Original photo courtesy of Jim Thrall; MatFocus.com
The women’s college wrestling season officially wrapped up in March with the conclusion of the inaugural 2019 NAIA Women’s Wrestling Invitational. The NAIA became the first division to formally add women’s wrestling as an invitational sport for the 2018-19 season. It was an exciting day for women’s college wrestling, to see 10 inaugural champions crowned in what could be a pivotal moment in the growth of women’s college wrestling. The tournament did not disappoint as it treated the fans to some very dominating performances, surprise upsets, and another great team victory by Menlo College to cap off their amazing season. After much thought and internal debate, TOM’s final women’s college wrestling wrestler of the month is Tiana Jackson of Menlo College.
Jackson, competing in one of the most competitive brackets at 123-pounds, came in as the fourth seed. After an opening round bye, she quick work of her second-round opponent, Jasmine Davis (Wayland Baptist), securing a fall in just over two minutes of action. She followed that up with a 12-2 tech fall over Alannah Vetterick (Midland University) before yet another dominating performance in the semifinals, an 11-0 tech fall over Victoria Norris (Ottawa). In the finals, Jackson squared off with the two-seed and four-time WCWA All-American, Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville). Jackson and Sugiyama battled, but it was Jackson who was able to control the match, ultimately earning a 5-2 victory to claim the crown at 123-pounds.
Congratulations to Tiana Jackson from all of us here at The Open Mat on her outstanding performance at the 2019 NAIA Women’s National Invitational and being our Women’s College Wrestling Wrestler of the Month for March!