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Leathers, Porter, Pfau, Team California among champs crowned in Junior Nationals women's freestyle
Oklahoma’s Becka Leathers (in blue) was named Outstanding Wrestler. John Sachs photo.
FARGO, N.D. – Oklahoma’s Becka Leathers is one of the bright young stars and aspiring Olympians in women’s freestyle wrestling.
And her performance Tuesday night certainly confirmed that.
Leathers knocked off returning champion Kayla Miracle of Indiana 10-2 to win a Junior Nationals title at 139 pounds at the Fargo Dome.
Leathers won a 2012 Cadet Nationals title and followed with a Folkstyle Junior Nationals title this year. Miracle had won a gold medal at the Junior Pan American Championships on Saturday in Chile.
Leathers was named Outstanding Wrestler.
“I was very impressed by Kayla’s resume – I’m just confident in my abilities,” Leathers said. “I expected to go out there and give her all she wanted. It turned out to work in my favor and I got it done.”
Leathers was among 12 Junior women’s champions crowned on Tuesday.
New York’s Alexis Porter repeated as champion after defeating California’s Jasmine Mendoza 11-2 in the 148 finals. Porter beat Mendoza for the second straight year in the finals.
California won the team title with Texas second and Michigan third.
Hawaii’s Teshya Alo earned her second title of the event after pinning Nebraska’s Gabrielle Weyhrich in the 125 finals. Alo built a 12-0 lead before recording the fall.
Alo was named Outstanding Wrestler in the Cadet Nationals tournament on Saturday.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to wrestle here in Juniors, and it’s one of the toughest tournaments I’ve gone to,” Alo said. “The Juniors are more advanced in technique and their strength is phenomenal. I just tried to use my technique more in this tournament.”
Colorado’s Maya Nelson followed with a Cadet/Junior double of her own after rallying from an early deficit to top Wisconsin’s Jessika Rottier 11-3 in the 130 Junior finals. Nelson won a Cadet title on Saturday.
“I was really excited for this,” Nelson said. “I started off really pumped for this after winning Cadets. I came out and battled, and it was exciting to win again.”
Colorado’s Cody Pfau blanked Georgia’s Amy Hou 11-0 in a battle of returning Junior Nationals champions in the 105 finals. Pfau won the award for most falls in the least amount of time.
Twins Marina and Regina Doi of California were declared co-champions after both reached the finals at 97 pounds. Marina Doi was a 2012 FILA Cadet World champion with Regina placing fifth in that event.
Puerto Rico’s Vicmarie Requena took charge early in defeating Georgia’s Emily Pinson 4-1 in the 112 finals. Requena is a three-time Junior National champion in Puerto Rico.
“This is very emotional for me and my family,” Requena said. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into the sport. This is very important for women’s wrestling in Puerto Rico.”
Michigan’s Steffanie Hampton executed a pair of headlocks late in the match to rally past Danielle Coughlin of Massachusetts in the 117 finals. Hampton was second in this event last year. She won a 2013 Junior Folkstyle Nationals title.
New York’s Rachel Hale looked strong in defeating Cassidy Jasperson of Texas 14-2 in the 121 finals. Hale climbs to the top of the podium after finishing third in this event last year.
Michigan’s Autumn Rux took control early in defeating Taylor Rosario of Texas 6-0 in the 159 finals. Rux won a Cadet title here last year while Rosario won Cadets this year.
Washington’s Kiaya Van Scoyoc scored an 11-0 win over Florida’s Stephanie Pantoja in the 172 finals.
Washington teammate Ryan Gibbons followed suit by headlocking and pinning Florida’s Nadine Fiege in the first period of the 198 finals. Gibbons avenged a loss to Fiege in the Cadet finals on Saturday.
2013 ASICS/VAUGHAN JUNIOR AND CADET NATIONALS
Junior Nationals Women’s freestyle
Tuesday, July 16, Fargo Dome, Fargo, N.D.
Marina Doi (California) and Regina Doi (California), co-champions
Cody Pfau (Colorado) dec. Amy Hou (Georgia), 11-0
Vicmarie Requena (Puerto Rico) dec. Emily Pinson (Georgia), 4-1
Steffanie Hampton (Michigan) dec. Danielle Coughlin (Massachusetts), 12-9
Rachel Hale (New York) dec. Cassidy Jasperson (Texas), 14-2
Teshya Alo (Hawaii) pinned Gabrielle Weyhrich (Nebraska), 1:50
Maya Nelson (Colorado) dec. Jessika Rottier (Wisconsin), 11-3
Becka Leathers (Oklahoma) dec. Kayla Miracle (Indiana), 10-2
Alexis Porter (New York) dec. Jasmine Mendoza (California), 11-2
Autumn Rux (Michigan) dec. Taylor Rosario (Texas), 6-0
Kiaya Van Scoyoc (Washington) dec. Stephanie Pantoja (Florida), 11-0
Ryan Gibbons (Washington) pinned Nadine Fiege (Florida), 0:43