Women's freestyle field set for 2018 Final X

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | May 19, 2018, 9:27 p.m. (ET)

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The field is set for Final X in Senior women’s freestyle after the women’s portion of the 2018 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament concluded with the best-of-three finals in Rochester, Minn., on Saturday afternoon.

As a result of the Challenge Tournament finals, fans are set to see six U.S. Open finals rematches in the Final X series, competing for a spot on the 2018 World Team.

Among those rematches are two battles between past World Team members.

At 50 kg, two-time World Team member Victoria Anthony advanced to Final X on Saturday and will face three-time World Team member and 2018 U.S. Open champion Whitney Conder in Bethlehem, Pa., on June 23. The last time Anthony and Conder met was in the Open finals, where Conder earned a 7-3 decision.

To snag the other Final X bid, Anthony emerged victorious from the Challenge Tournament best-of-three finals against Erin Golston on Saturday. Anthony shut out her long-time foe in a 6-0 decision in the first match, but Golston forced the series to a third match with a late takedown to win, 5-5, on criteria.

In the final bout at 50 kg, Anthony scored 13 points before picking up a fall at the 5:05 mark.

2016 Olympian and 2017 World Teamer Haley Augello punched her ticket to Final X, defeating U23 World Team member Cody Pfau in two matches in the 53 kg finals series. With the win, Augello will get at least two more goes against 2016 World Team member Sarah Hildebrandt, who defeated Augello in the U.S. Open finals, 6-1.

"It was kind of a blessing in disguise that I got second [at the U.S. Open],” Augello said. “I haven't competed much this year, so I needed these extra matches to feel more confident in my training. So I'm looking at it as a good thing. I have a couple more matches now. It's time to get back to training and prepare for Final X."

Hildebrandt and Augello will meet at Final X in Bethlehem.

Also heading to Final X in Bethlehem is Forrest Molinari, who is set to do battle against college teammate and former training partner Julia Salata for the World Team spot at 65 kg. Salata won the finals matchup at the U.S. Open with a 5-0 victory.

"I'm looking forward to it because we wrestled at the Open and we've wrestled with each other for a long time,” Molinari said. “She was my drill partner my first year at King and I learned a lot from her. I feel like we're pretty even right now, and I'm really excited to wrestle her out in Lincoln."

Molinari advanced with two tight decisions over 18-year-old Jayden Laurent, who, just last week, won the Junior World Team spot at 65 kg.

After falling to two-time U23 World Team member Kayla Miracle in the U.S. Open finals, 2017 Senior World Teamer Mallory Velte was forced to battle through the challenge tournament to earn her bid to Final X.

Velte came through the Challenge Tournament, collecting two technical falls against Brenda Reyna in the best-of-three finals to take the last Final X spot at 62 kg.

Velte and Miracle will meet in State College, Pa., on June 16 to determine this year’s Senior World Team member.

Tamyra Stock and Randyll Beltz are another U.S. Open final rematch heading to Final X. Stock, a 2018 World Team member, took the win for U.S. Open gold with a 10-0 tech fall, sending Beltz to Rochester.

This weekend, Beltz was dominant, including her two tech falls over Yvonne Galindo in the 68 kg finals, where Beltz put up a collective 25 points.

Beltz has earned another shot at Stock, punching her ticket to Final X in Lincoln, Neb., on June 9 to compete for the 2018 World Team spot.

The final U.S. Open rematch expected in Final X comes at 72 kg, where Rachel Watters has earned the opportunity to compete against Erin Clodgo for the World Team spot in State College. The last time these two met, Clodgo edged out a 6-5 win.

In Saturday’s finals, Watters controlled Hannah Gladden for a pair of solid wins, 11-1 and 10-3, respectively.

Others advancing to Final X include Jacarra Winchester at 55 kg, Alex Hedrick at 57 kg, Jenna Burkert at 59 kg and Korinahe Bullock at 76 kg.

2018 U.S. Open champion Winchester took out Dominique Parrish, who finished second at the Open with two tech falls, outscoring WCWA champion Parrish, 21-0. It was a big difference from the U.S. Open finals, where Winchester was only able to score a 5-3 win.

Winchester will head to Lincoln, Neb., on June 9 to face off against 2017 World bronze medalist Becka Leathers for the World Team spot at 55 kg.

At 57 kg, Hedrick, the 2018 U.S. Open champion, sat out until the best-of-three finals, where she was tasked with taking on Open runner-up Michaela Beck for the fourth and fifth time within the last three weeks.

Hedrick won the first bout with an early pin and sealed her spot in Final X with a 10-0 shutout.

Fresh off winning a spot on the Junior World Team last weekend, Hedrick heads to Bethlehem to face two-time World champion and 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis on June 23.

