Women's Weekly

Women's Weekly: The End Of An Era

Women's Weekly: The End Of An Era

This season is the end of an era for women's college wrestling while an exciting new one begins.

Jan 15, 2024 by Kyle Klingman
Women's Weekly: The End Of An Era

Women’s college wrestling reached an intersection in 2020. Three separate national championships were scheduled with NCAA and NAIA programs hosting tournaments for the first time in the same year. 

The Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA) had done its job, and by 2020 it had reached its final leg before passing the baton. This organization was created in 2008 to provide women an opportunity to compete, and it included all divisions with an end-of-the-year tournament that was considered the college national championships. 

An unaffiliated women’s college national championship was held from 2004-07 before the WCWA was formed. 

The NAIA Invitational Tournament was held in 2019, canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and resumed in 2021. The 2023 NAIA Championships were the first officially sanctioned women’s collegiate national championship ever. 

The National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships (NCWWC) — a de facto NCAA Championship — includes all NCAA programs (D1, D2, and D3) with the first national championship held in 2020. NCAA women’s wrestling is currently an emerging sport with four Division I programs (Iowa, Lindenwood, Presbyterian, and Sacred Heart). 

This season marks the end of an era for women’s college wrestling. Several top stars who competed in the WCWA/NAIA/NCAA crossover have exhausted all five years of their eligibility after using COVID years during the 2023-24 campaign. 

Some have stayed where they started while others have transferred. Eight national champions are in the homestretch of their college careers and all eight will determine what team wins the NCWWCs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 8-9.

McKendree coach Sam Schmitz led his team to the first three NCWWC championships (2020-22) before a one-year stint with Central Methodist. Several of those wrestlers are still competing for various teams. 

The following graphs outline the changes in women’s college wrestling. 

Women's College National Champions From The WCWA Era Competing This Season

NameStartedEnded2019 WCWA2020 NCWWC2021 NCWWC2022 NCWWC2023 NCWWC
Felicity TaylorMcKendreeIowa2nd2nd1st2ndRedshirt
Alara BoydMcKendreeNorth CentralNA2nd1st2ndInjury
Emma BruntilMcKendreeMcKendreeNA1st1stNo collegeNo college
Pauline GranadosMcKendreeMcKendreeNA1st2ndNA8th
Marlynne DeedeAugsburgIowaNA6th3rd3rd1st
Emily ShilsonAugsburgMcKendreeNA1st1st1st1st
Yelena MakoyedNorth CentralNorth CentralNA2nd1st1st1st
Jaslynn GallegosPresbyterianNorth CentralNA4th3rd4th1st

* Jaslynn Gallegos and Emily Shilson won 2020 WCWA titles

Women's College National Team Champions

2004Missouri ValleyNANANA
2005Missouri ValleyNANANA
2009NAOklahoma CityNANA
2010NAOklahoma CityNANA
2011NAOklahoma CityNANA
2012NAOklahoma CityNANA
2013NASimon FraserNANA
2023NADisbandedSouthern OregonNorth Central

National Duals Fever

Here’s a look back at the final results from the 2019 WCWA National Duals when every team competed in the same division and the 2020 results when NAIA and NCAA hosted separate tournaments. Several names should look familiar — especially on the McKendree side. 

Pauline Granados, Felicity Taylor, Emma Bruntil, and Alara Boyd are still competing as outlined in the above graph. 

2019 WCWA National Duals

101: Jaclyn McNichols (King) over Natalie Reyna (McKendree) Dec 4-2
109: Vanessa Ramirez (McKendree) over Lesly Hernandez (King) TF 10-0
116: Felicity Taylor (McKendree) over Makayla Welch (King) TF 14-3
123: Cheyenne Sisenstein (King) over Alexia Ward (McKendree) Dec 8-4
130: Brenda Reyna (McKendree) over Allison Petix (King) Dec 5-1    
136: Nicole Joseph (King) over Michelle Camacho (McKendree) Fall 2:00    
143: Ashlynn Ortega (King) over Alexis Porter (McKendree) Dec 5-1    
155: Alexandria Glaude (McKendree) over Ana Luciano (King) Dec 8-0    
170: Sydnee Kimber (McKendree) over Hailey Cancelleri (King) TF 10-0
191: Destane Garrick (McKendree) over Nia Crosdale (King) Dec 6-2

Final Score: McKendree 24, King 17

2020 NCAA National Duals
101: Pauline Granados (McKendree) over Unknown (Unattached) Forfeit
109: Ciara McCrae (SFU) over Natalie Reyna (McKendree) Dec 5-3
116: Karla Godinez-Gonzalez (SFU) over Felicity Taylor (McKendree) Dec 8-0
123: Alex Hedrick (SFU) over Theresa Rankin (McKendree) TF 11-0
130: Alexia Ward (McKendree) over Lauren Mason (SFU) Dec 5-1
136: Emma Bruntil (McKendree) over Nicole Depa (SFU) Dec 7-0
143: Ana Godinez-Gonzalez (SFU) over Alara Boyd (McKendree) TF 12-0    
155: Alyvia Fiske (SFU) over Alexandria Glaude (McKendree) Dec 8-4
170: Korinahe Bullock (McKendree) over Rebekah Trudel (SFU) Dec 9-0
191: Sydnee Kimber (McKendree) over Emily Cue (SFU) Dec 10-2    

Final Score: McKendree 20, Simon Fraser 19 (Tiebreaker)

