Julia Salata at the 2018 Women's World Cup. Photo courtesy of Team V Sports Performance.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The USA has already clinched two women’s freestyle gold medals on day two of the 2019 Pan American Championships. USA Greco-Roman also as three athletes wrestling for gold tonight.
Alex Hedrick and Julia Salata, both competing in three-person round robins, went a perfect 2-0 in the morning session to secure spots on top of the podium at 55 kg and 65 kg, respectively.
Hedrick, who was originally slated to wrestle at 57 kg this weekend, went down a weight to compete at 55 kg. In her first bout, Hedrick stuck Elis Azerrad Parodi of Argentina in the first minute. The American wrapped up her tournament with a 6-4 shootout against 2018 Junior Pan Am champion Jayd Davis of Canada.
At 65 kg, Salata outscored her opponents 21-0 in two shutout technical falls. In her opening bout, Salata scored four takedowns en route to an 11-0 win over Canada’s Jessica Brouillette, who was a 2016 University World bronze medalist. Her second bout saw Salata use her single-leg attacks for a 10-0 victory.
There are three U.S. athletes fighting for gold tonight, including Rachel Watters, Kamal Bey and Cheney Haight.
At 77 kg, one of the two Olympic weights on the program today, Bey registered two first-period technical falls over two-time Pan American bronze medalist Enrique Cuero Ortiz of Ecuador, 8-0, and three-time Pan Am silver medalist Juan Escobar of Mexico, 10-0.
In his semifinals bout, Bey outlasted David Choc Huoc of Guatemala, 5-3. For gold, Bey will take on Yosvani Pena Flores of Cuba, who is a four-time Cerro Pelado medalist.
Watters and Haight both competed in round-robins, wrestling only their first matches in the morning session.
At 72 kg, Watters dominated 2018 Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Linda Machuca of Argentina, 13-3. Tonight, she will face 2018 Junior Pan Am champion Dejah Slater of Canada for gold.
Haight, who wrestled at 82 kg, put up a speedy 8-0 tech fall over Adil Barrios Machado from Brazil, which included an arm spin and two head pinches. In his final bout, Haight will take on 2017 Junior Pan Am champion and 2018 Senior Pan Am bronze medalist Carlos Espinoza Castro of Peru.
Haight seeks his third Pan American title.
Patrick Martinez will compete for bronze at 87 kg after going 2-1 in the morning session. Tonight, he will face Phillip Barreiro of Canada, who was fifth at last year’s Pan Ams.
The competition will continue at 5 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EST) live on Trackwrestling.com.
2019 SENIOR PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21
U.S. Greco-Roman draws
77 kg: Kamal Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)
WIN Enrique Cuero Ortiz (Ecuador), 8-0
WIN Juan Escobar (Mexico), 10-0
WIN David Choc Huoc (Guatemala), 5-3
vs. Yosvanys Pena Flores (Cuba)
82 kg: Cheney Haight (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC)
WIN Adil Barrios Machado (Brazil), 8-0
vs. Carlos Espinoza Castro (Peru)
87 kg: Patrick Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC)
WIN Lesyan Cousin Otomuro (Jamaica), 6-1
WIN Ronisson Brandao (Brazil), 7-0
LOSS Luis Avendano Rojas (Venezuela), 4-0
vs. Phillip Barreiro (Canada)
U.S. women’s freestyle draws
55 kg: Alex Hedrick (Fair Oaks, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) – GOLD
WIN Elis Azerrad Parodi (Argentina), fall
WIN Jayd Davis (Canada), 6-4
59 kg: Kelsey Campbell (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Laurence Beauregard (Canada), forfeit
LOSS Karoline Silva da Santana (Brazil), forfeit
65 kg: Julia Salata (Bristol, Tenn./Sunkist Kids) – GOLD
WIN Jessica Brouillette (CAN), 11-0
WIN Grabriela Pedro da Rocha (Brazil), 10-0
72 kg: Rachel Watters (Ankeny, Iowa/New York AC/Aries WC)
WIN Linda Machuca (Argentina), 13-3
vs. Dejah Slater (Canada)