Ecuador Sends Three to Women’s Freestyle Finals at #WrestleBuenosAires
Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 17:57 By Taylor Miller
Pictured is Luisa VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU). Photo by Lucia Cruz.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The Ecuador women’s freestyle team put together an impressive session on Saturday morning at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, sending three wrestlers to the finals.
The last time Ecuador had three Pan Am women’s freestyle finalists was in 2014 in Mexico City, where all three were champions.
2011 Junior World bronze medalist Luisa VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU) will face 2018 Senior World silver medalist and returning Pan American champion Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) in the 53 kg finals.
Valverde is a six-time Senior Pan American medalist, winning gold in 2014.
To get to the finals, Hildebrandt took out 2018 World bronze medalist Diana WEICKER (CAN).
At 57 kg, Lissette ANTES CASTILLO (ECU) dominated her way to the finals, scoring a 9-0 decision and a fall to earn a chance to wrestle for gold.
Tonight, she will take on 2018 Junior Pan American champion Hannah TAYLOR (CAN).
Photo: Adeline GRAY (USA) against Erica WEIBE (CAN). Photo by Lucia Cruz.
The third wrestler from Ecuador representing in the finals is Genesis REASCO VALDEZ (ECU) at 76 kg. She will take on four-time World champion Adeline GRAY (USA) for gold.
En route to the finals, Gray defeated 2016 Olympic champion Erica WEIBE (CAN) in the quarterfinals, 10-0.
In addition to Hildebrandt and Gray, there are three other Americans in the women’s freestyle finals, including 2018 Senior World bronze medalists Mallory VELTE and Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK and three-time Junior World medalist Erin GOLSTON.
Velte will face Lais NUNES DE OLIVEIRA (BRA) in the 62 kg gold-medal bout. Velte defeated Nunes in the 2018 World bronze-medal match, 2-1, in October.
To advance to the finals, Nunes knocked off 2018 Pan American champion Yaquelin ESTORNELL ELIZASTIGUE (CUB), 15-7.
Waiting for Mensah-Stock on the other side of the 68 kg bracket is 2018 U23 World champion Yudari SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ (CUB).
Mensah-Stock defeated Sanchez in the 2018 World Championships in an early round.
For 50 kg gold, Golston will take on 2016 Junior Pan Am champion Yusneylys GUZMAN LOPEZ (CUB).
Men’s freestyle also began today with round-robin brackets at 79 kg and 92 kg. Champions will be crowned tonight.
The medal matches will begin at 5 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EST) live on unitedworldwrestling.org.
GOLD - Yusneylys GUZMAN LOPEZ (CUB) vs. Erin GOLSTON (USA)
BRONZE - Jacqueline MOLLOCANA ELENO (ECU) vs. Thalia MALLQUI PECHE (PER)
BRONZE - Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) vs. Mariana DIAZ MUNOZ (MEX)
GOLD - Luisa VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU) vs. Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA)
BRONZE - Carolina CASTILLO HIDALGO (COL) vs. Diana WEICKER (CAN)
BRONZE - Justina BENITES VASQUEZ (PER) vs. Lilianet DUANES ANDRES (CUB)
GOLD - Hannah TAYLOR (CAN) vs. Lissette ANTES CASTILLO (ECU)
BRONZE - Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) vs. Yessica OVIEDO PEREZ (DOM)
BRONZE - Betzabeth SARCO COLMENAREZ (VEN) vs. Nes RODRIGUEZ TIRADO (PUR)
GOLD - Mallory VELTE (USA) vs. Lais NUNES DE OLIVEIRA (BRA)
BRONZE - Nathaly GRIMAN HERRERA (VEN) vs. Yaquelin ESTORNELL ELIZASTIGUE (CUB)
BRONZE - Abnelis YAMBO MIRANDA (PUR) vs. Mayra ANTES CASTILLO (ECU)
GOLD - Tamyra MENSAH (USA) vs. Yudari SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ (CUB)
BRONZE - Yanet SOVERO NINO (PER) vs. Olivia DI BACCO (CAN)
BRONZE - Andrimar LAZARO DIAZ (VEN) vs. Ambar GARNICA FLORES (MEX)
GOLD - Genesis REASCO VALDEZ (ECU) vs. Adeline GRAY (USA)
BRONZE - Erica WIEBE (CAN) vs. Mabelkis CAPOTE PEREZ (CUB)
BRONZE - Diana CRUZ ARROYO (PER) vs. Gabriela CANALES HERRERA (MEX)
79 kg – round three matches
Francisco GUZMAN VELAZQUEZ (PUR) vs. Chandler ROGERS (USA)
Santiago MARTINEZ RESTREPO (COL) vs. Jasmit Singh PHULKA (CAN)
92 kg – round three matches
J'den COX (USA) vs. Diego RAMIREZ FLORENTIN (PAR)