photo courtesy of King University athletics
Sunday saw four of the top NCAA women’s wrestling programs collide as #2 McKendree, #3 Emmanuel, #4 King, and #7 Colorado Mesa all did battle at the Tornado Duals. The standout for the host King Tornado was their 101 lber, Jaclyn McNichols. Entering the weekend, McNichols held a national ranking of number four. She earned that ranking with a fourth-place finish at the 2020 WCWC National Championships and was victorious in her only previous dual of the season. As a freshman, McNichols was eighth at the WCWA Tournament.
Jacyln got her day started with a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Emmanuel’s Angelina Gomez. The second-ranked Gomez was a WCWA runner-up in 2019. In the second bout of the day, McNichols prevailed 5-2 over third-ranked Jennesis Martinez. Last season, Martinez defeated McNichols 2-1 for third place at the WCWC’s. McNichols saved her best for last as she upset the defending national champion and top-ranked Pauline Granados of McKendree, 4-1. Remarkably, McNichols downed the three wrestlers ahead of her in the rankings over the course of a day!
McNichols helped King to a 2-1 record on the day. They defeated Emmanuel 23-17 and Colorado Mesa 33-12, before coming up short to McKendree 27-16 in the final match of the day.
Congratulations to Jaclyn McNichols, TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week.