photo courtesy of Aaron Gillespie/Menlo Athletics
All right fans of women’s college wrestling, I am back after a week break to recap some of the best performances you may have missed from our hard-scrapping collegiate women over the last couple of weeks. My apologies for the hiatus. Unlike the women mentioned below, I suppose I was slacking from my obligations. There were many amazing performances took place across the country over the last couple of weeks. Below is a look at some that really stood out.
Returning national champion and the WCWA’s current second-ranked wrestler at 170-pounds, Brittany Marshall (Wayland Baptist), must have had evening plans the day she competed at the Wayland Open. She obviously decided she did not want to spend too much time on the mat as she blew through her bracket in dominating fashion, pinning all three of her opponents. Meeting up with Chyna Rodriguez (Midland) in the first round, it took Marshall just 1:37 to finish her opponent. Apparently, that was too long to stay on the mat because she proceeded dispatch of her next opponent in only 20 seconds. In the finals, she met up with Charity Goldsmith-Ding (York) and again recorded a fall in just over minute. In her three matches on the day, Marshall spent a total of 3:10 on the mat, which is much quicker than it took me to write this blurb out it. Marshall will be gunning for her second national championship this year.
Carson Pipher (Colorado Mesa) captured the 136-pound title at the Wayland Open in round-robin bracket. In round one, she came out on top of her Wayland Baptist opponent by a score of 8-5. In the second round, Pipher did not allow her opponent to score a single point as dominated her way to a technical fall victory by a score of 10-0. In her final match, she would secure a quick fall over her opponent to win the bracket. Not a bad day for the senior wrestler competing for first-year women’s wrestling program, Colorado Mesa. If he name Pipher sounds familiar, it should. Carson is the sister Penn State University wrestler, Bo Pipher.
Jayden Laurent (Lakeland University) was one of the most sought-after high school recruits in the entire country and could have chosen to wrestle for any women’s collegiate program in the country. Instead, she decided to stay close to home and wrestle for Lakeland University, a first-year wrestling program in Wisconsin. Her decision is already paying huge dividends. Laurent has risen all the way to the second-ranked WCWA wrestler in the country at 143-pounds. Recently competing at the Blue Chip Open in Oklahoma City, she cruised on her way to the 143-pound title. Jayden picked up four victories by technical fall by a combined score of 41-0 and another win via fall in less than a minute. She led all wrestlers in virtually every statistical category as she continues to cement herself as a title contender at 143-pounds.
Gracie Figueroa (Menlo College) another extremely talented freshman also entered college with a lot of hype, and she too is proving it was very much warranted. She has already risen to fourth in the rankings at 116-pounds. Gracie also competed at the Blue Chip Open in Oklahoma City and just crushed the competition. Wrestling four matches on the day, she racked up four technical fall victories, all by the score of 10-0 and another victory via pin in just 1:06. An absolute dominating day for the super-frosh from Sanger, California.
Major props have to be given to the Menlo College women’s wrestling team. The Oaks, currently ranked sixth in the WCWA and are the top-ranked NAIA women’s program recently took on rising powerhouse Emmanuel College, currently ranked fourth in the WCWA. In what many expected to be a close dual featuring many matches between ranked opponents, Menlo dominated the night by taking eight of 10 bouts including two via technical fall and two via fall. Returning All-American and third-ranked Hiba Salem got the night going for Menlo with a controlling victory over sixth-ranked Angelina Gomez. High school teammates and rising star freshmen, Alleida Martinez and Figueroa followed suit with victories of their own via technical fall at 109 and 116-pounds respectively as Menlo never looked back. They would win the first five weights before taking a loss in the 136-pound match, when top-ranked Abigail Nette narrowly edged out Solin Piearcy, by the score of 4-3. Another Emmanuel victory would follow at 143-pounds when Kayla Marano secured a close win over Angela Peralta. Menlo would go on to win the remaining matches, including a wild one at 155-pounds. Menlo’s Iman Kazem was trailing second-ranked Hannah Gladden 9-6 with just seconds left in the match however Kazem proceeded to score a four-point move as time expired to win the match 10-9. Menlo is a sneaky-good team this year with a balanced team that features All-Americans, depth, and some great freshman.