- Brandon Cain
Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, Final X New York women's freestyle preview
Four-time World and Olympic champion Helen Maroulis and Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Hildebrandt will be featured.
The nation's top two Senior-level athletes in 15 weight classes will compete June 8 at Final X New York, presented by Tezos, for the opportunity to represent Team USA at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia (Sept. 10-18).
A year of Senior-level competition will culminate for 30 wrestlers in this best-of-three series at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The series’ first matches will be held in session one at 2 p.m. ET. Session two will begin at 6 p.m. ET.
There is one Olympic and World champion, two Olympic medalists and three World medalists featured in the women’s freestyle bouts in New York. Two of these weight classes feature a pair of athletes who have never made a Senior World Team, which will guarantee that at least two new Senior World Team members will come out of New York in women’s freestyle.
Final X New York, presented by Tezos, will serve as the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.
There are a variety of ticket options available for Final X New York, beginning at $65 so you don't miss the first in-person Benefit since 2019. Purchase your wrestling-only event tickets on Ticketmaster For information on Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages (wrestling event and exclusive after party access) that also provide the best wrestling-event seats, visit give.btsny.org/benefit or email Fund Development Manager Kerry Doyle at email@example.com.
Bout 2 – 72 kg WFS - Skylar Grote (Beaver Dam RTC/NYAC) vs. Amit Elor (NYC RTC/TMWC)
This is a battle between a veteran wrestler who is truly coming into her own against one of the best young wrestling talents in the world. Skylar Grote has paid her dues over a number of years, and has her first opportunity to make a Senior World Team. Amit Elor is a U17 and U20 World champion, competing in her first year at the Senior level. With no history of matches between them, it is one of the most intriguing of all the women’s battles in the Final X series.
A native of New Jersey, Grote competed in college at Brock University in Canada, where she won college national titles. At the same time, she also competed at the U.S. Senior level, starting to get national and international placements in 2018. She began to assert herself with a U.S. Open runner-up finish in 2020. After making a move the Beaver Dam RTC, Grote has put up some great performances this season, including wins at the U.S. Open, the Pan American Championships and getting to Final X by reaching the finals at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.
Elor has been a phenom in wrestling going back to her early teens, when started training with top Senior-level athletes. She made her international debut in 2018 with a U15 Pan American title. After winning a U17 World bronze in 2019 and training hard through the pandemic, Elor won two age-group World gold medals in 2021. She is easily one of the nation’s best high school wrestlers. She trains with the NYC RTC, so is familiar with New York City. Final X New York will be a coming-out party from one of these two athletes, a big opportunity for them both.
Bout 7 – 53 kg W - Felicity Taylor (Bearcat RTC/TMWC) vs. Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids)
This pairing will also result in a new Senior World Team member. Dominique Parrish, the former Simon Fraser star, will battle a current college hammer, Felicity Taylor of McKendree. Both have been successful since their youth days, with Parrish out of California and Taylor out of Iowa.
Of the two wrestlers, Parrish has had the most Senior level success, including a 2019 U.S. Open title and placing third at this weight class at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She has made three U.S. U23 World Teams. At Simon Fraser, she claimed a pair of WCWA national titles and won the Miranda Medal as the nation’s best women’s college wrestler. She added a Pan American title this spring. This will be her second Final X, after making a run in 2019 at 55 kg to place second on the National Team. Experience is in her favor.
Taylor has made the finals of the NCWWC college nationals for NCAA schools three times, winning the title in 2021 and placing second in 2020 and 2022. Her first Senior U.S. Open placement came in 2019. She has been on fire in 2022, winning both the Senior U.S. Open and the U23 Nationals title. Her previous international events included a 2019 U23 World team and a 2018 Pan American Junior team. With no recent matchups, this one is also an interesting battle to see which wrestler makes the next big step in her career.
Bout 9 - 62 kg WFS – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) vs. Jennifer Rogers (NLWC/TMWC)
Kayla Miracle has established herself on the international level, with a 2021 World silver medal and an appearance at the 2020 Olympic Games among her long list of achievements. Jennifer Rogers, who previously competed under her maiden name Page, has also competed at a high level for a long time, winning an age-group World medal and a number of U.S. Open titles. While Rogers is the older by about three years, she has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons, and seems to be wrestling at her highest level in many years.
