minnesota (106), Jaslyn Gallegos of Colorado (112), Victorya Torres of Washington (122), Mattison Parker of Texas (132), Tiyahna Askew of Georgia (144), Kiana Pugh of Wisconsin (152), Natalie Kemp of Wisconsin (180) and Taja Showers of Virginia (225).

The tournament is stocked full of nationally ranked wrestlers, with most weights having a number of ranked stars on the mat. Shilson is one of three No. 1 ranked wrestlers in the draw, also including No. 1 at 180 Jesse Kirby of Virginia and No. 1 at 200 Alexandra Castillo of California. Castillo dropped to 180 pounds for this event, so there are two top-ranked wrestlers in the 180 pound draw here.

There are numerous 2018 Cadet Folkstyle National champions in the draw, seeking to win a double title after winning the Cadet gold earlier in the morning.

There were 445 wrestlers who entered this year, from all over the nation. In the first session, there were 1441 bouts contested, which included two rounds in many weight classes.

Check out the brackets on FloArena

The Junior tournament completes on Saturday with two sessions, with more preliminaries through the quarterfinals during the 9:00 a.m. CT session. The 3:00 p.m. CT session will feature semifinals, consolations and the medal-match finals.

Also on the mat on Saturday is the completion of the Women’s U23 World Team Trials, with a 1:00 p.m. session, which completes the tournament, including the best-of-three championship finals in each weight.

On Sunday, the youth divisions (Schoolgirl, Novice, Intermediate) will be held, as well as the Junior Folkstyle National Duals.

FloWrestling will broadcast the action in Oklahoma City this weekend.