Kevin Black’s National Duals Wrap-Up
NWCA National Duals Day 1
One of the great events on the WCWA schedule is the NWCA National Duals. It’s a great opportunity for these two organizations to collaborate and help grow the sport of women’s wrestling. Once again, eight teams were invited to participate in the premier dual meet event in the United States. For two days, men from NCAA divisions I, II and III, as well as NJCAA and NAIA teams, along with WCWA teams battle head-to-head in a two-day event held inside the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, IA. For this weekend, the campus of the University of Northern Iowa became the “Mecca” for wrestling.
In terms of growing women’s wrestling, this is a premier event. Anytime the top women have the opportunity to compete alongside the top men, authentic wrestling fans see how great women’s wrestling can be. Inevitably, lifetime wrestling fans begin to appreciate these women giving their hearts and souls to competing. Acquiring these new fans is a key for growth. Unfortunately, at the last moment, two of the eight teams were unable to attend.
In the opening round of the women’s competition, we were fortunate to see two of the most established programs in women’s college wrestling history face off. Missouri Valley College and Menlo College fought to the last individual match. In the end, MVC came away with a 19-17 victory. The energy was similar to that of the close division 1 match (on a much smaller scale). It was a great start.
Later in the day, Menlo met the returning team champion Oklahoma City University. At 51 kg/112 lbs, two of our country’s best faced off for the third time this season. Katherine Fulp-Allen (Menlo) and Natasha Umemoto (OCU) were 1-1 on the season and Fulp-Allen won a very close “rubber match” with a takedown as time expired. Fulp-Allen was a University World Champion last year.
January 10, 2010
NWCA National Duals Day 2
The second day of the tournament started out with the top two teams competing within their pool. With six teams, they were split into two separate round robin brackets. The champion from each pool squared off in the championship bout. Oklahoma City University won pool A and Simon Fraser won pool B. OCU won the title last year while SFU was attending the Duals for the first time.
Simon Fraser is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. It’s just outside of Vancouver and is a member of the NAIA coached by Mike Jones. Jones is in his 32nd year as a coach. SFU graduate Carol Huyhn won an Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing, so the Clan brings great tradition and respect to this event. This season, they’re led by many Canadian national team members and America’s own Victoria Anthony from Huntington Beach, CA. Anthony was a Junior National champion, winning outstanding wrestler honors, and a Junior World Champion representing Team USA in Istanbul, Turkey.
In a one-sided dual meet, Oklahoma City was able to repeat as team champions. They’ll keep their #1 ranking going into the WCWA National Championships on January 29-30 in Marshall, MO.
Congratulations to all of the teams that competed at the NWCA National Duals this year. We hope to have another great competition next season while see women’s wrestling continue to grow.