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Ragan withdraws from Worlds, Burkert named replacement

Alli Ragan and Jenna Burkert embrace after their Final X series (Photo/Richard Immel)

Two-time World silver medalist Alli Ragan (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids/Hawkeye WC) has been withdrawn from the 2018 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary at 59 kg/130 lbs. in women's freestyle due to an injury.

Ragan, who qualified for her sixth straight Senior World Team with her victory in Final X in Lincoln on June 9, will be replaced by Final X runner-up Jenna Burkert (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP).

Burkert will be competing in her second Senior World Championships, having competed at 60 kg at the 2014 World Championships. The 59 kg women's freestyle competition in Budapest will be held on Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23.

"It is disappointing that Alli Ragan can't compete in the World Championships in Budapest and go after another World medal. She has earned the right to represent Team USA at the Worlds for six straight years, and has been very important to our team's success. Jenna Burkert has been training hard as part of our National Team, and we are confident she will contend for a World medal herself. As a past Senior World Team member, Jenna has the experience and the ability to be very successful in Budapest," said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner.

Ragan, a two-time WCWA champion for King University, defeated Burkert in two straight matches in Final X, by the scores of 4-0, 5-0. Burkert had wrestled up at 62 kg at the 2018 U.S. Open, where she placed third, Burkert came down to 59 kg for the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Rochester, Minn., where she qualified for Final X. As a 2017 World medalist, Ragan sat out until Final X.

A native of Carbondale, Ill., Ragan won two consecutive World silver medals at 60 kg, first in Budapest, Hungary in 2016 and then in Paris, France in 2017. She also placed fifth at the 2014 World Championships, and competed on the 2013 and 2015 World Teams. Ragan won a pair of Junior World bronze medals for the USA in 2011 and 2012. She was also a silver medalist at the 2013 World University Games. Ragan has won a pair of U.S. Open titles in 2013 and 2014. She was a four-time WCWA finalist with King, with titles in 2013 and 2014 and runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012.

Ragan trains with the Hawkeye WC at its Regional Training Center in Iowa City. Ragan was previously a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which she joined after she completed her college career.

A native of Rocky Point, N.Y., Burkert qualified for three U.S. Junior World Teams, competing from 2011-2013 and was a Junior World teammate with Ragan in 2011 and 2012. In high school, Burkert was a member of the women's wrestling team at the Northern Michigan U.S. Olympic Training Site, and attended high school there. She was the ASICS Girls High School Wrestler of the Year in both 2010 and 2011, and placed fifth at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

In addition to a 2017 U.S. Open title, she was a U.S. Open runner-up in both 2014 and 2015. Burkert placed fourth in the 2017 CISM Military World Championships. She placed third in the World Team Trials Wrestle-offs in 2012 and 2013, which qualified her for the National Team those seasons.

Burkert is currently enlisted in the U.S. Army and is a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. She was a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete prior to joining the Army.

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