TLDR: Katelyn Lewis is 3rd place All-American and won most falls of the tournament. Junior women’s freestyle celebrated 20 years here in Fargo. Six advance to the semifinals in 16U Greco: Caleb Noble (88), Haakon Peterson (94), Dechlan Koch (113), Amryn Nutter (120), Tristan Steldt (160) and Evan Gratz (285). Liam Neitzel (106) and Jacob Herm (160) secured All-American status and will wrestle to determine placement tomorrow morning. Junior Greco kicks off the last-first day tomorrow. We start at 8:30AM.
Day five is complete! Wisconsin’s 16U Greco team got to work and we witnessed the 20th championship finals in junior women’s freestyle.
Earning 3rd place overall in junior women’s freestyle is Brewton Parker commit, Katelyn Lewis. In six of her match wins, Lewis was able to get to a headlock and end the match by fall. She edged out California’s Maliya Castillo 4-3 in the consolation semifinals. “I’m really proud of my tournament,” she said. “I came back from my loss on the backside and really handled it well.” Lewis was awarded most falls by USA Wrestling.
Junior Women’s Freestyle is celebrating twenty years of competition here in Fargo today. Since Jamie Chappa became the first All-American for Wisconsin in 2002, the overall growth of women’s wrestling has been astronomical. A record 946 girls competed in the division this year.
A big part of that has been state sanctioning and visibility. Marisa Roth shared a bit about being part of this growth. “When I started wrestling, which wasn’t too long ago, I had really no idea how new it was and how much new opportunity I’d get to be a part of.” Roth, who will continue her academic and athletic pursuits at Northern Michigan in the fall, won a WIAA state title this year. NMU will have their first season as a varsity women’s wrestling program this year, and the WIAA just hosted their first sanctioned state championship this spring.
The moment isn’t lost on the girls, either. In sharing advice to younger athletes or those new to the sport, she said “. . . go into every tournament, match, or season knowing that wrestling is so much more than what you see. You might just be seeing your match at the tournament, but it’s an entire arena filled with girls and you’re a part of that and just a part of something bigger so enjoy it as you go through it.”
Thinking about that growth and our women’s performance last night really put in perspective how hard it is to actually All-American at this event. In both the men’s and women’s divisions, we have state champions and absolute hammers that were just short of placing and fell in the blood round. It’s statistically uncommon to place here. It stings though, falling short of your goal.
After taking a loss in the second round of the 138-pound bracket, Roth won six matches before running into California’s No. 3 ranked Savannah Gomez. Wins and losses combined, she said this tournament is the best she’s ever wrestled.
Another senior that made it to the All-American round is Larissa Kaz, who went 3-2. Kaz will wrestle at Hastings College in Nebraska. Other wrestlers heading to college are Karina Torres (committed to North Central) and Brindelyn Eternicka, who is still in the process of commitment.
Multiple from our national team in WFS earned at least 3 victories: Haeli Casey (4-2 at 106), Avery Steldt (3-2 at 117), Abby Swanson (3-2 at 117), Bopasoreya Quintana (3-2 at 112), Brooke Corrigan (3-2 at 100), Brooke Schuneman (3-2 at 127), Kylie Rule (3-2 at 132) and Mattie Papenthien (3-2 at 138).
Everyone loves a good win story, but the story on the women’s side this time around is that the win was in the hustle and learning and that Wisconsin will be back for more. At the 16U and junior levels, the ladies that are here are hungry for more, for improvement, and they’ll take that back to their home rooms and teammates and transfer that spark to the others as we grow. They’re learning and growing and leaning into all that comes along with it. That’s wrestling. That’s life.
16U Greco started this morning and bookended the WFS finals. Six will wrestle in the championship semifinals at 8:30AM tomorrow: Caleb Noble (88), Haakon Peterson (94), Dechlan Koch (113), Amryn Nutter (120), Tristan Steldt (160) and Evan Gratz (285).
Earning victories in their blood round matches and All-American honors are Liam Neitzel (106) and Jacob Herm (160). They will wrestle in the consolations tomorrow morning to determine placement before the finals at 2PM.
Wisconsin’s junior Greco team is weighed in and ready to start off the last-first day of wrestling tomorrow.
Wrestling resumes at 830AM. Select here for an updated schedule by USAW.