CSC Women To Compete For Trips To Nationals

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Photo Courtesy/CMU Sports Information

Several Chadron State College women’s wrestlers will enter the biggest meet of their season this Sunday, in Lebanon, Illiinois, as the Eagles compete at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships Southwest Regional Qualifer, hosted by McKendree University.

The NCWWC came together in 2019, as a result of efforts by the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Coalition, a division of USA Wrestling formed by several other wrestling organizations. The inaugural national championship for NCAA schools in women’s wrestling were held in March of 2020.

It was later that summer that the NCAA voted to make women’s wrestling an “emerging sport”, signifying the organization’s intent to sanction a National Collegiate Championship once certain participation thresholds are met. For now, the NCWWC represents what will eventually be that championship event, and it carries the same naming format as the NCAA emerging sport model.

Regional qualifiers were added to the selection process for the 2021 championship. Last year, the top four wrestlers in each weight class moved on to the NCWWC. In the tournament’s third year, due mainly to the emergence of many new programs such as CSC, the top five will advance.

The teams in CSC’s region are mostly in Missouri or Illinois. They include NCAA Division III members Augustana (Ill.), Fontbonne, Schreiner, University of the Ozarks, and Westminster College (Mo.), as well as Division II schools Colorado Mesa, Lindenwood, McKendree, and William Jewell. Like the Eagles, Augustana, Ozarks, and William Jewell are fielding first-year programs.

Each team is allowed up to 15 entries, with no more than two in any of the 10 weight classes. Only Colorado Mesa and McKendree will make use of all 15. Lindenwood will bring 13, Schreiner has 10, Augustana and William Jewell will each send eight, CSC brings seven, with only two apiece from Fontbonne, Ozarks, and Westminster.

The seven Eagles who will wrestle compete at 101, 136, 143, and 170 pounds.

At each of those weight classes, the highest-ranked competitor in the regional comes from McKendree. No. 5 Lizzette Rodriguez at 101, No. 3 Skye Realin at 136, No. 1 Alara Boyd at 143, and Joye Levendusky at 170, should all be the favorites. The Bearcats are the two-time defending national champions.

The 136-pound bracket should also contain No. 6 Emmily Pateneaud of McKendree and No. 7 Athena Wilden of Lindenwood.

At 143 pounds, Colorado Mesa should also field a ranked opponent, in No. 5 Kaylee Hanes.

The 170-pound bracket is also stalked by No. 6 Grace Kristoff of McKendree.

Noone on the Eagles’ roster is ranked, however sophomore 170-pounder Kamila Montenegro is 3-0 against her opponents from regional teams, including a fall against a wrestler from Colorado Mesa, then ranked No. 8.

Freshman Karstin Hollen is 2-3 at 143 pounds, freshman Ryleigh Dye, at 136 pounds, is 1-3, and junior Kinsey Smith (101), freshman Maddison Christiansen (136), and sophomore Jeslyn Kindra (155) are winless in the region. Freshman Taylor Lindstrom has yet to encounter a regional opponent at 101.
The action on Sunday gets underway at 10 a.m. CT. No information on media coverage is available at this time, however the web page for last year’s tournament suggests there will be coverage at TrackWrestling.com.

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