5 Storylines To Follow At Women's College Nationals
5 Storylines To Follow At Women's College Nationals
The National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 3-4. Here are five storylines you should follow.
The 2023 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 3-4 — and there are plenty of storylines to follow. This is a national college tournament for NCAA programs from all divisions (I, II, and III) that began in 2020.
McKendree won the first three championships (2020-22) and is in contention this year. King and North Central are the favorites after qualifying 15 wrestlers each.
FloWrestling has you covered if you can’t attend in person. The entire tournament is streaming live on the link below.
Below are five storylines to follow when the action gets underway at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, March 3.
Can A Cardinal Or A King Dethrone A Bearcat?
North Central and King each qualified 15 wrestlers — but will that be enough to knock off three-time returning national champion McKendree? The Bearcats qualified 10 but they could realistically win half the weights.
Emily Shilson, the reigning three-time NCWWC champion, could win at 109.
Cam Guerin, the reigning two-time NCWWC champion, could win at 130.
Sydnee Kimber, the reigning three-time NCWWC champion, could win at 191.
Lizette Rodriguez, a two-time third-place finisher who is seeded second, could win at 101.
Payton Stroud, a two-time All-American who is seeded second, could win at 116.
That’s a LOT of top-end firepower!
King and North Central have lots of scoring potential, too. That’s why these two teams met in the finals of the NWCA National Duals with the Tornado knocking off the Cardinals in a thrilling 23-21 victory in the finals.
King has 15 wrestlers seeded in the top eight.
1 Jessica Corredor (101)
1 Ana Luciano (136)
1 Ashlynn Ortega (143)
2 Sage Mortimer (109)
2 Cheyenne Bowman (170)
3 Vayle Baker (123)
3 Montana DeLawder (130)
4 Dianna Holmes (109)
4 Samara Chavez (116)
4 Tiffani Baublitz (155)
5 Danielle Garcia (116)
6 Nia Crosdale (191)
7 Avery Kibelbek (101)
7 Melanie Mendoza (123)
North Central has 14 wrestlers seeded in the top eight.
1 Yelena Makoyed (170)
2 Amani Jones (123)
2 Traeh Haynes (191)
3 Sydney Petzinger (109)
3 Jaslynn Gallegos (116)
3 Yele Aycock (136)
3 Brittyn Corbishley (191)
4 Maddie Avila (101)
4 Sara Sterner (130)
4 London Houston (143)
5 Kendall Bostelman (143)
5 Malea Palahniuk (155)
7 Kendra Ryan (109)
This should be a neck-and-neck team race where every match and every bonus point matters.
Can Anyone Stop Yelena Makoyed?
North Central’s Yelena Makoyed won the last two 170-pound NCWWC titles and has reached the finals three straight seasons. She enters as the pound-for-pound best college wrestler in the country and she might be the best 76-kg wrestler in the world.
Makoyed has won four straight international ranking tournaments and pinned the reigning World champion at the 2022 World Cup. So, yeah, she’s pretty good.
Here’s the thing: King’s Cheyenne Bowman has a good track record against Makoyed. The Cardinal superstar won 5-5 over Bowman at the 2021 Missouri Valley Open but lost 9-6 at the 2022 National Duals. The two were scheduled to meet in the 2023 National Duals finals but Bowman bumped up to 191 to help her team earn a 23-21 over North Central.
Makoyed is seeded first and Bowman is seeded second. Imagine the drama if a national team title comes down to these two. It could happen!
Bowman handed Makoyed her last college loss
Nina Makem vs Yele Aycock, Part 6?
It’s one thing to face someone six times during a career, but it’s another to face someone six times in a season.
Augsburg’s Nina Makem and North Central’s Yele Aycock have been in a back-and-forth battle with Makem holding a 3-2 edge. However, Aycock won in the conference finals — so she got the last one. They are on the same side of the 136-pound bracket and would meet if the semifinals if everything goes according to plan.
Here is their full match history
Nov. 5, 2022: Aycock dec. Makem, 2-1
Dec. 3, 2022: Makem dec. Aycock, 8-6
Dec. 11, 2022: Makem dec. Aycock, 4-3
Dec. 30, 2022: Makem fall Aycock, 2:49
Feb. 19, 2022: Aycock dec. Makem, 3-2
The Wild And Wacky 130-pound Weight Class
Aurora’s Lexi Janiak was pinned by North Central’s Sara Sterner during the first match of the season and now she’s the #1 seed. That tells you how competitive and how chaotic this weight could be.
Janiak is 2-1 against returning two-time national champion Guerin and 2-2 against Sterner. Montana DeLawder beat Guerin last season but Guerin won the title. Everything is up for grabs at 130 pounds.
Lexi Janiak and Cameron Guerin faced off at the 2022 Adrian Open
McKendree’s Emily Shilson and Sydnee Kimber could become four-time NCWWC champions this weekend. Shilson won a 2020 WCWA title and three NCWWC titles for Augsburg before transferring to McKendree this season. She is seeded first at 109 pounds and has never lost in college.
Kimber is also seeded first. She won the past three 191-pound titles but lost in the regional finals to second-seeded Traeh Haynes.
Will they make history in Cedar Rapids?
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