Photos by Shelby Kirkendall
Day one of the 2018 WCWA National Championships saw the brackets wrestled all the way through the semis, ending with an electric round during which the finalists and All-Americans were decided. Campbellsville entered the weekend as the top-ranked team, but they find themselves trailing traditional power Simon Fraser 168-155.5 headed into the final day. Campbellsville advanced three to the finals while Simon Fraser pushed into the lead with five. However, the Tigers outnumber the Clan in the consolation round seven to four. Tomorrow’s consolation semifinals will be vital to deciding whether Campbellsville lifts their first team title or if Simon Fraser returns to the top.
Twin sisters Marina and Regina Doi (King) advanced to the final at 101 just as they did a year ago. Marina made her fourth WCWA final and will be looking to claim her third title. Regina wrestled through a tremendous amount of pain to reach her second consecutive final. Cody Pfau (Emmanuel) and Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) also advanced to the finals in their quest for a third crown. Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville) did not surrender a single point, marching into the finals. The senior won her third title in 2017 and looks to become the fourth WCWA wrestler to claim a fourth championship.
Perhaps one of the strangest happenings on Friday was Junior world bronze medalist and Senior European champion Grace Bullen (Campbellsville) was drawn into the 130-pound bracket unseeded after being withdrawn from consideration for a seed by her coaches. This was an attempt to prevent Bullen and second-seeded Shelby Hall (Campbellsville) to end up on the same side of the bracket. It worked in that regard, though Hall would fall victim to an upset. Bullen performed brilliantly, dominating top-seeded Megan Black (McKendree), 12-0, in the semifinals.
Finals are scheduled for 5 pm central time, Saturday, February 10th.
101: #1 Marina Doi (King) vs. #2 Regina Doi (King)
109: #1 Cody Pfau (Emmanuel) vs. #3 Maria Vidales (Emmanuel)
116: #1 Abby Lloyd (Simon Fraser) vs. #2 Gabrielle Weyhrich (McKendree)
123: #1 Dominique Parrish (Simon Fraser) vs. Alex Hedrick (Simon Fraser)
130: Grace Bullen (Campbellsville) vs. #3 Nicole Depa (Simon Fraser)
136: #1 Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville) vs. #2 Desiree Zavala (Grays Harbor)
143: #1 Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) vs. #2 Alexis Porter (McKendree)
155: #1 Niauni Hill (Lindenwood-Belleville) vs. #2 Tatum Sparks (Providence)
170: #5 Mariah Harris (Campbellsville) vs. #2 Brittany Marshall (Wayland Baptist)
191: #1 Paige Baynes (Grays Harbor) vs. #6 Leilani Camargo-Naone (Midland)