ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In search of their first Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) national title, the top-ranked King University women's wrestling team turned in a solid first day at the WCWA College Nationals hosted by Missouri Baptist University. Eleven Tornado wrestlers reached the semifinals of their weight class in the first day, and King is atop the team standings with 129 points.
King got off to a great start at 101 pounds as both Ashley Iliff and Shannon Constantine advanced to the semifinals. Iliff had a bye in the first round before defeating Southwestern Oregon Community College's Mikayla Pico on a fall in 1:26. She followed by defeating Brianna Rahall of Oklahoma City University on a 6-4 decision. Constantine also had a bye, and took a 10-0 technical fall win over Angela Fargoso of Northwest Kansas Technical College. The senior then topped Vanessa Smith of Wayland Baptist University on a fall in 5:31 to advance to the semifinals.
Freshman Daisy Santos opened the day with back-to-back technical fall 12-0 wins at 109 pounds. She took wins over Jessica Marso of Menlo College and Oklahoma City's Esthefania Jimenez. Santos advanced to the semifinals with a win over Wayland Baptist's Michele Guerrero on a fall in 2:44.
Fellow freshman, Haley Augello advanced to the semifinals of the 116 pound bracket following a bye and 10-0 technical fall over McKendree's Lindsey Spjut. She then defeated Lindenwood's Savanna Nobile on a 12-0 technical fall win to advance to the semifinals.
At 123 pounds, Sarah Hildebrandt started the day with a bye before defeating Ashley Talaro-Potter of University of the Cumberlands 10-0 on a technical fall. She then topped Northwest Kansas' Teasia Lizama on a fall in 2:19. Kayla Bartosch advanced to the quarterfinals following back-to-back wins on falls over Madison Fitzgerald of Midland University in 4:43 and University of Jamestown's Alicia Soto. However, she fell to Menlo's Cady Chessin on a fall to drop to the consolation bracket.
The Tornado had four wrestlers start the day at 130 pounds, and Kayla Brendlinger advanced to the semifinals. She started the day with a win on a fall in 1:13 over Menlo's Jeanette Naranjo. The junior followed that with a 10-0 technical fall win over Linda Esquivel of Northwest Kansas. Brendlinger advanced to the semifinals with an 11-4 decision over Rosemary Flores of Campbellsville University. Megan Black advanced to the quarterfinals behind a 10-0 technical fall win over Lindenwood University's Rachel Factora and a victory on a fall in 0:30 over Diana Nevarez of McKendree University. She then fell to Cheyenne Youngblood of Missouri Baptist University on criteria after a 6-6 decision.
Defending WCWA 136-pound national champion, Alli Ragan began her defense with three wins on technical falls. She defeated Simon Fraser University's Madeline Millsip 10-0 and Missouri Baptist's Sarah Holdman 12-0 before advancing to the semifinals with a 10-0 victory over Kasey Kruczek of Campbellsville.
Amanda Hendey cruised to the semifinals at 143 pounds following a bye and a victory over Jamestown's Precila Matar on a fall in 0:28. She then defeated Lindenwood's Anna McAleavey 12-2 on a technical fall. Julia Salata's path at 155 pounds was nearly as easy as she took three 10-0 technical fall wins to make the semifinals. She first topped Oklahoma City's Heiley Garcia before besting DeAngela Castex and Renee Samano of Jamestown to reach the semifinals.
At 170 pounds, Lorrie Ramos won both of her matches to advance to the semifinals. The junior defeated Oklahoma City's Sherese Thomas on a fall in 3:40 before taking Brittany Jones of Missouri Valley College on a fall in 0:38. Kerri Bumpers took her first match of the day at the same weight class over Cumberlands' Aviance Watters on a fall in 4:50. However, she fell to Lindenwood's Victoria Francis on a 10-5 decision to fall into the consolation bracket.
Malexis McAdoo is the final Tornado to reach the semifinals, doing so at 191 pounds. Following a bye, the sophomore defeated Meghan Freeman of Lindenwood on a fall in 1:17 before advancing to the semifinals with a 12-10 decision over Campbellsville's Tiaira Scott.
After the first day, King leads the team standings with 129 points while #3 Oklahoma City follows with 111 points and second-ranked and defending WCWA national champion Simon Fraser is third with 96 points.
The semifinals are scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning with the finals starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Missouri Baptist will provide live video here. Live results will also be available on trackwrestling.com.