OKLAHOMA CITY – Brittany Marshall became Wayland Baptist’s second national champion, and three other Pioneers – Gabriela Ramos-Diaz, Asia Ray and Marina Briceno – earned all-American honors at the WCWA National Championships held here Friday and Saturday.
“At the beginning of the (academic) year Brittany told me she was going to win a national title, and I believed her,” Wayland coach Aaron Meistersaid. “That’s been a goal.”
Marshall, a junior from Lewisville, joins Tamyra Mensah as national titlists for Wayland. Mensah won a pair of crowns in 2015 and 2017 with a U.S. Olympic Trials crown in between.
As a team, Wayland placed seventh in the 32-team field with 104 points. Campbellsville, Ky., took the crown with 184½ points, a single point ahead of Simon Fraser, B.C., Canada. In third was McKendree (156) followed by Emanuel (146½), Menlo (122), King (113½) and Wayland, which finished just ahead of Grays Harbor (100) and Oklahoma City (97½).
“We came together as a team to place seventh. Even though it was below where we were ranked (fifth), we ended on a positive note. And even if Brittany would have lost (in the finals), I still would have been proud.
“To finish in the top eight for six consecutive years is pretty amazing.”
Marshall’s national title didn’t come easy.
“Two weeks ago she had some adversity. She lost a match and got hurt a little bit, but she overcame that,” Meister said. “Then she came from behind to win that final match.”
Marshall won her Friday matches 8-0, 8-1, 5-1 and 3-2, setting up the first-place bout with Mariah Harris of Campbellsville. Meister said Marshall came from behind to win, 6-5.
“She needed to do two things we’ve been really preaching on, and she executed on both of them. It was very exciting,” Meister said. “She overcame those adversities, focused and did what she had to do when she needed to do it. That’s been the goal.
“We’ve had a lot of special moments in a short amount of time, but that was one of the most exciting.”
Ray, a freshman from Arlington, faced an extremely difficult draw in the 101s and managed to place third, defeating Mckayla Campbell of Campbellsville in her final match, 10-5.
“She beat two World Team members and got third, which is phenomenal,” Meister said. “She is one of the best wrestlers in the world.”
Another freshman, Ramos-Diaz, competed in 116s where the Puerto Rican lost her first match of the tournament before winning her final six to place third. She blanked Ali Encinas of Emanuel in the third-place match, 5-0, her third straight shutout.
“Gabby showed a lot of heart. She lost her first match and came all the way back, including beating the girl she lost to (Olivia Ioppolo of Southern Oregon), and then got third,” Meister said.
Briceno, a junior from Simi Valley, Calif., earned her second all-American recognition, repeating her eighth-place finish from her freshman season. Briceno lost her first match then won her next four before falling in the seventh-place bout to Brooke Pagan of Life, 8-6.
“Marina got back on the podium after coming up short last year,” Meister said.
101—Asia Ray: def. Alexia Seal, Simon Fraser, 10-0; def. Brigitte Ariosa, Life, 10-0; def. Arelys Valles, Cumberlands, 10-0; lost to Regina Doi, King, 6-6; def. Iesha Washington, Emanuel, 4-0; def. Mckayla Campbell, Campbellsville, 10-5 (3RD Place)
101—Alisha Elizalde: lost to Lisa Megargee, Eastern Oregon, 12-0; bye; lost to Shania Melendez, Lindenwood, 10-0
109—Evelyn Simmons: def. Angel Ogden, Jamestown, 12-8; lost to Maria Vidales, Emanuel, 8-0; lost to Tyesha Topps, Life, 14-6
109—Rhonda Johnson: def. Tyesha Topps, Life, 10-2; lost to Jessica Dehart, Eastern Oregon, 5-3; def. Autumn Pacheco, Menlo, 11-0; lost to Alexa Christoforatos, Menlo, 9-8
116—Gabriela Ramos-Diaz: bye; lost to Olivia Ioppolo, Southern Oregon, 14-10; def. Europa Cabada, Oklahoma City, 12-3; def. Tayler Resuriz, 1-1; def. Deanna Silva, Southwestern Oregon, 0-0; def. Jennifer Juarez, Life, 7-0; def. Olivia Ioppolo, Southern Oregon, 7-0; def. Ali Encinas, Emanuel, 5-0 (3rd Place)
116—Amanda Alvarado: lost to Gabrielle Weyhrich, McKendree, 11-0; bye; lost to Chelsea Dionisio, Jamestown, 6-3
116—Mayra Ramirez: bye; lost to Jennifer Juarez, Life, 10-0; def. Jazmin Perez, Missouri Valley, 11-0; lost to Tiana Jackson, Menlo, 10-0
123—Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez: bye; def. Anesia Ramirez, Southern Oregon, 4-0; def. Mia Dow, MacMurray, 3-0; lost to Abby Nette, Emanuel, 10-0; lost to Brenda Reyna, 9-0.
123—Leah Olguin: bye; lost to Dionnica Tolliver, Menlo, 6-0; def. Nadia Escamilla, Missouri Baptist, 11-0; def. Tiffany Juarez, 10-0; lost to Kellyann Jimenez, Cumberlands, 12-1
130—Asia Igafo: bye; def. Anna Ernst, Ottawa, 10-0; lost to Logan Mize, Lyon, 14-4; lost to Elissa Douglass, Lyon, 13-4
130—Rebekah Cordova: bye; lost to Alejandra Rodriguez, Southern Oregon, 10-2; lost to Shelly Avelino, Menlo, 4-0
136—Brittany Bates: def. Janet Silva-Villanueva, Pacific, 6-2; lost to Regina Dickinson, Warner Pacific, 12-2; def. Sydney Freund, Oklahoma City, 11-5; def. Victoria Lyons, Waldorf, 4-0; lost to Solin Piearcy, Menlo, 11-0
143—Marina Briceno: lost to Brittany Woods-Orrison, Menlo, 8-8; bye; def. Nancy Becerra, Missouri Valley, 10-0; def. Courtney Gray, Campbellsville, 14-4; def. Marki Simmons, Missouri Baptist, 12-4; def. Addie Lanning, Ottawa, 8-8; lost to Brooke Pagan, Life, 8-6 (8th Place)
155—Skylar Brock: bye; def. Tayler Kleemoff, Ferrum, 4-0; def. Erin Scheidt, Midland, 7-2; lost to Tatum Sparks, Providence, 2-0; lost to Morgan Beck, Campbellsville, 8-4
170—Brittany Marshall: def. Rachel Dreeszen, Waldorf, 8-0; def. Jessie Flynn, Lyon, 8-1; def. Janelle Fuamatu, McKendree, 5-1; def. Precious Bell, Menlo, 3-2; def. Mariah Harris, Campbellsville, 6-5 (1st Place)