USA Wrestling World medalist Leath...

World medalist Leathers plus four returning U23 champions advance to U23 World Team Trials finals series

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 23, 2018, 6:01 p.m. (ET)

Becka Leathers ties up with Alexandra Hedrick in the 57 kg semifinals at the U23 Trials. Photo by Dana Strange.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The best-of-three Championship Series matchups in the 10 new weight classes have been set at the Women’s U23 World Team Trials on Friday afternoon.

A healthy mix of college grads, college students and high school stars are battling for spots on the U.S. U23 World Team, which will compete in the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, November 12-18. Athletes in the U23 age group are between 18-23 years old.

2017 Senior World bronze medalist Becka Leathers of the Titan Mercury WC has reached the finals series at 57 kg. She will face college star Koral Sugiyama of Campbellsville University in the finals series. Leathers was a Junior World medalist earlier in her career. Sugiyama is a Senior National Team member, in the top three of her weight.

“The biggest reason for me competing today was getting matches. I went to World Cup last week and got back on Tuesday. That was my first tournament back since my shoulder surgery. I knew that was going to be a challenge. I wanted to come here where I can be a little more dominant,” said Leathers.

Four members of the 2017 U23 World Team have qualified for the championship series: Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury WC at 50 kg, Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) at 62 kg, Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury WC) at 65 kg and Rachel Watters (Aries WC) at 72 kg. Pfau, Miracle and Molinari, like Leathers, is on the Senior Women’s National Team, which includes the top three at each weight.

Pfau, who has competed on U.S. Junior and U23 World Teams in the past, will face high school star Alleida Martinez of the Titan Mercury WC for the team spot. Pfau pinned Genae Sampract of the McKendree Bearcat WC in her semifinals, while Martinez, a past Cadet World medalist, beat college All-American Sarah Allen of the University of the Cumberlands, 10-2 to reach the final.

Miracle, a four-time WCWA college national champion and three-time age-group World medalist, scored a 10-0 technical fall over Hawaii star Teniya Alo of the Collier Wrestling Academy, 10-0 in the semifinals. She will draw Brenda Reyna of the McKendree Bearcat WC in the finals series.

Molinari will battle high school star and Cadet World team member Jayden Laurent of the Musky WC in her finals series. She scored a 10-0 technical fall over former Senior National Team member Francesca Giorgio of the Burnaby Mountain WC in her semifinal.

“I wanted to come either way. I have another year at U23s. It was a quick turnaround. I just got back from Japan Monday night. I had to get the weight off and get here real quick. I am having a good time and am seeing a few faces I haven’t seen for awhile. I’m excited for the finals tomorrow,” said Molinari.

Watters, who wrestles for the host Oklahoma City University and has been on Junior and U23 World Teams will face Alyvia Fiske of the Titan Mercury WC, a Californian who attends Simon Fraser University in Canada.

There is a four-athlete roundrobin at 55 kg. The only athlete with a 2-0 record after the first day is Dominique Parrish of Titan Mercury WC, who was also a member of the 2017 U23 World Team.

The next session for the U23 World Team Trials will be on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Central time, with the consolation semifinals, medal matches and best-of-three Championship Series. All of the action is live on Flowrestling.

At Oklahoma City, Okla., March 23

Best of three Championship Series pairing

50 kg - Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Alleida Martinez (Titan Mercury WC)
53 kg - Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville Universty) vs. Sierra Powell (Virginia Womens National Team)
55 kg – 5 athlete round robin. Unbeaten after two rounds – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist) 2-0, Kailin Ramos (Aires), 1-0
57 kg - Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville University)
59 kg - Abigail Nette (Lions Blood WC) vs. Allison Petix (King University)
62 kg - Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) vs. Brenda Reyna (McKendree Bearcat WC)
65 kg - Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Jayden Laurent (Musky WC)
68 kg - Alexandria Glaude (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Jasmine Bailey (McKendree Bearcat WC)
72 kg - Rachel Watters (Aries WC) vs. Alyvia Fiske (Titan Mercury WC)
76 kg - Janelle Fuamatu (McKendree Bearcat WC) vs. Korinahe Bullock (Bearcat Takedown Club)

Semifinals results

50 kg
Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury WC) pin Genae Sampract (McKendree Bearcat WC), 1:21
Alleida Martinez(Titan Mercury WC) dec. Sarah Allen (University of the Cumberlands), 10-2

53 kg
Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville Universty) tech. fall Mayra Ramirez (Wayland Baptist), 11-0 2:01
Sierra Powell (Virginia Womens National Team) tech. fall Vayle Rae Baker (Minnesota Storm National Team), 13-3, 3:30

57 kg
Becka Leathers (TMWC) tech. fall Alexandra Hedrick (TMWC), 10-0, 5:00
Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville University) dec. Alexia Ward (McKendree Bearcat WC), 9-4

59 kg
Abigail Nette (Lions Blood Wrestling Club) dec. Emma Bruntil (Team Washington), 7-4
Allison Petix (King University) tech. fall Alexandria Liles (Best Trained Elite), 11-0, 6:00

62 kg
Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Teniya Alo (Collier Wrestling Academy), 10-0, 2:36
Brenda Reyna (McKendree Bearcat WC) tech. fall Nicole Joseph (King University), 10-0, 2:37

65 kg
Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Francesca Giorgio (Burnaby Mountain), 10-0, 1:38
Jayden Laurent (Musky WC) dec. Alexis Porter (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club), 2-1

68 kg
Alexandria Glaude (TMWC) tech. fall Mariya Gaither (Lindenwood University), 10-0, 1:33
Jasmine Bailey (McKendree Bearcat WC) dec. Ophelia Lara (Lions Blood Wrestling Club), 6-2

72 kg
Rachel Watters (Aries WC) VSU Andrea Sennett (McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club), 10-0 4:03
Alyvia Fiske (TMWC) VFA Morgan Becker (Campbellsville University), 4-0 2:19

76 kg
Janelle Fuamatu (McKendree Bearcat WC) dec. Sarah Moore (University of Jamestown), 6-4
Korinahe Bullock (Bearcat Takedown Club) dec. Anastasia Lobsinger (U.S. Army WCAP), 4-2