Burkert surprised many when she entered the weekend at 59 kg after qualifying through a third-place performance at the Open at 62 kg.

This weekend, she advanced to the best-of-three finals, where she wrestled at close 3-1 match with 2012 Olympian Kelsey Campbell. Burkert, a 2015 World Team member, opened it up in the second match, putting away the series with a 10-0 tech.

In Final X, she will challenge two-time World silver medalist Alli Ragan in Lincoln.

"Past tense, she won World medals. It's my time now,” Burkert said. “We've been Junior World Team members, Senior World Team members and she's one of my friends, but that's the beauty of wrestling. We shake hands and it's time to go to work. The game plan is my game plan. I'm going to sit through it how I wrestle. I'm not going to wrestle her style. We're going to have a lot of fun and put a lot of points on the board and it's going to be a showdown.”

Burkert is the third Army WCAP member to make it to the 2018 women’s freestyle Final X. Also joining her from WCAP is Conder and Beltz.

2018 U23 World Team member Bullock defeated WCWA All-American Mariah Harris in two close matches, picking up 4-4 and 2-1 decisions.

Bullock advances to Final X in State College, where three-time World champion Adeline Gray will be waiting for her.

The 2018 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament wraps up tomorrow with the men’s freestyle best-of-three finals, set for 12 p.m. CT live on Flowrestling.org.

2018 FREESTYLE WORLD TEAM TRIALS
at Rochester, Minn., May 18-20

Senior women’s freestyle

Final X schedule

Lincoln, Neb., June 9
55 kg: Becka Leathers vs. Jacarra Winchester
59 kg: Alli Ragan vs. Jenna Burkert
68 kg: Tamyra Stock vs. Randyll Beltz

State College, Pa., June 16
62 kg: Kayla Miracle vs. Mallory Velte
72 kg: Erin Clodgo vs. Rachel Watters
76 kg: Adeline Gray vs. Korinahe Bullock

Bethlehem, Pa., June 23
50 kg: Whitney Conder vs. Victoria Anthony
53 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt vs. Haley Augello
57 kg: Helen Maroulis vs. Alex Hedrick
65 kg: Julia Salata vs. Forrest Molinari

Best-of-three finals results

50 kg: Victoria Anthony (Sunkist Kids) def. Erin Golston (New York AC), two matches to one
Bout one – Anthony dec. Golston, 6-0
Bout two – Golston dec. Anthony, 5-5
Bout three – Anthony pin Golston, 5:05

Third - Amy Fearnside (Titan Mercury) TF Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville University), 10-0

53 kg: Haley Augello (New York AC) def. Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury), two matches to none
Bout one – Augello tech. fall Pfau, 10-0
Bout two – Augello tech. fall Pfau, 11-0

Third - Gabrielle Weyhrich (Bearcat WC) dec. Dajan Treder (Unattached), 9-6

55 kg: Jacarra Winchester (Sunkist Kids) def. Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout one – Winchester tech. fall Parrish, 11-0
Bout two – Winchester tech. fall Parrish, 10-0

Third - Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Ainslie Lane (Aries WC), 5-0

57 kg: Alex Hedrick (Titan Mercury) def. Michaela Beck (New York AC), two matches to none
Bout one – Hedrick pin Beck, 1:10
Bout two – Hedrick tech. fall Beck, 10-0

59 kg: Jenna Burkert (Army WCAP) def. Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout one – Burkert dec. Campbell, 3-1
Bout two – Burkert tech. fall Campbell, 10-0

62 kg: Mallory Velte (Titan Mercury) def. Brenda Reyna (Bearcat WC), two matches to none
Bout one – Velte tech. fall Reyna, 10-0
Bout two – Velte tech. fall Reyna, 13-2

65 kg: Forrest Molinari (Titan Mercury) def. Jayden Laurent (Musky WC), two matches to none
Bout one – Molinari dec. Laurent, 4-0
Bout two – Molinari dec. Laurent, 3-1

68 kg: Randyll Beltz (Army WCAP) def. Yvonne Galindo (Aries WC), two matches to none
Bout one – Beltz tech. fall Galindo, 10-0
Bout two – Beltz tech. fall Galindo, 15-4

Third - Alex Glaude (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Kayla Marano (Lions WC), 2-1

72 kg: Rachel Watters (New York AC) def. Hannah Gladden (Lions WC), two matches to none
Bout one – Watters tech. fall Gladden, 11-1
Bout two – Watters dec. Gladden, 10-3

76 kg: Korinahe Bullock (Bearcat WC) def. Mariah Harris (Campbellsville), two matches to none
Bout one – Bullock dec. Harris, 4-4
Bout two – Bullock dec. Harris, 2-1