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|Univ. of the Cumberlands captures both the Women’s College National Duals and Individual Championships|
By Erin Phipps USA Wrestling
The Univ. of the Cumberlands won the dual tournament and dominated the individual tournament at the Women's College National Championships held at Williamsburg, Ky., Mar. 10-11.
Competing in the tournament were an A and B teams from The Cumberlands and Missouri Valley College, plus the varsity wrestling teams from Pacific University, Menlo College and Lassen Community College.
The College Women's National Duals took place on the first day of the competition. The Cumberlands A-team took first place after defeating the A-team of Missouri Valley College, 26-9.
The Univ. of the Cumberlands B-team also took third place in the dual tournament after defeating Pacific Univ., 24-9.
The Cumberlands B-team lost in the first round to the A-team of Missouri Valley College, however they were able to win both matches against the Missouri Valley College B-team and Lassen in the consolation round.
In the second round of the duals, the Cumberlands A-team also defeated the B-team of Missouri Valley College, before advancing to the finals.
In the first place dual meet, 2005 U.S. Nationals champion Alaina Berube pinned Maria Dunn of Missouri Valley College at 2:12 to win the match at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Two other Cumberland wrestlers scored pins in the championship dual meet. Deseree Cazares pinned Tanya Miyaksaki of Missouri Valley College at at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Heather Martin pinned Sara Hilliard of Missouri Valley College at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
In the third place dual meet, Sheri Hilliard of Cumberland B pinned Kelly Nardinello of Pacific University at 1:35 to win the 80 kg/176.37 lbs. weight class bout.
The Individual Championships took place on the second day of competition. Five of the eight gold medalists were from The Cumberlands. In addition, five other wrestlers from the Cumberlands medaled in the individual tournament.
In the 63 kg/138.75 weight class, Alaina Berube of the Cumberlands defeated Maria Dunn in the finals match to win the gold. Berube is also a member of the U.S. Women's National team and is ranked No. 2 in the country.
Toccara Montgomery placed first in the 80 kg/176.37 lbs. weight category, after defeating Colette Curtis of Missouri Valley College in the finals. Montgomery was also a member of the 2004 Olympic Team which competed in Athens, Greece, where she placed seventh.
Heather Martin also placed first at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. In addition to winning a silver medal at the 2005 Junior World Championships, Martin also placed third at the 2005 U.S. World Team Trials and U.S. Nationals.
Flanik has also noticed other rising stars on his wrestling team. Junior Othella Lucas at 59 kg/130 lbs. and sophomore Jessica Medina at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. had several victories for their team over the weekend, both going undefeated in the tournament to claim individual titles.
"I'm pleased with my team," said Kip Flanik, Head Coach of the women's wrestling team. "We work hard and train all year round. We have high expectations. The team is lead by an Olympian and a National Champion. It's just a high level of expectations for everyone to achieve."
"Othella didn't have a point scored on her all weekend," said Flanik. "I think both of them could step in and challenge any girl in the country right now. Both are doing very well this year."
Lucas and Medina are already joining the ranks of other successful Cumberlands wrestlers, who have continued to wrestle well on a World and Olympic level, such as Montgomery, Berube and Martin.
Other individual champions were Tabitha Ramsey of Missouri Valley College at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Sharlee Solis of Missouri Valley College at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Stephany Lee of Missouri Valley College at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
After a strong win at the Women's Nationals, Flanik and the rest of his team are preparing for their next goal.
"College Nationals is just one part of our season. We also have Senior Nationals, the Body Bar Junior Nationals and the World Team Trials also," said Flanik. "My goal is to put girls on our National and World Team. Winning Nationals is nice but doing well at Senior Nationals is our next step."
Results from the Women's College National Duals
Results from the Women's College National Individual Championships