Ex-USOEC wrestler medals at Jr. Worlds

MARQUETTE – Former U.S. Olympic Education Center athlete Erin Golston won a silver medal during the first day of women’s freestyle wrestling at the Junior World Championships on Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Golston, who wrestles at 44 kilograms (97 pounds), jumped out to an early lead in the gold medal match but lost 10-7 to Emilia Budeanu of Moldova, according to a news release from USA Wrestling.

Golston scored three-point and two-point moves in the first period en route to a 7-2 lead, but Budeanu rallied with similar moves of her own in the second period to tie it 7-7.

The Moldovan broke the tie with 40 seconds on a two-point takedown on a duck-under, then added a defensive takedown with 14 seconds left.

“I started out the second period pretty confident, because I was up,” Golston said. “When she hit that fireman’s carry, I got a little rattled a bit. It went downhill from there. I tried to get my shots off but they weren’t working. I will learn from it.”

Golston has won three Junior World medals in four trips, also winning bronze medals in 2011 and 2012.

Budeanu was second in the 2013 European Junior Championships and third in the European Juniors in 2012.

“Overall, I had a pretty OK tournament,” Golston said. “I didn’t get scored on until the last match, so I am happy about that. I know I need to learn to close out matches better. I’ll be better next time.”

Golston earned her trip to the finals with a stunning 15-second pin over Sheetal Tomar of India in the semifinals, getting a quick takedown and locking up a cradle to put her away quickly.

Golston opened with an 8-0 technical fall in 3:00 over Leisy Mena of Honduras in her opening match, following it with a similar 7-0 win in 3:35 over Rena Okuno of Japan.

“She showed up today. From the time she stepped on the mat, in her warm-ups, she was focused and determined,” U.S. assistant national women’s coach Erin Tomeo said. “She outwrestled every one of her opponents. We fell short but we didn’t get beat. She gave her finals opponent a little more credit than she deserved and held back a bit. She fought for it, and she should be proud about that.”

Another former USOEC wrestler, Jenna Burkert, finished eighth at 59 kg (130 lbs.) with a 2-1 record. She was unable to continue on in the repechage after the wrestler that defeated her in the quarterfinals lost in the semifinals.

Burkert needed just 46 seconds to score a 7-0 technical fall over Lisa Holgersson of Sweden in her opening match, then scored a number of defensive takedowns in an 11-6 victory over Tetyana Kit of the Ukraine.

Burkert fell in the quarterfinals with a pin at 3:57 of the second period to Petra Olli of Norway.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee.