Sterling Dias with her silver medal from the Cadet World Championships (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- A year after winning a bronze medal at the Cadet World Championships, Sterling Dias upgraded her medal.
The 15-year-old Dias reached the gold-medal match at 40 kilograms before losing 4-4 on criteria to India's Komal on Friday at the Cadet World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. She becomes the third silver medalist for the United States in this year's women's wrestling competition. Cristelle Rodriguez and Skylar Hattendorf finished with silver medals on Thursday. Two other Americans, Kylie Welker and Amit Elor, won bronze medals on Friday.
The United States finished third in the women's wrestling team standings with 106 points. Japan won the team title with 195 points and had six champions. China finished second with 127 points.
Dias, a Las Vegas native, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the finals after scoring a takedown just over a minute into the match. Komal came back with a takedown in the second period to grab a 2-2 lead on criteria. A short time later, Dias snapped Komal to the mat and scored a takedown to go up 4-2. With 15 seconds left, Komal hit an arm spin and scored a takedown to go ahead on criteria and then held on for the narrow victory.
Welker earned a bronze medal at 61 kilograms with a fall in 59 seconds over Cadet Asian silver medalist Laylokhon Sobirova of Uzbekistan. The 15-year-old Wisconsin native fought off a leg attack from Sobirova and scored a takedown. She then used a gut wrench to go up 4-0 before putting Sobirova on her back and securing a fall. Welker's only loss came in the semifinals to eventual champion Nonoka Ozaki of Japan, who did not surrender a point throughout the entire tournament.
Amit Elor gets her hand raised after winning a bronze medal (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)
Elor cruised to a 10-0 first-period technical superiority in her bronze-medal match against Zaineb Sghaier of Tunisia. Her points came from two four-point throws and a takedown. Like Welker, Elor suffered her only loss of the tournament in the semifinals to the eventual champion. She fell to Japan's Honoka Nakai 3-1 on Thursday.
USA posts 3-5 record on opening day of Greco-Roman, Perez remains alive
The United States failed to advance a wrestler to the semifinals on the first day of the Greco-Roman competition, but one wrestler, Robert Perez III, remains alive in the competition. He will compete in repechage at 65 kilograms on Saturday.
Perez, the nation's No. 1 freshman, opened his tournament by defeating Kristjian Bosnjak of Croatia 8-0. He was then blanked 6-0 in the quarterfinals by Cadet Asian bronze medalist Sheraz Ochilov of Tajikistan. Perez earned a spot in repechage after Ochilov reached the gold-medal match.
Cory Land and Tate Picklo also picked up victories but were eliminated in the opening session.
Land, competing at 48 kilograms, defeated Berat Keskin of Turkey. He then lost his next match to India's Rupin Rupin 6-1.
Tate Picklo went 1-1 at 80 kilograms (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)
Picklo, the nation's No. 18 overall junior, dominated Estonia's Robyn Paulberg 8-0 in his first match at 80 kilograms. He was then defeated by Jonni Sarkkinen of Finland 8-4 in his next match.
Conor Knopick (55 kilograms) and Braxton Mikesell (110 kilograms) both dropped their first matches and were eliminated in the opening session.
Five more Greco-Roman wrestlers will compete for USA on Saturday: Mason Gehloff (45 kilograms), Jett Strickenberger (51 kilograms), Parker Decker (61 kilograms), Daniel Segura (71 kilograms) and Tyler Hannah (92 kilograms).