King, OCU and Simon Fraser place four in gold-medal finals at WCWA Nationals

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Feb. 13, 2016, 3:29 p.m. (ET)
Samantha Klingel of King gets behind Rachel Archer of OCU for a big semifinal win at 116 pounds.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – You can throw away the team standings and the individual seed when you reach the semifinals of a major tournament. The semifinals are all about an athlete’s opportunity to reach the finals.

King University came into the WCWA Women’s Nationals second day with a 23.5 point lead over Oklahoma City, and had nine athletes in the semifinals. A strong semifinal round could seal the Tornadoes third straight national title.

When a crazy semifinals ended, King’s lead over OCU had been reduced to 18.5 points over OCU. Three teams placed four athletes in the championship finals, King, OCU and Simon Fraser.

King went 4-5 in the semifinals, with losses by their only two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 seed. Oklahoma City went 4-2 in their semifinals, including a big upset win at 143 pounds.

You could tell things were going to be interesting starting right at 101 pounds, when No. 4 seed Sarah Allen of the University of the Cumberlands knocked off No. 1 seed Ashley Iliff of King, 12-6. The score was tied at 6-6, when Allen got a four-point move on the edge, then sealed it with a late takedown. Allen will face another King star, 2015 WCWA runner-up Marina Doi in the finals.

“I wanted to keep on fighting, so I could make it to the finals and make my coach, my family and my team proud. I have been working hard to push the pace hard, so I could make the finals. That’s been my goal. I haven’t made the finals before and I really wanted to do that,” said Allen.

Just two weight classes later, King took another ding at 116 pounds when No. 4 seed Abby Lloyd of Simon Fraser edged No. 1 Hanna Grisewood, 1-1.

A third tough loss for the Tornado came at 136 pounds, when No. 3 seed Monica Ramirez of Lindenwood opened up her offense to score a 15-5 technical fall over freshman No. 2 seed Hanna Jewell, 15-5.

“In the beginning, I started off a little slow. I started on my counter offense and tried to counter everything she was trying to do. I was trying to get some big four-point moves,” said Ramirez.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City got a big lift at 143 pounds, when No. 7 seed Maggie Douma won a wide-open slugfest over No. 3 seed Alexis Porter of McKendree, 12-8. Douma took a lead and Porter kept battling back, but whenever it got close, Douma came out with another big move.

“I was trying to be defensive, and make sure I was keeping inside control. I was trying to just keep wrestling and not give up takedowns. I feel like everything is working out, and all the hard work for the whole year is paying off,” said Douma.

As it went along, King’s experience and talent allowed them to stay ahead in the team race. Making the finals for King were Doi, plus Breonnah Neal at 109, Samantha Klingel at 116 and Forrest Molinari at 155.

Klingel, a senior who took last year off, won a head-to-head with King, stopping Rachel Archer, 3-0 in the semifinals. Her experience and leadership was a big reason King was able to keep pace with the other teams, in spite of a challenging semifinal round.

‘It feels amazing. I went in thinking about all my hard work coming in. I really wanted it and was hungry for it. I wrestled smart and it came out the way I wanted it to,” said Klingel

OCU’s finalists are Douma, plus three No. 1 seeds, Cody Pfau at 109, Becka Leathers at 123 and Natalia Hinojo at 130.

Simon Fraser will be represented by Lloyd, plus Nicole Dipa at 130, No. 1 seed Mallory Velte at 143 and Peyten Smith at 191.

All four of the returning champions advanced to the finals, Pfau, plus Kayla Miracle of Campbellsville at 136, Victoria Francis of Lindenwood at 170 and Tiara Scott of Campbellsville at 191.

Freshman Jessika Rottier of the University of the Cumberlands, the top seed, reached the finals at 155, where she will face King’s Molinari.

King’s lead moved up to 20.5 points after the consolation semifinals with 193 points, which OCU in second with 172.5 points. Simon Fraser was third with 157.5 points, followed by Campbellsville with 147.5 points and Lindenwood with 129 points.

