The Umpqua Community College women’s wrestling team has already had a taste of success on the national level this season, and will be looking to add to that this weekend.
The Riverhawks, who crowned the program’s first national champion at last month’s Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association freestyle national championships, will try to add to that resume Friday when the National Collegiate Wrestling Association folkstyle championships get underway at the Allen Events Center in Allen, Texas.
Esthela Trevino, a sophomore from Houston, took down the WCWA national freestyle title at 101 pounds and carries the No. 1 ranking into the NCWAs, which begin Thursday.
Trevino is one of six Riverhawks carrying top-five national rankings into the tournament. Freshman Grace Miller (Hood River) is the second-ranked grappler at 143 pounds, and sophomores Jade Piper (Gold Beach) and Sienna Lejeune (Elk Grove, California) are ranked 3-4 at 170 pounds. Sophomore Mariah Annis (Springfield) is ranked fourth at 123, as is freshman Tatum Pine (Las Vegas) at 130.
As a team, the Riverhawks enter as the fourth-ranked team in the tournament, but coach Craig Jackson says his girls could have a much higher finish.
“We would like to come home with a national champion somewhere,” Jackson said during a layover at Denver International Airport Tuesday night. “We’re a little banged up, but if we wrestle without a lot of mistakes, I think we can finish in the top two.”
Schreiner University of Kerrville, Texas, is the pre-tournament No. 1 with eight wrestlers ranked in the top five of their respective weight classes.
While sporting events have seen drastic changes — from limited or no crowds to outright cancellations — the NCWAs plan to go on as scheduled.
The NCWA released a statement Tuesday explaining its decision to go forward with the event:
“The NCWA has continued to study how COVID-19 impacts the conduct of our tournaments and events, and we have taken precautions to ensure protocols have been put into place to enhance our already comprehensive practices that prevent the spread of disease. To that end, our measures include the following:
- Three health professionals have been retained to address safety and hygiene at the event;
- As usual, the NCWA will use medical grade disinfectant on all competition areas, surfaces, and mats;
- Each score table will have a supply of proper commercial disinfecting wipes and spray,
- All athletes go through a health screening, including skin checks at weigh-ins daily.
“No sport is better prepared, and has already been implementing for years, safe health procedures concerning communicable disease than wrestling. In addition to the precautions above we will have on-site athletic trainers, team physicians, local physicians, and EMT’s to address any injuries or disease concerns.
“We support and defer to our member institutions as they make decisions regarding participation they determine is best for their athletes, coaches, and communities.”
UCC men have rough go at NJCAA nationals
Three Umpqua men qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association wrestling championships and combined to win just three matches over the past weekend at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Freshman 285-pounder Jayden de Fond (Eugene) won two of those matches on the consolation side after dropping his first match of the tournament.
Logan Folsom, a freshman from Roseburg, went 1-2 at 174 pounds, while Caleb Warner (fr., Tillamook) went 0-2.
Clackamas won its fourth national team championship with 133.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Northeast Oklahoma (108.5). The Riverhawks tallied just 6.5 team points.