COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – King University was represented on the international spotlight this weekend at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, hosted in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Olympic Training Center. A meeting of some of the world's best male and female wrestlers occurred at the prestigious tournament where Alli Ragan and Sarah Hildebrandt placed fourth in their respective weight classes while a total of five Lady Tornado competed.
WCWA National Champion Alli Ragan (Carbondale, Ill.) placed fourth and finished her day at the tournament with a 3-2 overall record. She began with a second-period pin over Lindenwood University's Anna McAleavey following a dominant 6-0 finish in the first period. Her second match was much closer, edging Canadian national Amanda Gerhart in a 1-0, 1-0 decision win. The junior then matched up against India's Geeta where she fell after losing the tiebreaker in the first period (1-1) and was beaten 2-1 in the second. After a three-period win by decision (0-1, 3-2, 1-0) over Shauna Isbell, Ragan met Canadian Braxton Stone in the third place bout where she lost 2-1, 5-0.
Ragan was the highest placing American in her weight bracket. She has automatically qualified for the U.S. World Cup Team, a team devised to compete in an international dual-style tournament.
Sarah Hildebrandt (Granger, Ill.) was one of two King wrestlers in the 55-kilogram weight class but advanced the furthest. After a first round decision win by shutout over Shelby Morrison (OCU) 5-0, 6-0, Chinese national Yuanyuan Xiao edged the sophomore 1-0, 1-0 to send her to the consolation bracket. Hildebrandt worked her way through the consolation bracket with five consecutive victories all by decision. During this run, she allowed only two points against her in her advancement to the third place bout against Yajing Guan (China). In her final bout to place top-3, she fell in a pair of one-point period losses 3-2, 1-0.
Hildebrandt was the second-highest placing American in her weight bracket which was one of the largest of the tournament. She has now qualified for a spot on the Senior Pan-American team that will compete this summer.
Ragan and Hildebrandt have become King's first female wrestlers to qualify for international senior-level competition. Both wrestlers qualified for the Junior World Team last year with Ragan earning her second bronze medal of her international career.
WCWA Nation Champion Katarina Perez (El Centro, Calif.) was the second King wrestler in the 55-kilo division but lost two of her three bouts.
Julia Salata (Canton, Mich.) rounded out the list of King participants. The sophomore won her opening bout (1-0, 6-0) over Kayla Aggio (OCU) before being eliminated with decision losses to Stacie Anaka (Canada) and Enkhbayar Tseveemid (MGL).
More details will be provided regarding the international competition implications the success of Alli Ragan and Sarah Hildebrandt brings.
The Tornado will have more than a month to recover from the WCWA National Championships and their most recent tournament. Their next competition will be on March 26 at University Nationals, held in Oklahoma City, Okla.