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Page, Leathers win women’s freestyle gold medals for Team USA at Dave Schultz Memorial

04 Feb 2017

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athletes Jennifer Page of the Titan Mercury WC at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Becka Leathers of the Titan Mercury WC at 55 kg/121 lbs. won gold medals for Team USA at the Dave Schultz Memorial International on Friday. Page won a rematch of the 2017 U.S. Open finals, defeating Maya Nelson of the Sunkist Kids, 7-2 for the gold medal. Page had defeated Nelson, 3-1 in the Open finals.
Page came out very aggressively, scoring two straight takedowns for a 4-0 lead. During an exchange where Nelson scored a takedown to close it to 4-2, Page injured her knee and needed medical attention. Page was able to continue and scored a reversal to make it 5-1 at the break. In the second period, Page added two more points, shutting down Nelson’s comeback attempt. “My knee popped up really loud. I just tweaked it so for the rest of the match when I pushed off it, it kept sliding out of place. It was kind of hard to drive for the second half of the match, but I was able to stay in good position. After I hurt my knee, I focused a lot on hand ties and tried to control the hand tie in the two-on-one. It shut off a lot of her offense so it neutralized the situation so I didn’t have to move as much,” she said. Page won her first career Dave Schultz Memorial title, after capturing a silver medal in last year’s event.  “I’m actually pretty happy with how I wrestled. I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t finish off the finals match more strongly. I started off really well, and I wanted to be able to finish stronger. Things happen so I’m glad I was able to maintain what I was able to maintain for the rest of the match,” she said.

Leathers, a 2015 Junior World bronze medalist, won a four-athlete round-robin with a perfect 3-0 record. She wrapped up the gold medal in the evening session with a dominant 10-2 decision over Jacarra Winchester of Titan Mercury WC, 10-2. Leathers dominated on her feet, scoring takedowns in both the first and second period for the victory. Leathers’ big win in the morning session was an 8-2 win over 2012 Olympian and 2016 Olympic Trials champion Kelsey Campbell of the Sunkist Kids. She also had pin over Momoka Kadoya of Japan in 1:29. Leathers, who began training full-time at the USOTC this winter, won her first Dave Schultz Memorial title.
“I just went out there with a goal to have fun and try to get my process down. I want to figure out what things work for me and what doesn’t. Going into that match, I wanted to try a lot of stuff and score some points. It worked out. This was a really good tournament for me. I felt really good. My warm-up was good, and everything just fell into place,” said Leathers. A pair of U.S. athletes were defeated in gold-medal finals, earning silver medals, Erin Golston of the New York AC at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Kayla Miracle of the Sunkist Kids at 58 kg/128 lbs. Golston, a three-time Junior World medalist, was defeated by three-time Cadet World champion Kiki Kagata of Japan in the finals, in a 14-1 technical fall. Kagata was named Outstanding Wrestler in the women’s division based upon her performance on Friday. Kagata led 5-0 at the break, scoring a takedown, a two-point ankle lace turn and a pushout for her points. Golston scored a pushout to make it 5-1 early in the second period, but Kagata was able to execute a number of takedowns to close out the victory.

Miracle, a two-time Junior World medalist, was pinned in the finals by 2012 Cadet Asian champion Miki Kawauchi of Japan in 2:21. Miracle was leading early 2-0, but Kawauchi hit a powerful hip toss and secured the first-period fall. Miracle was a Dave Schultz Memorial finalist for the second straight year, after winning a gold medal in 2016. Japan had the most individual champions with four. Joining Kagata and Kawauchi as individual champions were 2011 Cadet World champion Yui Sakano at 60 kg/132 lbs. and three-time Junior World champion and three-time Cadet World champion Masako Furuichi at 75 kg/165 lbs. Sakano won a four-athlete round robin, winning all three matches by technical fall. Sakano defeated 2016 University World champion Justina Distasio in the finals on a 2-2 criteria decision, scoring the winning takedown with just 12 seconds left.
Canada won the team title with 60 points, ahead of runner-up Japan with 55 points. Canadian champions were Brianne Barry at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Oliva Dibacco of Canada at 69 kg/152 lbs. Barry won an all-Canadian finals, pinning World bronze medalist Jessica MacDonald in 3:58, in a high-scoring battle. Dibacco went 2-0 in a three-athlete roundrobin, including a win over two-time U.S. Olympian and four-time World medalist Elena Pirozhkova of the Titan Mercury WC.

At Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3

Women's freestyle results
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1st - Kika Kagata (Japan) tech. fall Erin Golston (USA/New York AC), 14-1
3rd – Jade Parsons (Canada) pin Natasha Kramble (Canada), 0:58
53 kg/116.5 lbs.
1st - Brianne Barry (Canada) pin Jessica MacDonald (Canada), 3:58
3rd –Ronna Heaton (USA/Sunkist Kids) pin Madison Parks (Canada), 1:19
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Becka Leathers (USA/Titan Mercury WC)
Silver – Kelsey Campbell (USA/Sunkist Kids)
Bronze - Jacarra Winchester (USA/Titan Mercury WC),
4th - Momoka Kadoya (Japan)
RR1 - Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids),8-2
RR2 - Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Momoka Kadoya (Japan), 8-3
RR2 - Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC), 1-1
RR2 - Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) pin Momoka Kadoya (Japan), 1:29
RR3 – Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC), 10-2
RR3 – Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) won by inj dft. Momoka Kadoya (Japan)
58 kg/128 lbs.
1st - Miki Kawauchi (Japan) pin Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids), 2:21
3rd – Randi Beltz (USA/Titan Mercury WC) pin. Lauren Louive (USA/NYAC), 1:40
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Yui Sakano (Japan)
Silver – Chloe Spencer (USA/Choker WC)
Bronze – Carla Ponce (USA/Aires WC)
4th - Sophia Carson (USA/Campbellsville Univ.),
RR1 - Chloe Spencer (Choker WC) dec. Carla Ponce (Aires WC), 5-1
RR1 - Yui Sakano (Japan) tech. fall Sophia Carson (USA/Campbellsville Univ.), 11-0, 2:10
RR2 - Yui Sakano (Japan) tech. fall Chloe Spencer (Choker WC), 12-1
RR2 - Carla Ponce (Aires WC) dec. Sophia Carson (Campbellsville), 11-5
RR3 – Yui Sakano (Japan) tech. fall Carla Ponce (Aries WC), 10-0, 0:45
RR3 –Chloe Spencer (Choker WC) dec. Sophia Carson (Campbellsville), 8-1
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1st - Jennifer Page (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Maya Nelson (USA/Sunkist Kids), 7-2
3rd – Ayana Gempei (Japan) tech. fall Alexis Porter (USA/New York AC), 10-0, 4:27
69 kg/152 lbs.
Gold – Oliva Dibacco (Canada)
Silver – Hanna Gladden (USA/Univ. of the Cumberlands)
Bronze - Elena Pirozhkova (USA/Titan Mercury WC)
RR1 - Oliva Dibacco (Canada) tech. fall Hanna Gladden (Univ. of the Cumberlands), 10-0, 1:34
RR2 - Olivia DiBacco (Canada) pin Elena Pirozhkova (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 3:44
RR3 – Hannah Gladden (Cumberlands) won by inj. dft. Elena Pirozhkova (USA/Titan Mercury WC)
75 kg/165 lbs.
1st - Masako Furuichi (Japan) dec. Justina DiStasio (Canada), 2-2
3rd – Erin Clodgo (USA/Sunkist) tech. fall Jessika Rottier (USA/Univ of Cumberlands), 11-0, 5:59

Outstanding Wrestler - Kika Kagata (Japan), 48 kg

Top Two Teams – 1. Canada, 60 pts., 2. Japan, 55 pts.