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Waldorf’s Coleck, Flores compete at USAW University Nationals

By Matt Oliver

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rachael Coleck and Abigail Flores represented the Waldorf University women’s wrestling team, competing in Saturday’s USA Wrestling (USAW) University Nationals.

It marked the first tournament for the Warriors since last month’s Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championships.

“It was a very tough competition,” Waldorf coach Tyreece Gilder said. “It’s a lot like what you’d see at nationals in the round of 16 and further, but only it’s right off the bat.”

Coleck (132.3 pounds) received a first-round bye and found herself in a second-round battle with Carla Ponce of the Oklahoma City University/Gator RTC team. Ponce, who’s been a WCWA All-American during her career at Oklahoma City, had her work cut out for her as she pulled out a 10-6 decision.

“Rachael had a competitive match with an All-American first off, showing aggressive counter wrestling and improvement from the top position,” Gilder said.

Coleck (20-21), a redshirt freshman from Spokane, Wash., earned a second-round consolation bye and fell in an 11-1 technical fall to Arian Carpio of the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club in a third-round consolation match.

“In the second match, she gave up the first takedown and got turned for big points early and struggled to close the gap,” Gilder said. “We just have to be alert on bottom, so we don’t end up in that situation.”

Flores (152.1) faced a tough test from the get-go, squaring off against Wayland Baptist University’s Marina Briceno in the opening round. Briceno, who was ranked No. 8 in the final WCWA poll, notched a 9-2 decision. Flores (1-6) ended the tournament as the freshman from Frisco, Texas lost by fall to Oklahoma City/Gator RTC’s Yvonne Galindo in 3 minutes, 28 seconds.

“Abigail came out with aggressive hand fighting and looked for offensive opportunities in both of her bouts,” Gilder said. “She had trouble finishing in a couple of positions, but with adjustments and reps she will be just fine moving forward.”

The tournament provided challenging competition and an invaluable experience for Coleck and Flores in the early stages of their collegiate careers.

“Overall, we didn’t perform as well as we’d hoped to, but I’m proud of the effort they put forth during preparation for and during this tough event,” Gilder said.