Augsburg’s Emily Shilson wins world junior title

UFA, Russia — Augsburg University women’s wrestler Emily Shilson (JR, Maple Grove, Minn./Mounds View HS) claimed the junior world championship in the 50-kilogram (110-pounds) women’s freestyle category, with a dominating performance at the United World Wrestling Junior World Championships, completed on Thursday at the Ufa Arena.

Shilson outscored her opponents by a 36-10 margin in four victories on Wednesday and Thursday, including a pair of 10-0, first-period technical superiority (technical fall) victories in the semifinal and championship matches.

On Wednesday, she opened with a 6-3 win over Natallia Varakina of Belarus, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games cadet champion (46 kg/101 pounds), converting a takedown and exposure to build a 4-1 lead after one period, then claiming a late takedown to secure the win. In the quarterfinals, Shilson had to overcome a 4-0 first-period deficit to claim a 10-7 win over Viktoriia Aleksandrova of Russia, a 2018 Cadet World Championships bronze medalist (43 kg/95 pounds). She scored three takedowns and two exposures in the second period, including a takedown and exposure with 41 seconds left to pull ahead for the first time in the bout.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Shilson faced Simran Simran of India, a wrestler Shilson had beaten in the cadet 48 kg (106 pounds) title match (11-6 decision) at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Shilson unleashed a fury of points to score the 10-0 win in just 2:09, opening with a takedown eight seconds into the bout and cruising to the technical superiority.

In Thursday’s championship match, Shilson secured the United States’ first women’s freestyle junior world championship since 2017 with another dominating 10-0 victory, this time a 2:49 win over Enkhzul Batbaatar of Mongolia, a two-time bronze medalist at the cadet Asian Championships. Shilson opened with a takedown 42 seconds into the bout, then claimed another with 29 seconds left in the first period. She then converted a gut wrench for three back exposures in a 15-second span, ending the championship match early.

Shilson’s triumph was part of a record-setting day for USA Wrestling at the Junior World Championships. American women’s freestyle wrestlers won three world titles on Thursday, with Amit Elor winning the title at 68 kg (150 pounds) and Kylie Welker winning the title at 76 kg (167 pounds). One more American will compete for a world title on Friday, as Kennedy Blades will wrestle in the 72 kg (159 pounds) championship bout.


Thursday’s win was the first in two international competitions that Shilson will face this fall. After winning the USA Wrestling/UWW Women’s Junior Nationals and USAW/UWW U23 Women’s World Team Trials in Texas in May, Shilson will also represent the United States at the UWW U23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on Nov. 1-7. It’s the second straight time that Shilson will represent the USA at the UWW U23 World Championships, after winning the 2019 American crown. She went 1-2 in competition at the 2019 world meet in Budapest, Hungary. She also won the 2020 U23 Nationals and UWW Junior Nationals in November in Omaha, Neb., and competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in March.

The 2018 UWW Cadet World titlist and 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion at 43 kg and 2017 UWW Cadet World silver medalist at 43 kg, Shilson is a two-time winner of National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championship (NCWWC) titles at 109 pounds and a national titlist at the 2020 WCWA national tournament during her collegiate years. She finished 8-0 in her sophomore collegiate season at Augsburg, with all eight wins coming by bonus-point margins (six technical falls, two pins). She is 22-0 in her collegiate career, with 12 technical falls and eight pins.

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