A familiar face finished atop the NWCA National Dual Championships NCAA Women's division. King University dominated the field, downing three top-ten teams and winning their fifth-ever dual championship; however, it was the school's first since 2017. Over the course of five duals, King only lost seven individual matches.
Here are some of the notable moments from the tournament and we're not just limited to King University!
McKendree's Alara Boyd, ranked #1 at 155, dropped to 143 and beat King's 5th ranked London Houston. The move may simply have been for dual purposes, but it could change things at 143.
If she does stay down, that should push her teammate, #2 Kayla Morano, up to #1, but there was a hitch. King's Ashlynn Ortega, ranked #2 at 143, bumped up to 155 and beat Morano. We're not sure if she plans to stay there, but she was pinned by 143 #1 Katie Lange (Augsburg) in her only previous action this season.
King's Samara Chavez, #5 at 116 behind teammate #2 Sage Mortimer, dropped to 109 and beat #2 Pauline Granados. Not only did Chavez defeat Granados, but she also downed #4 Sydney Petzinger (North Central) in a 10-8 brawl.
Speaking of Mortimer - McKendree's Felicity Taylor, who had opened the season ranked #2 at 116, but fell out because she had not competed - did. And she teched Mortimer with hellacious leg lace.
Another wrestler ranked early but dropped out for non-competition appeared in style. 116 pre-season #3 Jaslynn Gallegos (Presbyterian) came out and beat #4 Kendra Ryan (North Central) and #6 Aliyah Rollins (McKendree).
King's 101 #2 Jaclyn McNichols won not 1 but 2 matches by scoring the last point, 1-1 over #5 Brooke Thurber (UWSP) and 3-3 over pre-season #3 McKendree's Lizette Rodriguez. A win - or 2 - is a win.
That's even more notable because McKendree's unranked Rodriguez came in and beat 101 #3 Sam Miller (Presbyterian). Rodriguez had fallen out of the rankings when she began the season at 109.
At 109, not an upset but fun to watch, #4 Sydney Petzinger and #5 Natalie Reyna have now wrestled 4 times this season, with Petzinger making it 2-2 with the fall in Louisville.
Tiffin's Sugey Ceja, #3 at 116, had a mixed tournament, losing by tech to unranked Gabriela Ramos Diaz (Limestone) and by fall to Mortimer, but also managing wins over #4 Ryan and #6 Rollins. It would have been nice to see her match up with Presbyterian's Gallegos.
The committee might keep an eye on Diaz. She bumped up to 123 and teched UWSP's Abby Nelson, she lost 6-3 to Mortimer and she bumped up again to 123 and went a wild 6 minutes with Lindenwood's #6 Cayden Condit (20-12).
Augsburg's 136 #5 Nina Kemu Makem upset King's #1 Ana Luciano in pool play. Luciano came back to beat #4 Sara Sulejmani (North Central) and #3 Skye Realin 7-4 (McKendree) in the team semifinals and finals.
Unranked Tiera Jimerson (North Central) avenged a pin from Tiffin's Taylor Hites in Vegas with a fall of her own, and followed that up with a pin of King's 5th ranked Tiffany Baublitz.
And at 170, King's #3 Cheyenne Bowman upset #1 Yelena Makoyed (North Central), 9-6.