Mount Baker senior Emma Bruntil was one of two American wrestlers to win gold medals at the 2017 Junior Pan American Championships held Saturday at the Villa Deportiva Nacional Videna in Lima, Peru.
Bruntil was unbeaten in four matches in a five-athlete round robin to claim the 59 kilogram title (approximately 130 pounds). She opened with an 11-0 techincial fall victory over Abnelis Yamo Mirando of Puerto Rico, before pinning Canada’s Grace Kennett in 44 seconds, Brazil’s Andria Pimentel De Souza in 1:26 and Mexico’s Fatima Crisanto Ayil in 2:31.
Bruntil also won the Golden Boot, presented to the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
“I had a lot of confidence going in, so I felt pretty good with everything I did, but I still have room to improve in certain areas,” Bruntil told USA wrestling in a post tournament interview. “I was able to get some pins and tech’s, so I was pretty happy with it.”
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Among the areas Bruntil said she would like to improve were counter offensive moves, but she said her confidence played a big role in her success Saturday.
“Coming in, I really wanted to turn it around,” Bruntil said in a video interview by USA wrestling. “Even though I didn’t really know what it was going to be like, I just wanted to give it my best effort.”
Jayden Laurent, from Denmark, Wisconsin, was the other American champion at the event at 67 kilograms (147 pounds).
And what was Bruntil’s favorite part of the trip?
“The food was pretty good, but definitely, I think, getting first was pretty cool,” Bruntil told USA wrestling.
Bruntil, who won the WIAA’s 130-pound title as a sophomore at Nooksack Valley in 2015 before claiming the 135-pound crown for the Mountaineers in February, told USA wrestling that she plans to head to Pocatello, Idaho, for the Western Regionals, which are scheduled for later this month, and head to Fargo, North Dakota, likely for the Junior and Cadet National Championships in July. Last year, Bruntil won a national title at the USA Wrestling Girls’ Junior Folkstyle National Championships.