The consolation semifinals and the medal matches will continue throughout the afternoon. The gold-medal finals are set for 7:00 p.m. C.T., with all of the action broadcast by Flowrestling.

At Oklahoma City, Okla.

Semifinal results

101 pounds
Sarah Allen (Cumberlands) dec. Ashley Iliff (King), 12-6
Marina Doi (King) dec. Darby Huckle (Simon Fraser), 7-0

109 pounds
Cody Pfau (OCU) pin Arielle Hernandez (McKendree), 0:48
Breonnah Neal (King) tech. fall Daisy Santos (King), 10-0

116 pounds
Abby Lloyd (Simon Fraser) dec. Hanna Grisewood (King), 1-1
Samantha Klingel (King) dec. Rachel Archer (OCU), 3-0

123 pounds
Becka Leathers (OCU) dec. Dominique Parrish (Simon Fraser), 9-2
Megan Black (McKendree) tech. fall Cassidy Jasperson (OCU), 12-2

130 pounds
Natalia Hinojo (OCU) tech. fall Shelby Hall (Campbellsville), 15-3
Nicole Depa (Simon Fraser) dec. Rosemary Flores (Campbellsville), 2-1

136 pounds
Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville) dec. Francesca Giorgio (Simon Fraser), 4-2
Monica Ramirez (Lindenwood) tech. fall Hanna Jewell (King), 15-5

143 pounds
Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) tech. fall Carly Jaramillo (Southwest Oregon CC), 10-0
Maggie Douma (OCU) dec. Alexis Porter (McKendree), 12-8

155 pounds
Jessika Rottier (Cumberlands) tech fall Michelle Organ (Campbellsville), 12-1
Forrest Molinari (King) dec. Niauni Hill (Lindenwood Belleville), 3-2

170 pounds
Victoria Francis (Lindenwood) tech. fall Nadine Fiege (Life), 10-0
Hanna Hall (Campbellsville) pin Solove Naufau (Menlo), 11-0, 4:48

191 pounds
Tiara Scott (Campbellsville) tech. fall Paige Baynes (Lindenwood), 13-2
Payten Smith (Simon Fraser) dec. Jackie Williams (King), pin 0:52

Finals pairings
101 - Sarah Allen (Cumberlands) vs. Marina Doi (King)
109 - Cody Pfau (OCU) vs. Breonnah Neal (King)
116 - Abby Lloyd (Simon Fraser) vs. Samantha Klingel (King)
123 - Becka Leathers (OCU) vs. Megan Black (McKendree)
130 - Natalia Hinojo (OCU) vs. Nicole Depa (Simon Fraser)
136 - Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville) vs. Monica Ramirez (Lindenwood)
143 - Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) vs. Maggie Douma (OCU)
155 - Jessika Rottier (Cumberlands) vs. Forrest Molinari (King)
170 - Victoria Francis (Lindenwood) vs. Hanna Hall (Campbellsville)
191 - Tiara Scott (Campbellsville) vs. Payten Smith (Simon Fraser)

Team Standings (after consolation semifinals)
1. King University KING 193.0
2. Oklahoma City University OKCU 172.5
3. Simon Fraser University SFRU 157.5
4. Campbellsville University CAMP 147.5
5. Lindenwood University LIND 129.0
6. McKendree University MCKU 123.0
7. Wayland Baptist University WAYB 83.5
8. The University of the Cumberlands CUMB 82.5
9. Menlo College MNLO 82.0
10. Jamestown University JAMU 56.5
11. Southern Oregon University SORU 50.5
12. Missouri Baptist University MOBP 46.5
13. Southwest Oregon Community College SWOC 44.0
14. Life University LIFE 40.5
15. Warner Pacific College WPAC 25.5
16. Lindenwood Belleville BELL 25.0
17. Missouri Valley College MOVL 22.5
18. Lyon University LYON 19.5
19. Emmanuel College EMMC 17.5
20. Ottawa University OTTU 14.0
21. Waldorf College WALC 14.0
22. Adrian College ADRC 13.5
23. Pacific University PACU 7.5
24. Ferum College FERC 2.5
25. Midland Lutheran College MIDU 0.5