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National Duals: Junior and 14U Women’s Freestyle place 9th overall, Greco places 12th

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 06/16/23, 1:45PM CDT


TULSA, Okla.The women’s freestyle and junior Greco-Roman divisions wrapped up yesterday in Tulsa.

Wisconsin’s 14U and junior women’s freestyle teams placed 1st in their respective bronze/copper pools, earning 9th place finishes overall. Greco-Roman placed 4th in the bronze/copper pool and finished 12th overall.

Neysa Bianchi, Wisconsin’s women’s director, said the girls were intent on winning. “They worked very hard. We saw a lot of fantastic things from both teams with mat savvy, awareness, and knowing what kind of points they needed and going after them.”

The junior team, which is comprised of 16U and junior age wrestlers for the women’s freestyle duals, outmatched their early opponents in Pool B. They gave up just a single match loss to both North Carolina and Michigan Red.

“Our juniors set the example and provided leadership, and we had 16U girls that performed really well at the junior level,” said Bianchi.

Their first roadblock came by way of the eventual champions, Missouri Fire, in the semifinals—both teams won an even 7 matches, but Missouri’s winning combinations put a higher point total on the board. “Being so close is a bitter pill to swallow,” said Bianchi. The team finished 4th in the pool, earning a win over Virginia Blue but then dropping a close match to Florida, 36-28.

Wisconsin turned around from the loss and went on a 4-dual win streak, which included a rematch win over Florida, to take the bronze/copper pool title. “Florida’s good kids matched up with ours and the first time around we came up short,” said Bianchi. The rematch with Florida was a different outcome and highlighted the team dynamic. “It never came down to one person,” said Bianchi. “It was a team effort.”

Although it wasn’t a placement round, one of the marquee matches for Wisconsin was a border battle with Minnesota. Bianchi said the girls showed incredible toughness and stayed committed to the basics and good position. They cruised to a 43-23 victory. The team also had wins over Tennessee Red and Kansas, for an overall 7-2 dual record.

“Being at a tournament like this brutally exposes your weaknesses so now we know what to work on,” said Bianchi. “We know what to do, we know how to manage our energy levels well now and I think that will really pay off for the 16U and juniors next month.”

The 14U team posted a 6-2 record and followed suit as bronze/copper pool champions. Overall, their path featured a win in the opening round and then back-to-back losses before going on a five-match win streak to place 9th.

In Greco-Roman, Team Wisconsin earned 4th in the bronze/copper pool on day two and placed 12th overall at the national event.

The team put together an impressive 5-3 record, taking down opponents despite suffering some injuries on the lineup. After dropping a match to Pennsylvania in the pool b semifinals the team wrestled back to place third in the pool over Missouri on criteria, 8 match wins to 7.

They had wins over Georgia and Alabama in the bronze/copper pool before dropping matches to Minnesota Blue and Texas Red.

Scott Kluever, who is in Tulsa throughout the entire event, shed light on the heart and character displayed by the Greco team. He emphasized that every member played a crucial role, contributing wins and earning valuable points in matches they lost. This collective effort underlines their team orientation, and, as Kluever said best, “These kids are all heart." 

Competition resumes today with junior men's freestyle.