In the inaugural women’s wrestling season at Chadron State College, the Eagles will send half of their roster to the national championships, after four placed in the top five of their respective weight classes at the Southwest Regional Qualifier at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., on Sunday.
Junior 101-pounder Kinsey Smith and sophomore 170-pounder Kamila Montenegro placed fourth, while freshman 101-pounder Taylor Lindstrom and freshman 136-pounder Ryleigh Dye were fifth.
“I’m so proud of the first group of CSC women’s wrestlers,” said Head Women’s Wrestling Coach Alijah Jeffery. “Every time we’ve stepped on the mat, we’ve had improvements. I was close to tears today. Four of the women stepped up and qualified for nationals because they just wanted it more. We were a split second away from a fifth. I can’t wait to show everyone, two weeks from now in Michigan, how far we’ve come.”
The best record on the CSC team belonged to Dye, who was placed in a pigtail match and fought her way to 3-2. She cleared a field of 10 wrestlers, which were the most any bracket contained, to earn the fifth and final bid to nationals. Her three wins consisted of two pins, in 1:13 combined, and one 10-0 tech fall.
Montenegro went 2-2, with her only losses coming to opponents who’d been ranked nationally this season. She pinned her first round opponent from William Jewell, before suffering a loss to the second-seeded wrestler, No. 6 Grace Kristoff, in the semifinal. In consolations she won a 2-1 decision before falling to Colorado Mesa’s Tatum Heikkila 5-2, avenging the Maverick from a dual loss by fall to Montenegro in January. Heikkila was ranked eighth at the time.
Smith and Lindstrom wrestled each other in an opening round match, with Smith coming out ahead 10-8.
Smith was pinned in the semifinal, by No. 5 Lizette Rodriguez, but advanced straight to the Third Place Match in byes, where she lost a 6-0 decision.
Lindstrom lost her consolation match and ended up unopposed in the Fifth Place bracket.
At 143, Karstin Hollen was 1-3. She was ahead 9-6 in her Fifth Place Match before getting flipped and pinned. She finished sixth.
Entering only seven of a possible 15 wrestlers, CSC finished sixth out of 10 teams in the regional standings with 30.5 points. Regional host, No. 2 McKendree won the regional title with 175.5 points
The National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships is March 4-5 at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan.
Kinsey Smith (CSC) dec. Taylor Lindstrom (CSC) (10-8)
Kaylie Catalano (Colorado Mesa) dec. Taylor Lindstrom (CSC) (3-3)
No. 5 Lizette Rodriguez (McKendree) pinned Kinsey Smith (CSC) (1:56)
Kaylie Catalano (Colorado Mesa) dec. Kinsey Smith (CSC) (6-0)
Holly Beaudoin (Colorado Mesa) pinned Ryleigh Dye (CSC) (0:26)
Ryleigh Dye (CSC) TF Emily Ebsen (Lindenwood) (10-0)
Ryleigh Dye (CSC) pinned Saniya Berry (Augustana ) (0:50)
Holly Beaudoin (Colorado Mesa) pinned Ryleigh Dye (CSC) (1:18)
Ryleigh Dye (CSC) pinned Justice Seely (Lindenwood) (0:23)
No. 1 Alara Boyd (McKendree) TF Maddison Christiansen (CSC) (10-0)
Julianna Moreno (Lindenwood) pinned Maddison Christiansen (CSC) (0:52)
Karstin Hollen (CSC) TF Daphne Gonzalez (University of the Ozarks ) (12-0)
Kaylee Lacy (Colorado Mesa) pinned Karstin Hollen (CSC) (1:12)
Julianna Moreno (Lindenwood) pinned Karstin Hollen (CSC) (1:06)
Tristan Folkner (Westminster) pinned Karstin Hollen (CSC) (1:34)
Mayte Villada (Colorado Mesa) TF Jeslyn Jindra (CSC) (11-0)
No. 1 Kayla Marano (McKendree) pinned Jeslyn Jindra (CSC) (0:48)
Kamila Montenegro (CSC) pinned Emma Carter (William Jewell) (5:46)
No. 6 Grace Kristoff (McKendree) TF Kamila Montenegro (CSC) (12-2)
Kamila Montenegro (CSC) dec. Mariah Dow (Lindenwood) (2-1)
Tatum Heikkila (Colorado Mesa) dec. Kamila Montenegro (CSC) (5-2)