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Cumberlands dominates Women’s Collegiate Nationals with four champions

Blake Timm Pacific Univ.

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - For the second year in a row, the University of the Cumberlands proved to be a runaway winner on the national stage, collecting four individual titles to win their second straight National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championship Saturday at the Pacific Athletic Center.

Cumberlands scored a total 106 points, 34 better than second place Missouri Valley, thanks to championships by Jackie Stiles at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.., Othella Lucas at 59 kg/130 lbs., Alaina Berube at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., and Bethany Harris at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.

"I love my girls, and they work hard," said Cumberlands head coach Kip Flanik following the meet. "Every one of them deserved to be in the finals."

The nation's four varsity programs claimed the top four spots in the tournament. Missouri Valley was second with 72 points and host Pacific was third with 56. Menlo finished fourth with 46 points.

Berube, a senior wrestling in her final national tournament, claimed her second straight national championship by taking the 67 kg. title after winning the 63 kg. class the year before. Berube encountered little resistance from Amberlee Ebert from Missouri Valley, collecting a 1-0, 6-0 victory and finishes having never lost a collegiate match.

Lucas also collected her second straight national title at 59 kg, defeating teammate Rachel Hubbard by a 5-0, 5-0 tally. In all, a total of seven Cumberlands' wrestlers competed in the championship matches.

Menlo's Sara Fulp-Allen prevented the Patriots' Jessica Medina from collecting her second straight title at 51 kg. After losing the first round 1-0, Fulp-Allen rebounded to fight to a 1-1 tie in the second, claiming the round thanks to scoring the final point. A two-point throw would be all that the No. 1 ranked wrestler in North America would need to take the round and the title.

Sarah Peasley of Cabrillo JC also managed to surprise a Cumberlands title hopeful in LeAnn Barney. The No. 3 ranked wrestler in North America at 55 kg. found herself stymied by Peasley in a grinding match as a pair of 1-0 rounds gave Peasley the title.

Kelsey Campbell of Arizona State earned the championship at 63 kg., needing three rounds to beat Emily Rinehart of Missouri Valley. Elizabeth Hernandez claimed the championship at 82 kg., accepting the victory after Stephany Lee defaulted due to injury.

Flanik said that he was impressed by the field that competed in this year's national championship and continues to see an increase in quality in women's wrestlers at the collegiate level. "I think the colleges are just getting better and better," Flanik said. "In the finals, every school had a girl that placed. Every college had somebody in there that was tough. I am very pleased with the level of competition."

Cumberlands had 10 wrestlers finish in the top four in their weight classes, earning All-American honors. Missouri Valley finished with seven All-Americans and Menlo finished with four.

Host Pacific finished with a total of five All-Americans. Senior Kapua Torres led the way, finishing out her collegiate career with a third place finish at 51 kg. Freshman Erin Zimmerman, meanwhile, captured third place at 67 kg. in her first collegiate nationals.

2007 National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships

Final Team Scores
Cumberlands (Ky.) 106, Missouri Valley 72, Pacific (Ore.) 56, Menlo (Calif.) 46, Arizona State 16, Cabrillo JC (Calif.) 16, Cal State Bakersfield 9, Fresno State 7, San Francisco Culinary Institute 5,

Final Places By Weight

48 Kilograms (105.5 pounds)
1. Jackie Stiles (Cumberlands)
2. Aquilla Hills (Cumberlands)
3. Amantha Hordagoda (Cal State Bakersfield)
4. Tabitha Ramsey (Missouri Valley)
5. Valerie Prise (Pacific)
6. Melissa Girard (Cumberlands)

1st - Stiles dec. Hills, 5-2, 5-2
3rd - Hordagoda dec. Ramsey, 3-1, 3-1
5th - Prise dec. Girard, 2-1, 2-1

51 Kilograms (112.25 pounds)
1. Sara Fulp-Allen (Menlo)
2. Jessica Medina (Cumberlands)
3. Kapua Torres (Pacific)
4. Katherine Fulp-Allen (Menlo)
5. Maika Watanabe (Missouri Valley)

1st -S. Fulp-Allen dec. Medina, 0-1, 1-1, 2-0
3rd - Torres dec. K. Fulp-Allen, 2-0, 6-0

55 Kilograms (121 pounds)
1. Sarah Peasley (Cabrillo JC)
2. LeAnn Barney (Cumberlands)
3. Erika Chew (Missouri Valley)
4. Sandy Do (Cumberlands)
5. Summer Scott (Pacific)
6. J'aime Sage (Menlo)

1st - Peasley dec. Barney, 1-0, 3-0
3rd - Chew dec. Do, 4-0, 3-1
5th - Scott dec. Sage, pin 1:04 of 2nd period

59 Kilograms (130 pounds)
1. Othella Lucas (Cumberlands)
2. Rachel Hubbard (Cumberlands)
3. Samantha Fee (Missouri Valley)
4. Michelle Ludwig (Pacific)
5. Lisa Szczepaniak (SF Culinary)

1st - Lucas dec. Hubbard, 5-0, 5-0
3rd - Fee dec. Ludwig, 8-2, 4-1

63 Kilograms (138.5 pounds)
1. Kelsey Campbell (Arizona State)
2. Emily Rinehart (Missouri Valley)
3. Sherolynn Eppinger (Cumberlands)
4. Ashley Evans-Smith (Menlo)
5. Titilope Lawani (Pacific)
6. Lauren Knight (Cumberlands)

1st - Campbell dec. Rinehart, 1-1, 2-0, 3-1
3rd - Eppinger dec. Evans-Smith, 9-0, 6-0
5th - Lawani dec. Knight, 1-0, 3-1

67 Kilograms (147.5 pounds)
1. Alaine Berube (Cumberlands)
2. Amberlee Ebert (Missouri Valley)
3. Erin Zimmerman (Pacific)
4. Natasha Phinney (Fresno State)
5. Tamara Gravesande (Menlo)

1st - Berube dec. Ebert, 1-0, 6-0
3rd - Zimmerman dec. Phinney, 1-0, 7-0

72 Kilograms (158.5 pounds)
1. Bethany Harris (Cumberlands)
2. Jaime Trentadue (Menlo)
3. Kisha Milfort (Pacific)

1st - Harris dec. Trentadue, pin 1:52 of 2nd period

82 Kilograms (181 pounds)
1. Elizabeth Hernandez (Missouri Valley)
2. Stephany Lee (Missouri Valley)
3. Teresa Fennell (Cumberlands)
4. Megan Richardson (Pacific)

1st - Hernandez inj. dft. over Lee
3rd - Fennell dec. Richardson, 6-0, 2-1

NOTE: Top four placers in each weight class designated as All-Americans

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