2020 NAIA National Duals
101: McKenzie Bacich (Campbellsville) over Tianna Fernandez (Menlo) Dec 12-5
109: Alleida Martinez (Menlo) over McKayla Campbell (Campbellsville) TF 10-0
116: Katlyn Pizzo (Campbellsville) over Alexandra Christoforatos (Menlo) Fall 1:35
123: Tiana Jackson (Menlo) over Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville) Dec 8-0
130: Abby Nette (Campbellsville) over Laynee Pasion (Menlo) Fall 1:35
136: Alana Vivas (Menlo) over Randi Robison (Campbellsville) Dec 9-1
143: Solin Piearcy (Menlo) over Mhina Oseitutu (Campbellsville) TF 10-0
155: Marilyn Garcia (Menlo College) over Alexia Foca (Campbellsville) Dec 7-5
170: Precious Bell (Menlo) over Kenya Sloan (Campbellsville) Dec 10-2
191: Alexandra Castillo (Campbellsville) over Sara Aguilar (Menlo College) Dec 10-2

Final Score: Menlo 22, Campbellsville 19

Greatest Dual Ever?

The 2024 National Duals final between Iowa and North Central may have had the most hype, but was it the greatest final ever? King’s win over Simon Fraser in 2014 has a case for the greatest dual ever wrestled. 

Here are the cumulative stats from the 20 women who wrestled in the final and the dual result. 

— 60 All-American honors
— 35 WCWA finals appearances
— 27 WCWA titles
— 15 Senior World/Olympic medals
— 5 World/Olympic gold medals
— 4 Olympic teams

2014 NWCA National Duals Final — Des Moines, Iowa
101: Darby Huckle (Simon Fraser) over Shannon Constantine (King) Dec 6-0
109: Victoria Anthony (Simon Fraser) over Samantha Klingel (King) Fall 0:47
116: Haley Augello (King) over Nikkie Brar (Simon Fraser) TF 11-0
123: Sarah Hildebrandt (King) over Laura Anderson (Simon Fraser) TF 10-0
130: Helen Maroulis (Simon Fraser) over Kayla Brendlinger (King) TF 10-0
136: Alli Ragan (King) over Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) TF 10-0
143: Amanda Hendey (King) over Maegan Kuruvita (Simon Fraser) Fall 1:39
155: Julia Salata (King) over Monika Podgoski (Simon Fraser) Dec 6-0
170: Justina Distasio (Simon Fraser) over Lorrie-ann Ramos (King) TF 10-0
191: Jenna McLatchy (Simon Fraser) over Malexsis Mcadoo (King) Dec 12-12

Final Score: King 21, Simon Fraser 19

Fresh Rankings Are Here

Pound-for-Pound Women's College Rankings
High School Girls' Rankings

Women's Spotlight


California native Austria Holland began her athletic career in gymnastics, judo, and Jiu-Jitsu before finding wrestling. Holland discusses her modeling career, competing for upstart Adams State, staying calm before matches, losing a friend to suicide, and how to stay positive through seemingly insurmountable setbacks.


High school stars Aspen Blasko and Gigi Bragg formed a friendship after competing against each other throughout their careers. Both dive into relevant topics to women's wrestling and the lessons they have learned from a sport like no other. 

Weekend Tournament Results

Below are links to college tournament results from the weekend. King had an impressive showing at the Tornado Open with five champions and 11 finalists. Several U.S. stars — including Alisha Howk, Katie Lange, and Precious Wieser — won the Brock Open in Canada. 

Tornado Open
Lakeland Scramble
Oregon Classic
Will Abele Ursinus Women's Open
Brock Open
Golden Bear Invitational

Zagreb Open Results

Several Americans competed in the Zagreb International Ranking tournament last week with Adeline Gray and Kennedy Blades securing bronze medals at 76 kg. Below are full U.S. results courtesy of USA Wrestling. 

53 kg – Jacarra Winchester (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC), no placement
LOSS Qianyu Pang (China), forfeit

53 kg – Dom Parrish (Scotts Valley, Calif./Sunkist Kids WC), 5th place
WIN Lucia Yepez Guzman (Ecuador), inj. def.
LOSS Stalvira Orshush (Hungary), 10-0
WIN Liliia Malanchuk (Ukraine), 14-4
LOSS Jowita Wrzesien (Poland), pin 2:34

53 kg – Haley Augello (Lockport, Ill./New York AC/Izzy Style WC), 19th place
LOSS Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 5-2

57 kg – Amanda Martinez (Riverside, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Cardinal WC), 17th place
LOSS Anhelina Lysak (Poland), fall 2:11

76 kg – Adeline Gray (New York AC/Beaver Dam RTC), Bronze Medal
WIN Yuanyuan Huang (China), 4-0
LOSS Aiperi Medet Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), tech fall 10-0
WIN Rita Talismanovaaa (AIN), tech fall 12-2
WIN Pauline Lecarpentier (France), 3-0

76 kg – Kennedy Blades (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids WC), Bronze Medal
WIN Elmira Syzdykova (Kazakhstan), 10-0
WIN Anastasiya Alpyeyeva (Ukraine), 5-4
LOSS Juan Wang (China), 3-3
WIN Kylie Welker (USA), pin 4:25

76 kg – Kylie Welker (Franksville, Wis./Titan Mercury WC/Iowa Women’s WC), 5th place
WIN Kendra Dacher (France), fall 2:18
LOSS Juan Wang (China), 8-5
WIN Gaucaite (Lithuania), fall 1:08
LOSS Kennedy Blades (USA), pin 4:25