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Alex Liles to Compete next week @ Junior World Championships

U.S. women’s freestyle Junior World Team is loaded with talent and experience

BY TAYLOR MILLER, USA WRESTLING | SEPT. 12, 2018, 1:57 P.M. (ET)

Photo: Kilty (right) photo by Martin Gabor, UWW. Heaton photo by Richard Immel.

The U.S. is sending several experienced women’s freestyle athletes to the 2018 Junior World Championships next week in Trnava, Slovakia.

The women’s squad features a pair of past Cadet World champions, including 2018 Cadet World champion Macey Kilty at 68 kg and 2015 Cadet World champion Ronna Heaton at 55 kg.

Kilty is fresh off of her World title performance, taking the 69 kg gold medal at the 2018 Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, in July. Kilty breezed through the field, collecting two falls, one tech fall and a dominant decision, which came in the finals.

Kilty’s World title came one year after she fell short of making the Cadet World Team in 2017. In 2016, she made her international debut at the Cadet World Championships, where she won a bronze medal.

In addition to her World medals, the Wisconsin native owns gold medals from the 2017 Cadet Pan American Championships and Cadet Klippan Lady Open. Kilty is also a four-time Fargo champion, winning her most recent one in July, just one week after the 2018 Cadet Worlds.

Similar to Kilty, Heaton won her first international medal in her Worlds debut with a gold in 2015. The next year, Heaton returned to the Cadet World stage and finished with a silver medal.

Her trip to Slovakia will mark her fourth-straight Worlds appearance as she also competed at the 2017 Junior Worlds in Tampere, Finland.

Over the last two seasons, Heaton has been representing the U.S. on international tours at the Senior level. She took bronze and silver and the 2017 and 2018 Dave Schultz Memorial International, respectively. She added a pair of bronze medals from the Outstanding Ukrainian Memorial and the Bill Farrell International earlier this year.

Nationally, the three-time Fargo champion placed at the Senior U.S. Open and finished third at the Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.

Two-time Cadet World medalist Alleida Martinez will suit up for the U.S. at 50 kg, the lightest weight.

Martinez, a product of Selma, Calif., won collected silver at the 2015 Cadet World Championships and bronze at the same event in 2016.

In May, she won her first UWW Junior Women’s National title, earning her a spot on the 2018 Junior World Team. Martinez, who begins her freshman year at Menlo this fall, is also the U23 World Team alternate at 50 kg.

Returning to the Junior World Championships is WCWA All-American for McKendree Brenda Reyna at 59 kg, who finished eighth at the 2016 Junior Worlds.

Earlier this summer, Reyna competed at the Junior Pan American Championships in Fortaleza, Brazil, where she came away with silver.

The Washington native has proven that she is a threat at the older age groups, as well, producing runner-up finishes at the 2018 U23 World Team Trials and 2018 Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.

Competing for the Red, White and Blue at 57 kg is Alex Hedrick, who has surprised many this year.

After gold-medal performances at the U.S. Open and Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, Hedrick earned a bid to Final X to face off against World and Olympic champion Helen Maroulis for the 57 kg spot on the Senior World Team. The series was postponed because of a Maroulis injury and will take place in early October.

During the college season, Hedrick completed her freshman year for Simon Fraser with a second-place finish at the WCWA National Championships, falling short to her teammate Dominique Parrish. Hedrick took third at the U23 World Team Trials just weeks later.

Hedrick, originally from California, will wrestle in her first World Championships in Slovakia.

Two 2017 Cadet World Team members have made the bump up to the Junior division, counting Alisha Howk at 53 kg and Alexandria Liles at 62 kg. Both are also past Fargo champions.

Liles is making her third trip to the World Championships, with two trips to Cadet Worlds. This season, Liles won silver at the Bill Farrell International and went on to pick up All-American honors at the Senior U.S. Open.

Howk lives in River Falls, Wisc., where she trains with Kilty under highly accomplished coach Kevin Black.

Representing the United States at 65 kg is Jayden Laurent, a 2018 Fargo champion and 2017 Junior Pan Am champion.

Laurent is one of USA’s “must-watch” athletes as she has competed in and excelled in multiple age divisions this year. She took silver at the Bill Farrell International before taking third at the U.S. Open. Additionally, she was second at the U23 World Team Trials and Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.

Completing the team are college stars Alyvia Fiske at 72 kg and Dymond Guillford at 76 kg.

Fiske, a student-athlete at Simon Fraser, took fourth at the U.S. Open, and Guilford, who competes for Missouri Baptist, took fourth at the 2017 WCWA Championships.

The 2018 Junior World Championships are set for Sept. 17-23 in Trnava, Slovakia. The women’s freestyle portion of the competition will take place Sept. 19-21. Fans can watch the tournament live on Trackwrestling.com and keep up with @USAWrestling on Twitter for live updates.

2018 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Trnava, Slovakia, Sept. 17-23

U.S. women’s freestyle roster
50 kg: Alleida Martinez (Selma, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)
53 kg: Alisha Howk (River Falls, Wisc./Sunkist Kids)
55 kg: Ronna Heaton (Brookings, S.D./Sunkist Kids)
57 kg: Alex Hedrick (Fair Oaks, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)
59 kg: Brenda Reyna (Mount Vernon, Wash/Bearcat WC)
62 kg: Alexandria Liles (Allen, Texas/Sons of Thunder)
65 kg: Jayden Laurent (Green Bay, Wisc./Musky WC)
68 kg: Macey Kilty (River Falls, Wisc./Sunkist Kids WC)
72 kg: Alyvia Fiske (Napa, Calif./Titan Mercury WC)
76 kg: Dymond Guilford (Lancaster, Calif./Missouri Baptist)

U.S. Assistant Women’s Freestyle National Coach – Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Kevin Black, River Falls, Wisc.
Coach – Matt Stevens, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Medical – Dr. Steve Broman, Fort Collins, Colo.
Medical – Becky Ball, Lakewood, Colo.

Referee – Tim Pierson, Virginia Beach, Va.
Referee – Bill Harper, Drexel, Mo.
Referee – Danny Blackshear, Oklahoma City, Okla.

USA Wrestling communications – Taylor Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Schedule

Monday, Sept. 17
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (Greco-Roman 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130 kg)
6 p.m. – Semifinals (Greco-Roman 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130 kg)

Tuesday, Sept. 18
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (Greco-Roman 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (Greco-Roman 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130 kg)
4:45 p.m.  – Opening ceremonies
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (Greco-Roman 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (Greco-Roman 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130 kg)

Wednesday, Sept. 19
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (women’s FS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (Greco-Roman 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (women’s FS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (Greco-Roman 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)

Thursday, Sept. 20
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (women’s FS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (women’s FS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (women’s FS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (women’s FS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)

Friday, Sept. 21
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (men’s FS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (women’s FS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (men’s FS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (women’s FS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)

Saturday, Sept. 22
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (men’s FS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (men’s FS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (men’s FS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (men’s FS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)

Sunday, Sept. 23
4 p.m. – Repechage (men’s FS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals(men’s FS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)