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USA Pan American U15 women’s squad powers to team title, with nine golds and a silver medal

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 14, 2018, 5:59 p.m. (ET)

The Pan American U15 Girls freestyle champion team, the United States, pose together on the podium with their trophy. Photo courtesy of the the team.

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico – The USA Pan American U15 women’s freestyle team was dominant on the way to the team title on Friday, winning nine individual gold medals and one individual silver medals.

Winning round-robin competitions with undefeated records to claim their gold medals were three of the USA champions, Alexandra Szkotnicki of Riva, Md. at 39 kg, Cristelle Rodriguez of Fresno, Calif. at 46 kg and Lillian Frietas of Turlock, Calif. at 62 kg.

Six of the U.S. champions won best-of-three series, defeating opponents from Mexico for their titles: Valerie Hamilton of Gridley, Ill. at 33 kg, Madison Wellen of East Berlin, Pa. at 36 kg, Kiely Tabaldo of San Jose, Calif. at 42 kg, Korina Blades of Broadview, Ill. at 54 kg, Destiny Rodriguez of West Linn, Ore. at 58 kg and Amit Elor of Walnut Creek, Calif. at 66 kg

Hamilton, Wellen, Blades, Rodriguez and Elor swept their series in two straight matches. Tabaldo lost her first match, but powered back with two straight dominant technical fall victories.

Winning a silver medal with a strong 2-1 record was Jennifer Soto of Red Bluff, Calif. at 50 kg.

The USA captured the team title, with host Mexico in second place and Peru in third place.

"The team wrestled well today, sweeping all but two bouts. We had a great start to the day with Cristelle scoring a quick four-pointer, leading to a tech fall, and ending with Kiely, who scored a tech fall to win her third match in a best-of-three series. We are very proud of how all the girls performed today," said U.S. Coach Max Mejia.

The U.S. team was determined based upon approved procedures. The qualifying event for the girls was the Schoolgirl division of the Women’s National Championships in Irving, Texas in May. All 10 of the Pan American team members were champions at the Schoolgirl Freestyle Nationals.

Coaching the U.S. women’s team were Mejia and Mike Duran of Baldwin Park, Calif. The Medical staff member is Elizabeth Del Re of Allentown, Pa. The Referee is Dwayne Henry of Riverton, Utah.

Boys freestyle will be contested on Saturday, the final day of the event. The time in Villahermosa is the same as U.S. Central time zone. The Mexican wrestling federation had a Facebook Live broadcast of the Greco-Roman event, and if there is one for the other two styles, USA Wrestling will post that information on its social media.

At Villahermosa, Mexico,

U.S. Girls Freestyle performances

33 kg – Valerie Hamilton, Gridley, Ill., gold medal
WIN Natalia Lineth Avila (Mexico)
WIN Natalia Lineth Avila (Mexico) – wins series 2 matches to 0

36 kg – Madison Wellen, East Berlin, Pa., gold medal
WIN Ana Sofia Palacios Hernandez (Mexico)
WIN Ana Sofia Palacios Hernandez (Mexico) - wins series 2 matches to 0

39 kg – Alexandra Szkotnicki (Riva, Md.), gold medal
WIN Annett Huaman Malquii (Peru)
WIN Ileana Aguilar Gonzalez (Mexico)

42 kg – Kiely Tabaldo, San Jose, Calif., gold medal
LOSS Nevis Milena Rodriguez Cantu (Mexico)
WIN Nevis Milena Rodriguez Cantu (Mexico)
WIN Nevis Milena Rodriguez Cantu (Mexico) - - wins series 2 matches to 1

46 kg – Cristelle Rodriguez, Fresno, Calif., gold medal
WIN Andrea Margot Avelino Barrientos (Mexico)
WIN Yusneiry Agrazal West (Panama)
WIN Andrea Toribio Torres (Peru)

50 kg – Jennifer Soto, Red Bluff, Calif., silver medal
LOSS Melanie Nahomi Jimenez Villalba (Mexico)
WIN Yorlenis Moran Sanchez (Panama)
WIN Selena Rojas Astoray (Peru)

54 kg – Korina Blades, Broadview, Ill., gold medal
WIN Dulce Del Carmen Mora Mena (Mexico)
WIN Dulce Del Carmen Mora Mena (Mexico) – wins series 2 matches to 0

58 kg – Destiny Rodriguez, West Linn, Ore., gold medal
WIN Bertha Daniela Rojas Chavez (Mexico)
WIN Bertha Daniela Rojas Chavez (Mexico) ¬ – wins series 2 matches to 0

62 kg – Lillian Frietas, Turlock, Calif., gold medal
WIN Bianca Cruz Zapata (Peru)
WIN Andrea Martinez De Leon (Mexico)

66 kg – Amit Elor, Walnut Creek, Calif.. gold medal
WIN Jesabel Ortega Munoz (Mexico)
WIN Jesabel Ortega Munoz (Mexico)

Remaining event schedule (same as U.S. Central time)

Saturday, September 15- Men’s freestyle
10:00 a.m. – Qualification and repechage
5:00 p.m. - Finals