Source: USA Wrestling:
In case you missed it, the 2018-19 women’s college season is heading into its most important national competition, as the annual WCWA National Championships are set for Feb. 8-9 at the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Ga.
At this time, three true freshman stars enter with a No. 1 WCWA national ranking in their weight class: Alleida Martinez of Menlo College at 109 pounds, Gracie Figueroa of Menlo College at 116 pounds and Jayden Laurent of Lakeland University at 143 pounds.
There was little doubt that these young women were expected to be successful in college. All three have been stars in USA Wrestling’s age-group national and international competition during their prep years. All three were ranked No. 1 in the National Girls High School rankings as seniors. And all of them surprisingly chose to stay within their home state to attend college.
Menlo College is one of the pioneer women’s college programs, going back to the early years of women’s college wrestling. Lakeland University, however, is a first-year women’s program and the first women’s college team in its state. Lakeland made big news with the signing of Laurent, shortly after the university announced the start of the program.
“It was huge for us. She was a high school superstar and just about every college in the country was going after her. We were excited to start the program and offer her the opportunity to stay close to home. She has a great following in Wisconsin, people who followed her over the years and watched her grow. She was excited about the opportunity to stay in touch with those people. We wanted to recruit her because of her talent and natural abilities. We have big goals at Lakeland, not only for her but for our team. Getting her gave us that instant credibility that we can attract high-level recruits,” said Lakeland head coach Ben Chapman.
Laurent came in with an amazing resume. In her senior year in high school, she placed third at the 2018 Senior U.S. Open, then was second in the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, which gave her the No. 3 spot on the Women’s Senior National Team. Laurent also wrestled on the 2018 UWW Junior World Team.
Read the rest of the article here.
By Garry Abbott
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