There is a recent match between the two, with Miracle scoring a pin over Rogers in the U.S. Open finals. Miracle had already qualified for Final X and didn’t need to compete at the Open, and then wrestled the next week at the Pan American Championships. She has previous experience with Final X, winning it in 2019 to make her first Senior World Team. Right now, Miracle could be in the prime of her career, with sights on winning her first Senior World title.
Rogers has seemed to thrive since making the move to train with the Nittany Lion WC a few years ago. There seems to be a joy in her wrestling spirit this season. While Miracle will be favored, Rogers has both the experience and talent to make a Senior World Team and will be ready for the challenge.
April 27, 2022 – U.S. Open finals – Miracle pin Rogers, 0:18
November 7, 2015 – Bill Farrell International – Miracle tech. fall Rogers, 13-3
Bout 11 - 50 kg WFS – Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/NYAC) vs. Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids)
This is another exciting match-up between one of the world’s top lightweights from recent years, World and Olympic medalist Hildebrandt, against a two-time World medalist who had her top performances almost a decade ago in Lampe. Hildebrandt may be peaking as an athlete at this time, while Lampe made an admirable comeback from retirement a few seasons ago and has put herself in position to make it back to the World Championships.
Last year, Hildebrandt won an Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo followed by her second career World silver medal in Oslo just a few months apart. When she competed at either 53 kg or 55 kg, Hildebrandt was very competitive, but when she decided to drop to 50 kg after the 2019 season, she seemed to find her groove. She has been dominant on this continent, winning five Pan American titles in her career. Hildebrandt wrestles with confidence and can finish a match quickly with her effective ankle lace turn. If she wins in New York, it will be her fifth World team, plus her Olympic berth.
Lampe won her World bronze medals in 2012 and 2013, and she made five total Senior World Teams. After missing her run at an Olympic team berth in 2016, Lampe was seemingly retired. However, she decided to wrestle again in 2019, and has been competing at both 50 kg and 53 kg. She won the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament with a two-match sweep over top seed Erin Golston. Lampe is powerful and can pin just about anybody when wrestling well. Hildebrandt has a technical fall win against Lampe from a 2020 wrestling card. Lampe has to establish herself in the first match and show that she is truly back at the top of her game.
November 24, 2020 – Wisconsin RTC Underground 1 – Hildebrandt tech. fall Lampe, 12-1
Bout 13 - 57 kg WFS – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) vs. Alexandra Hedrick (USOPTC/TMWC)
Helen Maroulis is one of the most successful women’s wrestlers in world history, and has been a trailblazer for the sport in the United States. She became the first U.S. women’s wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal with her triumphant run at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She added a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games, which made her the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic wrestling medals. Add in three Senior World titles, including her most recent victory at the 2021 Worlds in Oslo. She has set a high standard for herself for a long time, and is still motivated to do even more.
Alex Hedrick has established herself at both the college level and at the Senior level in recent seasons. She won a pair of NCWWC college titles for Simon Fraser in 2020 and 2022, missing the 2021 season when Simon Fraser did not compete due to the pandemic. She has competed on three age-group World Teams. She won a 2018 U.S. Open title on the Senior level, and earned a spot in Final X against Maroulis, but their championship series was delayed with Maroulis being injured. In their Special Wrestle-off, Maroulis won a pair of technical falls. Hedrick has proven to be a top talent and is a worthy opponent for Maroulis again.
Helen Maroulis’ challenges with injury and concussions are well documented, and her amazing 2021 season was a testament to her determination, fortitude and love of the sport. Hedrick is a rising young talent who has earned the opportunity to take another shot at one of the best ever.
October 6, 2018 – Special Wrestle-off for World Team – Bout 2 – Maroulis tech. fall Hedrick, 12-0
October 6, 2018 – Special Wrestle-off for World Team Bout 1 – Maroulis tech. fall Hedrick, 10-0
FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for Final X New York, presented by Tezos.