USA Wrestling EAP update: Kilty wi...

EAP update: Kilty wins U23 World silver; Tagg, Saunders, Elam win Cowboy Open Amateur division titles

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Nov. 04, 2019, 5:58 p.m. (ET)

Macey Kilty after a win at the U23 Worlds in Budapest. Photo by Sachiko Hotaka, United World Wrestling.

It was a busy week for athletes who are current members of USA Wrestling’s Elite Accelerator Program, as athletes in the men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle program hit the mats.

EAP is a progressive developmental movement based at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., aimed at molding young wrestlers into World and Olympic Champions. EAP athletes are either enrolled in high school or have recently graduated.

Women’s freestyle

Macey Kilty (Stratford, Wisc./Sunkist Kids) won a silver medal at 68 kg at the U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Kilty won her first three matches by technical fall, beating Alexia Sherland of Canada, 10-0, Alina Runytska of Ukraine, 11-0 and Yingying Wang of China, 11-0. In the finals, she dropped a 7-2 decision to Japan’s Masako Furuichi, who won her seventh age-group World title. Furuichi previously boasted three Cadet World golds and three Junior World golds, and was also a Senior World bronze medalist in 2019.

Kilty made her fourth straight age-group World finals. Her streak began with a 2018 Cadet World title and a 2018 Junior World silver medal. This year, Kilty made two World finals, winning silvers at the 2019 Junior Worlds and the 2019 U23 Worlds. Kilty completed high school in 2018.

68 kg: Macey Kilty (Stratford, Wisc./Sunkist Kids) - SILVER
WIN Alexia Sherland (Canada), 10-0
WIN Alina Rudnytska (Ukraine), 10-0
WIN Yingying Wang (China), 11-0
LOSS Masako Furuichi (Japan), 7-2

Folkstyle wrestling (for men’s freestyle EAP athletes)

Four EAP athletes from the freestyle program entered the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyo. in the amateur division, which is mostly college undergrads. Three of the wrestlers won gold medals, Julian Tagg (125), Josh Saunders (141) and Rocky Elam (184).

Tagg, a high school post-grad who is committed to North Carolina, won all five of his matches, with one technical fall, three major decisions and a decision. His closest bout was a round three win over Will Vombauer of the Air Force Academy Prep School. In the finals, he stopped Brendon Garcia, a freshman from Wyoming, by a 15-3 major decision. Garcia was a two-time Fargo Greco-Roman champion.

Saunders, a high school post-grad who has committed to Cornell, was equally dominant, with five straight times, including two pins, a technical fall, a major decision and a decision. His closest win was in round two, a 4-3 victory over redshirt sophomore Kedric Coonis of Western Wyoming. In the finals, he beat another Western Wyoming wrestler, Joey Revelli, in a 16-3 major decision.

Elam, a high school senior who has committed to Missouri, pinned his first four opponents in a combined 5:15. His semifinal pin was over CSU-Pueblo freshman Jayson Davis. In the gold-medal finals, he stopped redshirt sophomore Anderson Salisbury of the Colorado School of Mines, 11-5.

Also competing was high school post-grad Jacob Moran, who has committed to Indiana. He dropped his first match to Western State freshman Patrick Allis, 7-4, then ran off five straight wins in the consolation rounds. Included were two pins, a technical fall and two decisions.

EAP athletes at Cowboy Open (Amateur division)

125 - Julian Tagg, Mayfield Heights, Ohio (Unattached), gold medal
WIN Quinn Melofchik (Air Force), maj. dec. 15-1
WIN Ethan Crawford (Unattached – Colorado Mesa), tech fall 18-0
WIN Will Vombauer (U.S. Air Force Academy Prep), 7-3
WIN Patrick Allis (Western State Colorado), maj. dec. 9-0
WIN Brendon Garcia (Unattached - Wyoming), maj. dec. 15-3

125 - Jacob Moran, Portage, Ind. (Unattached)
LOSS Patrick Allis (Western State Colorado), 7-4
WIN Matt Sedillo (US Air Force Academy Prep), tech fall 18-2
WIN Darrick Stacey (unattached-Wyoming), pin 1:34
WIN Xavier Gonzalez (Western Wyoming), pin 1:02
WIN Will Vombauer (U.S. Air Force Academy Prep), 5-2
WIN Quinn Melofchik (Air Force), 4-0
LOSS Jackson Nielsen (Unattached-Nebraska-Kearney), no match

141 - Josh Saunders, St. Louis, Mo. (Unattached), gold medal
WIN Jacob McCarley (Unattached Western State Colorado), pin 1:11
WIN Kedric Coonis (Western Wyoming College), 4-3
WIN Derek Fisher (Unattached – Utah Valley) pin 1:15
WIN Nick James (Unattached – Nebraska-Kearney), tech. fall 18-3
WIN Joey Revelli (Western Wyoming College), maj. dec. 16-3

184 - Rocky Elam, Kansas City, Mo. (Unattached)
WIN Dillon Ryan (Colorado Mesa), pin 1:00
WIN Micah Sterling (Cloud County), pin 1:47
WIN Hayden Walker (Unattached – Wyoming), pin 1:11
WIN Jayson Davis (Colorado State-Pueblo), pin 1:17
WIN Anderson Salisbury (Colorado School of Mines), 11-5

Next Up for EAP athletes

This weekend, women’s freestyle EAP athletes Tiare Ikei and Kylie Welker will compete in the Berlin Open in Germany. Men’s freestyle wrestlers Saunders, Elam and Moran will compete at the Northern Colorado Open in Greeley, Colo.