USA Wrestling Velte, Hildebrandt a...

Velte, Hildebrandt advance to World Championships women’s freestyle semifinals in Budapest

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Oct. 24, 2018, 8:53 a.m. (ET)

Sara Hildebrandt of the USA celebrates her quarterfinals win over Anzhela Dorogan of Azerbaijan. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Two U.S. women wrestlers have advanced to the semifinals at the World Wrestling Championships with big quarterfinal victories on Wednesday morning.

Advancing to the semifinals are Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/OTC) at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) at 62 kg/136.5 lbs.

Hildebrandt, who received the No. 1 seed, won two matches in the morning session.

Hildebrandt faced three-time World medalist Jyldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan in her opening bout. Hildebrandt led 1-0 at the break after Eshimova was placed on the shot clock and could not score. In the second period, Hildebrandt scored a clutch takedown and a turn, giving up a reversal, the key move in her 5-1 victory.

In the quarterfinals, Hildebrandt won a wide-open shootout against Anzhela Dorogan of Azerbaijan, 15-9. Hildebrandt took command in the first period with a reversal and four ankle lace turns to lead 9-4 at the break. In the second period, Dorogan made a charge. After an exchange which ended up reviewed in a protest, the score was 13-6 in favor of Hildebrandt. Another Dorogan takedown and stepout tighetened it up, but Hildebrandt closed it out with a takedown for the win.

Hildebrandt will battle 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Diana Mary Weicker of Canada in the semifinals.

Hildebrandt was 10th in the 2016 World Championships, also held in Budapest, her only previous World Championships appearance. She was a two-time WCWA champion for King University, and is now a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

Velte opened with a 10-0 technical fall over Sara Dal Col of Italy. Velte led 2-0 at the break, but broke it open in the second period with two takedowns and two turns.

In the second round, she drew two-time Olympic bronze medalist Jackeline Renteria Castillo of Colombia, a tough veteran who has been tough on American opponents throughout her career. Velte came out strong, getting the initial takedown, then nailing a four-point blast double leg to get a 6-0 lead. Renteria got a takedown to make it 6-2 at the break. In the second period, Velte added three more takedowns, while only giving up one, for the convincing 14-6 victory.

Her quarterfinal match was against Gantuya Enkhbat of Mongolia, and Velte unleashed her offense again. Winning 4-2 at the break, Velte took command in the second period. She finished it off with a four-point double leg takedown and an ankle lace for the 14-4 technical fall.

Velte will face four-time World medalist Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria in her semifinal bout tonight.

This is the second straight Senior World Team that Velte has made, after also competing in 2017 in Paris. A three-time WCWA champion for Simon Fraser, this California native is training in Canada when not with the National Team for camps and competition.

Seeded No. 3, Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) had an opening bye at 50 kg/110 lbs., but then drew 2017 World bronze medalist Son-Hyang Kim of North Korea. Conder trailed 2-0 at the break, but tied it up early in the second period at 2-2 and held criteria. However, Kim scored a pair of takedowns and a stepout to close out the match for a 7-2 win.

Kim won her quarterfinals match, which means Conder could still possibly qualify for the repechage rounds. Kim will need to win her semifinals match against three-time Olympic medalist and 2009 World champion Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan in order for Conder to get into Thursday’s repechage.

Conder is competing on her fourth U.S. Senior World team, after also competing at the 2011, 2014 and 2015 World Championships. Conder boasts a 2018 Pan American Championships title also won a 2007 Junior World gold medal.

2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Helen Maroulis (New York, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids/NYCRTC) was in a 2-2 battle with Alyona Kolesnik of Azerbaijan, when Kolesnik hit a headlock, adjusted the position and secured the fall in 3:46. Kolesnik was fifth in the 2017 World Championships.

When Kolsnik was beaten by technical fall in her next match, Maroulis was eliminated and not eligible for repechage.

Maroulis was a 2016 Olympic champion and won World titles in 2015 and 2017. She also boasts a 2012 World silver medal and a 2014 World bronze medal. She has won a World or Olympic medal for four straight years. The last time Maroulis did not medal at the World Championships was in 2013, when she placed seventh, and the World Championships were also held in Budapest. Maroulis won four WCWA titles, three for Simon Fraser and her first at Missouri Baptist. She also won three Junior World medals.

The semifinals in this set of weight classes will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Budapest, which is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. That session is followed immediately by the medal matches in the second group of weight classes, where three U.S. athletes will go for medals, Adeline Gray for a gold, and both Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Forrest Molinari for bronze.

All of the competition is broadcast by TrackWrestling.

At Budapest, Hungary

Group Three U.S. women’s freestyle performances

50 kg/110 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
LOSS Son-Hyang Kim (North Korea), 7-2

53 kg/116.5 lbs. - Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC)
WIN Jyldyz Eshimova (Kazakhstan), 5-1
WIN Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan), 15-9
Semifinals – Vs. Diana Mary Weicker (Canada)

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, New York, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids/NYCRTC)
LOSS Alyona Kolesnik (Azerbaijan), pin 3:46

62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Sara Dal Col (Italy), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Jackeline Renteria Castillo (Colombia), 14-6
WIN Gantuya Enkhbat (Mongolia), tech. fall 14-4
Semifinals - Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria)

Semifinal pairings

50 kg
Yui Sasaki (Japan) vs. Oksana Livach (Ukraine)
Sonhyang Kim (North Korea) vs. Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan)

53 kg
Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) vs. Diana Mary Weicker (Canada)
Haruna Okuno (Japan) vs. Katarzyna Krawczyk (Poland)

57 kg
Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria) vs. Emese Barka (Hungary)
Grace Bullen (Norway) vs. Ningning Rong (China)

62 kg
Yuliia Tkach Ostapchuk (Ukraine) vs Yukako Kawai (Japan)
Mallory Velte (USA) vs. Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria)

Quarterfinal results

50 kg
Yui Sasaki (Japan) tech. fall Ritu (India), 11-0
Oksana Livach (Ukraine) pin Narangerel Erdenesukh (Mongolia), 3:22
Sonhyang Kim (North Korea) tech. fall Kseniya Stankevich (Belarus), 11-0
Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Yanan Sun (China), 10-0

53 kg
Sarah Hildebrandt (USA) dec. Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan), 15-9
Diana Mary Weicker (Canada) dec. Nina Hemmer (Germany), 10-7
Haruna Okuno (Japan) dec. Maria Prevolaraki (Greece), 9-1
Katarzyna Krawczyk (Poland) dec. Luiza Elizabeth Valverde Melendez (Ecuador), 11-5

57 kg
Bilyana Dudova (Bulgaria) tech. fall Alexandria Town (Canada), 10-0
Emese Barka (Hungary) dec. Jieun Um (Korea), 11-4
Grace Bullen (Norway) dec. In Sun Jong (North Korea), 3-3
Ningning Rong (China) pin Pooja Dhanda (India), 3:43

62 kg
Yuliia Tkach Ostapchuk (Ukraine) pin Malin Johanna Mattsson (Sweden), 2:45
Yukako Kawai (Japan) tech. fall Sakshi Malik (India), 16-2
Mallory Velte (USA) tech. fall Gantuya Enkbat (Mongolia), 14-4
Taybe Yusein (Bulgaria) dec. Lais Nunes de Olivera (Brazil), 7-1