USA Wrestling Velte beats Nelson a...

Velte beats Nelson and receives Outstanding Wrestler award at Women’s University Nationals

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 25, 2017, 11:18 p.m. (ET)

Mallory Velte receives her Outstanding Wrestler Award for the University Nationals from Olympic medalist and World champion Clarissa Chun.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – In a battle of returning champions, Mallory Velte of Titan Mercury WC defeated Maya Nelson of Sunkist Kids to win the gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and earn Outstanding Wrestler honors at the Women’s University Nationals at the Cox Convention Center for Saturday night.

Velte led 2-0 at the break, then opened up her offense in the second period, scoring a pair of takedowns and a pushout to win the match, 7-0.

Velte was the champion at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. last year, while Nelson moved up in weight after winning at 60 kg/132 lbs. last season. Velte, a past Junior World Team member, was third in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and is a two-time WCWA women’s college national champion. Nelson was a Junior World bronze medalist last year.

“I tried to wrestle a little bit smarter. A lot of times I try to get my offense going a little too quickly and I get out of position. I get caught in it during the higher level matches. I tried to wrestle smart, not just shot, shot, shot like I always do. I was always confident. This is a good tournament for me before the Trials, with the high quality opponents that I got here,” said Velte.

The weight class was very deep with talent, with past Cadet World champion Teshya Alo of the Titan Mercury WC and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Alexis Porter of McKendree University among the other talented entries.

Also winning the University Nationals for the second straight year was Kayla Miracle of Campbellsville Univ./Sunkist Kids at 60 kg/132 lbs., who scored a 10-0 technical fall over her college teammate Koral Sugiyama of Campbellsville University in the finals. Miracle is a two-time Junior World bronze medalist.

“This tournament, I wanted to tune up for the World Team Trials. That was my main focus. I will be going down to 58 kg for the Trials,” said Miracle.

Winning a third career University Nationals title was Julia Salata of the New York Athletic Club, who defeated returning University Nationals champion Victoria Francis of the Titan Mercury WC, 4-2 in the finals. Salata was a runner-up at 69 kg at this event last year. She scored two second-period takedowns for the margin of victory.

Three other 2016 University Nationals runners-up won gold medals this year, Cody Pfau of the Titan Mercury WC at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Amy Fearnside of the Titan Mercury WC at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) at 58 kg/128 lbs.

Both Pfau and Fearnside were University Nationals champions in 2015, before placing second last year. Both won their 2017 University Nationals gold-medal matches with 10-0 technical falls, with Pfau stopping Sarah Allen of the Univ. of the Cumberlands and Fearnside defeating Cassidy Jasperson of the Aries WC for her title.

Leathers also was dominant in her championship match, stopping Dominique Parrish of SVWA, 11-1 by technical fall in the finals.

In an all-McKendree University final at 55 kg/121 lbs., Megan Black pinned Gabrielle Weyhrich in 4:47 in the finals at 121 pounds. It was Black’s first University Nationals title.

Also winning a first career University Nationals title was Niauni Hill of Lindenwood Belleville, who defeated Alexandria Glaude of McKendree University, 9-0 in the championship finals at 69 kg/152 lbs.

The top two finishers in each weight class earn a spot at the U.S. Women’s World Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev., April 28-29

At Oklahoma City, Okla., March 25

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1st - Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Sarah Allen (Univ. of the Cumberlands), 10-0
3rd - Aleeah Gould (King University) pin Kateri Rowell (Choker WC) Fall 4:29
5th - Brooke Thurber (Wisconsin) pin Brittnee Cook (Choker WC), 1:05

53 kg/116.5 lbs.
1st - Amy Fearnside (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Cassidy Jasperson (Aries WC), 10-0
3rd - Tayler Resuriz (McKendree University) dec. Cindy Calixto (Lion WC), 3-0
5th - Vanessa Ramirez (McKendree University) dec. Kimberly Straub (Lindenwood Belleville), 10-5

55 kg/121 lbs.
1st - Megan Black (McKendree Univ.) pin Gabrielle Weyhrich (McKendree Univ.), 4:47
3rd - Jathiya Isaac (Wayland Baptist University) pin Tamara Tillman (Missouri Baptist WC) , 1:58
5th - Madelynn McIlwain (SOU) pin De`anna Prince (San Antonio), 1:39

58 kg/128 lbs.
1st - Becka Leathers (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Dominique Parrish (SVWA), 11-1
3rd - Marizza Birrueta (Aries WC) dec. Alexia Ward (McKendree University) Dec 7-6
5th - Erika Mihalca (Missouri Baptist WC) pin Avery Souders (Unattached), 2:41

60 kg/132 lbs.
1st - Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville Univ.) tech. fall Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville Univ.), 10-0
3rd - Chloe Spencer (Choker WC) dec. Arian Carpio (Sunkist Kids), 4-3
5th - Elissa Douglass (Scots WC) dec Erica Sotelo (Campbellsville University), 11-2

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1st - Mallory Velte (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Maya Nelson (Sunkist Kids), 7-0
3rd - Alexis Porter (Mckendree University) dec. Desiree Zavala (SOU), 8-6
5th - Steffanie Hampton (Campbellsville University) forfeit over Teshya Alo (Titan Mercury WC)

69 kg/152 lbs.
1st - Niauni Hill (Lindenwood Belleville) dec. Alexandria Glaude (McKendree Univ.), 9-0
3rd - Andrea Sennett (Mckendree University) won by fall over Maggie Douma (Aries WC) Fall 0:49
5th - Shamerea McTier (Viking Wrestling) won by decision over Kerlie Richemond (John Glenn High School) Dec 9-2

75 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Julia Salata (NYAC) dec. Victoria Francis (Titan Mercury WC), 4-2
3rd - Mariah Harris (Campbellsville University) won by fall over Nahiela Magee (Bearcat WC), 4:20
5th - Brittany Marshall (Wayland Baptist University) won by fall over Kacie Moorehouse (Choker WC), 1:23

Outstanding Wrestler – Mallory Velte (Titan Mercury WC), 63 kg