MARRIETA, Ga. – Midland University’s women’s wrestling team had a strong showing at the national level as they had four wrestlers place individually while guiding the team to a ninth place finish at the 2020 Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association Nationals. It was the programs’ highest finish ever, besting the 10th-place result in 2014.
Esther Walker placed 3rd at 101 thanks to a 3-1 tournament. She opened with a bye and then won a forfeited bout against a wrestler from Tiffin. In her first live action of the event she suffered defeat, falling to McKenzie Bacich (Fall, 0:50). She would go on to win her next two bouts. First she got past Ira Navarro of Southwest Oregon CC (Fall, 3:00) and then defeated Madison Brown of Texas Wesleyan (Fall, 0:46) in the third place bout.
Ashley Gooman was 4th at 116. She went 3-2 on the tournament. She opened with back to back wins, beating Mikayla Vega of Gannon (Fall, 3:52) and Maddie Ruckdashel of Lakeland (Fall, 0:27). She then lost a tough match against Katlyn Pizzo of Campbellsville (Fall, 2:05).
In her fourth bout she got past Aliyah Rollins of Missouri Baptist (Fall, 0:27) to earn a spot in the third-place match. In the bout she faced another wrestler from Campbellsville in Charlotte Fowler. She lost the bout (Tech Fall with scoring, 13-2) to wrap up her tournament.
Wrestling at a lighter weight for the first time all season, Tanalei Louis placed 5th at 130. She opened with a first round bye and then defeated Mikayla Dockweiler of Gannon (Decision, 8-6). She then lost to Alex English of Life (Decision, 4-0) before winning her next two in the consolation bracket. She beat Savannah Vold of Augsburg (Decision, 7-1) and Clarissa Archuleta of Texas Wesleyan (Decision, 8-0) to reach the semifinals.
In the semifinal round she narrowly lost to Aysia Cortez of Life (Decision, 4-3) which put her in the 5th place bout. In that bout she ended her tournament on a high note as she defeated Serena Cervantes of Schreiner (Decision, 9-4).
Midland’s final place earner was Leilani Camargo-Naone at 191. She placed 5th in the division after going 3-2. She opened with a bye but then fell to Agatha Andrews of Jamestown (Fall, 2:50). In the consolation she picked up a win by forfeit and then live action win over Kendall McGarity of Gannon (Fall, 0:46).
In the consolation semifinals she faced Gabrielle Hamilton of Life. She would lose to Hamilton (Fall, 0:42, sending her to the 5th place match. In that match she faced Jessie Lee of Tiffin and won her final bout of the tournament (Tech Fall, 11-0).
As a result of their solid finishes, Midland landed four wrestlers on the All-America team in Walker, Gooman, Louis, and Camargo-Naone. It was a very successful weekend for head coach Matt Atwood and the Lady Warriors wrestling team.
Up next Midland will host a pair of home events after a week off for training and recovery. They’ll host University of St. Mary for a dual on Friday, February 21 on the eve of their annual Lady Warrior Open set for Saturday, February 22. The dual with the Spires is set for a 5:00 p.m. start and the open will begin at 9:00 a.m. both in Fremont, Nebraska.