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Warriors claim second in Cliff Keen Duals

By Matt Oliver

OKLAHOMA CITY – Eight dual meets in two days might be grueling, but it’s a test that the Waldorf College women’s wrestling team endured while earning second place in the Bronze Bracket of the Cliff Keen Duals on Saturday.

“This tournament is always a grind of a weekend,” Waldorf coach Tyreece Gilder said. “There’s tons of mat time here and it’s all against the best in the country.”

The Warriors, ranked No. 20 in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) preseason poll, won (3-5) three dual meets in the tournament as they picked up victories over Lindenwood University Gold, Wayland Baptist University Blue and No. 14 Lyon College.

Twelfth-ranked Menlo College handed Waldorf a 34-11 loss in opening-round action on Friday. Top-ranked Campbellsville University bested the Warriors 47-1 in the second round and University of the Cumberlands Blue topped Waldorf 45-1 in the third round. The Warriors bounced back, bringing down Lindenwood Gold 29-18 in the following round. They ended the opening day with a 33-16 loss to No. 21 Warner Pacific College.

On Saturday, Waldorf opened the the Bronze Bracket quarterfinals with a 32-11 win over Wayland Blue and followed with a 26-20 victory over Lyon in the semifinals. Cumberlands Red held off the Warriors 30-19 in the championship dual.

Waldorf sophomore Rose Heurtelou (109 pounds) turned in a 5-3 record in the tournament and senior Sonya Legate (191) was also solid as she won four of six matches.

Heurtelou (6-5) took a 14-10 decision from Wayland Blue’s Ariana Anthony and won by forfeit against Menlo, Lindenwood Gold, Warner Pacific and Lyon. Cumberlands Blue’s Arelys Valles put together a 10-0 technical fall over Heurtelou, who lost by fall against Campbellsville’s Lexis Escamilia in 1 minute, 25 seconds and also lost by fall to Cumberlands’ Red’s Jessica Rodriguez (2:20).

Legate (5-4) pinned Menlo’s Celycia Sandoval (1:40) and controlled Lyon’s Carolyn Sigler en route to a 10-0 technical fall. She received forfeits against Wayland Blue and Cumberlands Red. Legate lost by fall to Campbellsville’s fifth-ranked Jesse Grubbs (2:07) and Cumberlands Blue’s ninth-ranked Alyssa LaFrancis (2:06).

Freshman Rachael Coleck (130), junior Justice Losee (143) and sophomore Maciel Ramirez (116) each won three of eight matches for the Warriors.

Coleck (6-7) was dominant in 10-0 technical falls over Lindenwood Gold’s Sabrina Albury and Wayland Blue’s Justicia Mierau. She also scored an 11-0 technical fall against Cumberlands Red’s Morgan Huff.

Losee (3-5) brought down Lindenwood Gold’s Victoria Villarreal by fall in 3:27, pinned Wayland Blue’s Bethany Jackson in 4:36 and won by forfeit against Cumberlands Red.

Ramirez (3-5) won via forfeits against Lindenwood Gold, Warner Pacific and Wayland Blue.

Waldorf sophomore Illiana Bartsch (123), freshmen Hope Cordoviz (101), Aisha Simpson (155) and Cherydan James (170) secured two wins apiece on the weekend courtesy of forfeits. Sophomore Bailey McLaughlin (136) earned one win via forfeit and freshman Harmony Maitland (170) also competed for the Warriors.

A weekend filled with challenging opponents has Waldorf prepared to battle in next Saturday’s Can-Am Open, which starts at 9 a.m. at Jamestown, N.D.

“The ladies fought hard all weekend long,” Gilder said. “I was proud of their effort level.”