USA Wrestling Women’s College Wres...

Women’s College Wrestler of the Year finalists: Basham, Gallegos, Guilford, Makoyed, Nwachukwu, Prussin; Fan vote through March 28

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | March 21, 2023, 8:49 a.m. (ET)

2023 Women's College Wrestler of the Year fan vote graphic

The finalists have been named for the first USA Wrestling Women’s College Wrestler of the Year Award.

The award will be selected by a vote from three major constituent groups: wrestling journalists, women’s college head coaches and the fans. Each of these groups will account for one-third of the vote.

The six finalists were all undefeated college nationals champions: NAIA champions Lexi Basham of Texas Wesleyan, Dymond Guilford of the University of the Cumberlands, Adaugo Nwachukwu of Iowa Wesleyan and Peyton Prussin of Life, plus NCWWC champion (NCAA institutions) Marissa Gallegos of Colorado Mesa and Yelena Makoyed of North Central.

Fan vote for 2023 Women’s College Wrestler of the Year

Women’s college varsity wrestlers from all of the recognized college organizations were eligible, including NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA/junior college programs. The finalists were selected by a committee overseeing the award program, featuring representatives of the media, college coaches and wrestling fans. These six wrestlers were selected from a pool of 13 college national champions who were identified as potential candidates after the national tournaments were completed.

Fan voting opens today (Tuesday, March 21) and runs through Sunday, March 28. The announcement of the first winner of USA Wrestling’s Women’s College Wrestler of the Year will be on Tuesday, March 28.

Fan vote for 2023 Women’s College Wrestler of the Year

USA Wrestling’s goal is to elevate the new award to have the significance and impact as other college athletic awards, such as the Dan Hodge Trophy for men’s college wrestling, the Heisman Trophy for college football, the Hobey Baker Award for men’s college hockey, the Patty Kazmeier Award for women’s college hockey, the Naismith College Player of the Year in men’s and women’s basketball, the Dick Howser Trophy in college baseball, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and similar college awards.

The Finalists (Alphabetically)

Lexie Basham, junior, Texas Wesleyan
• 2023 NAIA champion at 130, now 2x NAIA champion
• 18-0 record
• 6 pins and 4 technical falls
• Sooner Athletic Conference champion, Missouri Valley Open champion
• USA Wrestling Senior National Team member

Marissa Gallegos, redshirt junior, Colorado Mesa
• 2023 NCWWC champion at 123
• 28-0 record
• 8 pins and 16 technical falls
• NCWWC Region 5 champion, Maverick Open champion, York Open champion, Bearcat Open champion.
• Second in Bill Farrell International (Senior-level event)

Dymond Guilford, graduate student, University of the Cumberlands
• 2023 NAIA champion at 170, now 3x NAIA champion
• 21-0
• 3 pins and 13 technical falls
• Mid-South Conference champion
• USA Wrestling Senior National Team member

Yelena Makoyed, senior, North Central
• 2023 NCWWC champion at 170, now a 3x NCWWC champion
• 28-0 record
• 15 pins and 11 technical falls
• NCWWC Region 4 Champion, College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Champion, Adrian Open champion, Pointer Open Champion.
• Current USA Wrestling Senior National Team member

Adaugo Nwachukwu, sophomore, Iowa Wesleyan
• 2023 NAIA champion at 136, now 2x NAIA champion
• 31-0 record
• 29 matches were either pin or tech fall
• Heart of America Conference champion
• NAIA Outstanding Wrestler of the Year

Peyton Prussin, senior, Life University
• 2023 NAIA champion at 109, now 3x NAIA champion
• 20-0 record
• 3 pins and 9 technical falls
• Mid-South Conference champion