The University of the Cumberlands Women’s Wrestling program has shown immense growth since it began in 1998. The program started as an idea by former UC President Dr. Jim Taylor, when he placed an article in former Men’s Wrestling Head Coach Jess Wilder’s mailbox, about a brother and sister who wrestled for the same high school. Coach Wilder expressed his own interest in the idea and began to research the necessary components for a women’s team. The team began with just one wrestler in 1998 and by the 1999-2000 season, seven wrestlers were added to the roster.
Six years into the newly established women’s wrestling program (2004), the first Patriot to ever qualify and wrestle for the Olympics was recognized. Toccara Montgomery (Cleveland, OH), an All-American and National Champion for the Patriots, competed for the U.S. Olympic team in 2004. Montgomery paved the way for many Patriots to follow.
In order to compete in the Olympic Games, the women must first qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. To compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials, the wrestlers must place in one of ten selected tournaments, or have previously been a member of the USA World or Olympic Team. The Patriots have had two wrestlers in each of the Olympic Trials (2004, 2008, 2012) since the start of the program.
The University World Team Trials were held this past weekend where it was the final event for the Patriots to hopefully gather more wrestlers to compete and qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in April. One Patriot would stand out amongst the rest and earn the qualification to not only represent the United States in Turkey for the World Championships, but also qualified her to wrestle in the Olympic Trials. Maya Nelson (Denver, CO) wrestled for an impressive 4-0 record and a 1st place finish in the 60 kilogram (kg.) class.
BY THE NUMBERS
· In the 48 kg. class, Sarah Allen (Huber Heights, OH), who also competed for High Altitude Wrestling Club, wrestled for a 4-2 record and a 5th place finish. First, she defeated Cecilia Saavedra of Lindenwood Women’s Wrestling Club by tech fall. Next, she defeated Christina Bautista of Missouri Valley Wrestling Club by fall @ 4:28. She then defeated Tayler Resuriz of Women’s McKendree University by fall @ 1:25. Finally, she would receive the win over Regina Doi of Titan Mercury Wrestling Club by injury.
· At the 60 kg. class, Maya Nelson (Denver, CO) competed for the Sunkist Wrestling Club, and wrestled for a 4-0 record and a 1st place finish. First, she defeated Daniela Flores of Oklahoma City University by tech fall. Next, she defeated Axa Molina of Lindenwood Women’s Wrestling Club by tech fall. In the semifinal round, she defeated Carla Ponce of Oklahoma City University in a 5-2 decision. In the championship round, she would defeat Francesca Giorgio of Burnaby Mountain by tech fall.
· In the 69 kg. class, UC Assistant Coach Lorrie-Ann Ramos (Orlando, FL) competed for the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club and wrestled for a 3-2 record and a 4th place finish. First, she would defeat Jasmine Ivey of Ashland by tech fall. Next, she defeated Lisa Gonzalez of Lindenwood Women’s Wrestling Club in a 5-4 decision. She then defeated Michelle Organ of Campbellsville University by fall @ 0:13.
· At 75 kg., Jessika Rottier (Little Suamico, WI) wrestled for a 4-1 record and a 2nd place finish. First, she defeated Alana Quackenbush of Wayland Baptist University by tech fall. Next, she defeated Haylee McCoy of Bulldog Wrestling Club by fall @ 0:55. She then defeated Ruth Leger of Lindenwood Women’s Wrestling Club by tech fall. In the semifinal round, she would defeat Brittany Marshall of Wayland Baptist University by tech fall.
Select Patriots that have qualified will now prepare for the Olympic Trials, held in Iowa City, Iowa on April 9th and 10th. Representing UC currently will be Sarah Allen, Alyssa LaFrancis, Jessika Rottier, and Maya Nelson. This is the largest group of wrestlers sent to compete and represent UC at the Olympic Trials.
FIND OUT MORE
For the latest and most up-to-date information on University of the Cumberlands Athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Story courtesy of UC Multimedia/Athletic Services