Five top U.S. high school wrestlers win gold medals in freestyle at SEM Ladies Open at Wyoming Seminary

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 16, 2019, 7:39 p.m. (ET)
Top Photo; Action from the SEM Ladies Open held in Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania today.
Bottom Photo: The Wyoming Seminary girls wrestling team pose together after winning the team title at the SEM Ladies Open.
Photos by Riley Green

KINGSTON, Pa. – A nice mix of top U.S. high school wrestlers, along with some competitors from a few countries who have been here for training, competed in the SEM Ladies Open, a freestyle competition for girls held at Wyoming Seminary on Saturday.

Three of the U.S. champions in the tournament were students at Wyoming Seminary: Ava Bayless of Pennsylvania (46 kg), Korina Blades of Illinois (57 kg) and Kennedy Blades of Illinois (72 kg).

Bayless, who is ranked No. 11 in the nation in the new National Girls High School Rankings, defeated her Wyoming Seminary teammate Abbygale Duke of New York, who is ranked No. 15 in the nation, in the finals by a 6-3 score.

Korina Blades, currently No. 7 in the national rankings, scored a pin over Ana Luiza Pereira Franca of Brazil in the finals, in 4:54.

Kennedy Blades, with a No. 2 national ranking, pinned Shania Gowan of the Florida Jets in 1:07 in the finals. Gowan has a No. 13 national ranking. Kennedy Blades won the Most Falls award for the tournament.

The other two U.S. athletes claiming titles were Stefana Jelacic from Arizona of the Sunkist Kids (53 kg) and Amit Elor from California of the Titan Mercury WC (68 kg).

Jelacic, ranked No. 1 in the nation, defeated Purevtungalag Munkhbat of Mongolia, 9-4 in her finals bout.

Elor, who has a No. 2 national high school ranking, scored a 10-0 technical fall in her finals bout over Michigan native Nyla Burgess of Team Ontario.

There were two winners from Mongolia, Enkhzul Batbaatar at 50 kg and Enkhtsetseg Batbaatar at 55 kg. The champion at 55 kg, Batbaatar, was named Outstanding Wrestler after defeating Wyoming Seminary star Vayle Baker, the No. 2 ranked athlete in the nation, in the finals by a 4-1 margin.

Team Ontario from Canada had a champion at 62 kg, with Diana Arsagova winning the title. Arsagova beat Maya Porter of the Journeymen WC from New York, 13-2. Arsagova won the most technical falls award for the tournament and Porter won the Rising Young Star award.

Wyoming Seminary claimed the team title, scoring 108 points, followed by Mongolia with 55 points and the Florida Jets in third with 32 points. There were 21 teams entered this year. After the competition, a banquet was held to welcome the foreign guests and build goodwill between all the competitors.

“The quality of the competitors was high caliber. We had a lot of good, competitive matches. We are looking to build the number of wrestlers at the tournament moving forward. We expected some more girls from the neighboring states. The quality of the wrestling was there. We are looking to increase the quantity,” said Wyoming Seminary girls head coach Erin Vandiver.

At Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, the women wrestlers train and compete in freestyle, the international style. The program is supported by USA Wrestling as an accelerated elite girls developmental program. Vandiver, a former USA Wrestling Assistant National Coach, leads the program. The assistant coach is four-time World champion and current Team USA star Adeline Gray.

Next Saturday, on March 23, Wyoming Seminary’s girls team will face a USA All-Star Team in a high school freestyle dual meet as part of the NCAA Fan Festival in Pittsburgh, Pa. It will begin at approximately 4:15 p.m. ET, at the conclusion of the USA Wrestling Freestyle Practice and Autograph Session and is free to the general public

At Kingston, Pa., March 16

46 kg
1st - Ava Bayless (Wyoming Seminary) dec. Abbygale Duke (Wyoming Seminary), 6-3
3rd - Olivia Messerly (CrazyGirlsWrestling/KY) pin Madison Wellen (Bermudian Springs/PA), 1:19
5th - Geovania Marques Vieira (Brazil) dec. Chloe Ayres (Princeton WC/NJ), 8-0
7th - Lexia Schechterly (XCalibur/PA) tech. fall Ekta Arora (Wyoming Seminary), 10-0

50 kg
1st - Enkhzul Batbaatar (Mongolia) pin Jessica Corredor (Florida Jets), 1:00
3rd - Caitlyn Walker (Wyoming Seminary) pin Madelynn Hongmoungkhoune (Alpha Wrestling Academy/IL), 1:56
5th – Hannah Simoes (Empire Wrestling Academy)

53 kg
1st - Stefana Jelacic (Sunkist Kids/AZ) dec. Purevtungalag Munkhbat (Mongolia), 9-4
3rd - Anudari Nandintsetseg (Mongolia) pin Kelyn Young (Team Ontario/Canada), 8-0 2:02
5th – Trinity Rios (Florida Jets)

55 kg
1st - Enkhtsetseg Batbaatar (Mongolia) dec. Vayle Baker (Wyoming Seminary), 4-1
3rd - Sophia Smith (Wyoming Seminary) tech. fall Addison Messerly (CrazyGirlsWrestling/KY), 10-0 5:35
5th - Mylei Seigla (Sunkist Kids/AZ) pin Julia Dailey (Wyoming Seminary), 2:14

57 kg
1st - Korina Blades (Wyoming Seminary) pin Ana Luiza Pereira Franca (Brazil), 4:54
3rd - Karoline Ortiz (Florida Jets) inj. dft. Amanda Walker (Wyoming Seminary), 1:17
5th - Kendall Bostelman (Foxfire/OH) pin Charlotte Gilfoil (Team Nauman WC/PA), 2:28
7th - Carolina Moreno (Sunkist Kids/AZ) tech. fall Anujin Altanchimeg (Mongolia), 10-0 1:19

62 kg
1st - Diana Arsagova (Team Ontario/Canada) tech. fall Maya Porter (Journeymen WC/NY), 13-2
3rd - Shaina Murray (Wyoming Seminary) pin Nyamsuren Batsaikhan (Mongolia), 5:48
5th - Grace Stem (Pennsylvania) dec. Veronica Whitacre (New Jersey), 10-2
7th - Kate Obrien (Wyoming Seminary) tech. fall Rhianna Lewis (Wyoming Seminary), 10-0

68 kg
1st - Amit Elor (TMWC/CA) tech. fall Nyla Burgess (Team Ontario/Canada), 10-0
3rd - Tiffani Baublitz (Wyoming Seminary) tech. fall Hailey Budney (NXL/NJ), 10-0
5th – Reese Larramendy (Wyoming Seminary)

72 kg
1st - Kennedy Blades (Wyoming Seminary) pin Shania Gowan (Florida Jets), 1:07
3rd - Khulan Tsermaa (Mongolia) tech. fall Agata Aja Lopes Silva (Brazil), 10-0
5th – Nicole Wanga (Team Maryland)

Team Standings
1 Wyoming Seminary 108
2 Mongolia 55
3 Florida Jets 32
4 Team Ontario 26
5 Brazil 22
6 Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club 20
7 CrazyGirlsWrestling 15
8 Titan Mercury WC 10
9 Journeymen WC 9
10 Alpha Wrestling Academy 7
(of 21 teams)