Gray rolls past Olympic champ Weibe, four other women in Pan Am finals

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | April 20, 2019, 1:31 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Adeline Gray battles Erica Weibe of Canada in Pan Am quarterfinals. Photo by Lucia Cruz, UWW. 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – USA women’s freestyle put five into the finals of the 2019 Pan American Championships, and USA men’s freestyle went undefeated in round-robin action on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Four-time World champion Adeline Gray led the pack with some big wins at 76 kg in women’s freestyle.

To open her tournament, Gray picked up a quick 10-0 tech fall with her famous leg lace against seven-time Senior Pan American medalist Andrea Olaya Gutierrez of Colombia.

The quarterfinals pitted her against 2016 Olympic champion Erica Weibe of Canada. Gray showed her offensive prowess, scoring a two-point takedown, a four-point throw and two turns for a 10-0 tech fall over the Olympic champ. Gray also defeated Weibe at the 2018 World Championships.

Gray moved onto the finals with a second-period pin over 2017 Junior Pan American champion Mabelkis Capote Perez of Cuba.

In the finals, Gray will take on 2016 Junior Pan American champion Genesis Reasco Valdez from Ecuador.

2018 World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt claimed a spot in the 53 kg finals, producing a successful morning.

Hildebrandt put up two decisive wins, including a 10-2 win over 2018 World bronze medalist Diana Weicker of Canada, who Hildebrandt beat in the World semifinals last fall.

For gold, she will face 2011 Junior World bronze winner Luisa Valverde Melendres of Ecuador.

Hildebrandt and Gray are both going for their second-straight Pan Am titles tonight.

2018 World bronze medalists Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Mallory Velte will each face familiar opponents in their gold-medal bouts.

Velte was dominant in her opening matches, outscoring her opponents 20-0 in a pair of tech falls at 62 kg.

Tonight, Velte will take on Lais Nunes De Oliveira of Brazil, who she defeated in the 2018 World Championships bronze-medal match, 2-1. Most recently, they met up at the 2019 Dave Schultz Memorial International, where Velte grabbed another 2-1 victory.

Mensah-Stock, who won both of her morning-session matches by fall, will go head-to-head against 2018 U23 World champion Yudari Sanchez Rodriguez of Cuba in the 68 kg finals.

The last time these two met was in an early round of the 2018 Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last October, and Mensah-Stock moved on with 10-0 tech fall.

Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. at 50 kg, Erin Golston made her Senior Pan American Championships debut and earned a spot in the lightweight finals.

Taking on 2012 World champion and two-time World bronze medalist Jessica MacDonald of Canada in her first match, Golston led 4-0 before MacDonald injury defaulted out of the match.

Golston added on a 4-3 decision over Jacqueline Mollocano Eleno of Ecuador and a 10-0 tech fall against Thalia Mallqui Peche from Peru.

For gold, Golston will take on 2016 Junior Pan American champion Yusneylys Guzman Lopez of Cuba.

Bumping up to 57 kg, Jacarra Winchester, who was fifth at the 2018 Worlds, will wrestle for bronze tonight.

Winchester opened her tournament in fantastic fashion, defeating 2018 Senior World bronze medalist and 2017 Junior World silver medalist Lianna Montero Herrera of Cuba with three takedowns in a 9-5 victory.

The American eventually dropped a 9-0 bout to two-time Olympian Lissette Antes Castillo of Ecuador. But Antes Castillo advanced to the finals to pull Winchester into repechage, where she moved onto the bronze match.

Tonight, Winchester will face two-time Senior Pan Am silver medalist Yessica Oviedo Perez of Dominican Republic.

Men’s freestyle action started on Saturday with Chandler Rogers and J’den Cox representing the U.S. in round-robin action.

Making his Senior-level debut, Rogers rolled up Jasmit Phulka from Canada with a four-point takedown and a pair of guts for a 10-0 tech in 51 seconds in the first round.

To finish his morning session 2-0, Rogers edged out Santiago Martinez Restrepo of Colombia in an 8-6 decision.

Should Rogers win his next bout against Francisco Guzman Velasquez of Puerto Rico, he will claim the 79 kg gold.

In a battle of Olympic medals, 2016 Olympic bronze winner and 2018 World champion J’den Cox took on 2012 Olympic silver medalist Jamie Espinal of Puerto Rico in his first round-robin match.

Cox used a pair of takedowns to propel him to an 8-0 win.

Tonight, Cox will wrestle his second match against Diego Ramirez Florentin of Paraguay. A win would give Cox the gold.

The finals will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EST) live on

at Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21

U.S. women’s freestyle results
50 kg: Erin Golston (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC)
WIN Jessica MacDonald (Canada), injury default
WIN Jacqueline Mollocano Eleno (Ecuador), 4-3
WIN Thalia Mallqui Peche (Peru), 10-0
vs. Yusneylys Guzman Lopez (Cuba)

53 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC)
WIN Carolina Castillo Hidalgo (Colombia), 7-0
WIN Diana Weicker (Canada), 10-2
vs. Luisa Valverde Melendres (Ecuador)

57 kg: Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)
WIN Lianna Montero Herrera (Cuba), 9-5
LOSS Lissette Antes Castillo (Ecuador), 9-0
WIN Martha Olivares Bendezu (Peru), 10-0
vs. Yessica Oviedo Perez (Dominican Republic)

62 kg: Mallory Velte (Sacramento, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Abnelis Yambo Miranda (Puerto Rico), 10-0
WIN Mayra Antes Castillo (Ecuador), 10-0
vs. Lais Nunes De Oliveira (Brazil)

68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Andrimar Lazaro Diaz (Venezuela), fall 1:02
WIN Ambar GARNICA FLORES (Mexico), fall 5:24
vs. Yudari Sanchez Rodriguez (Cuba)

76 kg: Adeline Gray (Denver, Colo./New York AC)
WIN Andrea Olaya Gutierrez (Colombia), 10-0
WIN Erica Weibe (Canada), 10-0
WIN Mabelkis Capote Perez (Cuba), fall 5:20
vs. Genesis Reasco Valdez (Ecuador)

U.S. men’s freestyle results                                                                  
79 kg: Chandler Rogers (Stillwater, Okla./Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)
WIN Jasmit Phulka (Canada), 10-0
WIN Santiago Martinez Restrepo (Colombia), 8-6
vs. Francisco Guzman Velasquez (Puerto Rico)

92 kg: J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/USOTC)
WIN Jamie Espinal (Puerto Rico), 8-0
vs. Diego Ramirez Florentin (Paraguay)