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Simon Fraser’s Helen Maroulis captured a silver medal at the 2012 World Championships. Larry Slater photo. Continued from page 32


well beat her up. And then sophomore Heather O’Connor com- ing through with the fall sealed it against Lorrie Ramos from King. Lorrie Ramos beat us last year,” said Randall. Rounding out the top five teams in preseason are No. 3 Lindenwood (Mo.), No. 4. Simon Fraser (Canada) and No. 5 Cumberlands (Ky). Of this group, only the Univ. of the Cumberlands is a past WCWA National team champion. Lindenwood, under coach Tocarra Montgomery, a 2004 Olympian, started off well by placing third at the Cliff Keen OCU Duals. Returning WCWA champion Shauna Isbell (130) is the top star for the Lions, who starts off ranked No. 1. Lindenwood has good depth and experience, with No. 2 ranked Kendra Lewis (143), No. 3 ranked Courtney Kinimaka (123) and Tanya Kusse (143) and No. 4 ranked India Walker (109), Rachel Shannon (136) and Brittany David (155). Simon Fraser may not have the depth of the other top teams, but they have a truly star-studded lineup. Three of their best wrestlers took Olympic redshirts last year and will be tough to beat. Included are Victoria Anthony (109) and Danielle Lappage (143), both past Junior World champions. Also back is 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis, who is not competing in the first semester, but should be back in time for the college nationals at 123. Add in returning WCWA champion and No. 1 ranked Justina DiStassio (170) and Mike Jones’ Clan should rack up tons of points at the national tournament. The Cumberlands, coached by Alaina Berube, enters the sea-


son with a No. 1 ranked athlete, 2012 WCWA runnerup Sydney Nelson (155). Also ranked high are No. 2 Opelia Felipe (101) and No. 5 Kerstin Harmon (136) and Katy Yoder (191). An intriguing team is Wayland Baptist, under coach Johnny


Cobb. This developing program out of Texas was ranked No. 6 preseason and placed seventh in the Cliff Keen OCU Duals. The team has a No. 1 athlete at preseason, Miriam Moreno (191) and No. 2 transfer Angela Vyborny (191), plus No. 4 Tamyra Mensah (143) and No. 5 Jessica Behren (123). With a large team of young talent, this program could get better as the year goes on.


Rounding out the top 10 preseason are 7. Missouri Valley College, No 8 Menlo College (Calif.), No. 9. Jamestown College (N.D.) and No. 10 Waldorf College (Iowa). Perhaps a bigger story than the top athletes and teams is the impressive growth of women’s college wrestling, which is con- tested in freestyle, the international style. With the addition of new programs and the strengthening of those already estab- lished, many more than 100 freshmen wrestlers joined the col- lege ranks this fall. It will remain more difficult for those teams currently on top to stay there as the new teams develop. Can King win its first WCWA team title on its home mats in January? Can OCU make it a five-peat with another WCWA team title? Will Lindenwood show enough progress to move past the top two programs? Can the stars at Simon Fraser score enough team points to bring the national team title back to Canada? Stay tuned.


33 USA Wrestler


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