Iowa Women’s Wrestling: U.S. Olympic Team Trials Preview

U.S. Olympic Team Trails, Iowa City, IA, April 8th-10th

There will be three of Iowa’s own wrestling in the U.S. Olympic Team Trails in Iowa City this weekend with the goal of representing the United States in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

58 kg (127.9 pounds)-Saturday, April 9th

Megan Black of Batavia, currently wrestles for McKendree University (Lebanon, IL). Black is ranked #2 at 123 pounds in the WCWA rankings (February 13th) and #12 at 58 kg in the Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings (March 1st). Black (along with Cassy Herkelman) were the first female wrestlers in state history to qualify for the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Wrestling State Tournament. Black also won as part of a state dual team, qualified for state a second time, and is the only female wrestler in Iowa history to win a contested match in the individual tournament. Black is also the only female in state history to place in the individual state tournament where she took 8th in class 1-A, 106 pounds. Black was a USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle National Champion (Fargo) in 2012 and was the 2016 runner-up WCWA National Champion and 2-time WCWA All-American.

Black has faced many of the competitors in this weight class over the past year and has taken losses to #1 ranked (WCWA), Becka Leathers of Oklahoma City University in the 123 pound WCWA finals and the University Nationals as well as a loss to #7 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings) Jenna Burkert of NYAC and #9 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings) Arian Carpio of Sunkist Kids at the Senior Nationals last December. Black recently picked up a tech fall win over #3 ranked (WCWA), Dominique Parrish of Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC) in the 3rdplace match of University Nationals.

Lauren Louive, of Massilon, Ohio (currently residing in Iowa City) is ranked #8 at 63 kg in the USA Wrestling Senior rankings (December 2nd). Louive was a 2010 Junior World Team member and Junior Pan American Bronze Medalist. She wrestled collegiately for the University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY) where she was a 4-time WCWA All-American. Louive also has a Senior Pan American Silver Medal as part of her impressive resume’. She is currently a volunteer Assistant Wrestling Coach at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA) and is wrestling for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.

Louive has also faced many of the competitors in this weight class over the years. Most recently, she has taken losses to #6 ranked (USA Wrestling Senior Rankings) Trinity Griffin of Colorado Springs, CO-Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club in the Last Chance OTT Qualifier and #5 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings) Randi Beltz of Titan Mercury (formerly Missouri Valley College) in a January exhibition match in Iowa City. Louive also posted an impressive 1st period pin over #12 ranked (USA Wrestling Senior Rankings) Koral Sugiyama of Campbellsville University (Campbellsville, KY) in the true second match in Sunday’s Last Chance OTT Qualifier.

58 kg is a power-packed weight class with four past Senior World or Olympic Team members including the likes of Alli Ragan of NYAC (Senior World Team member, 2-time Junior Bronze Medalist, and 2-time WCWA National Champion), Leigh Jaynes-Provisor of U.S. Army-WCAP (2015, 60 kg World Bronze Medalist), Kelsey Campbell of Sunkist Kids (2012 Olympian), and Jenna Burkert of the New York AC (2014 World Team member).

Black and Louvie have their work cut out for them at this weight class but they are hungry, capable and ready for the challenge.

69 kg (152.1 pounds)-Saturday, April 9th

Rachel Watters of Ankeny is a senior at Ballard High School in Huxley, Iowa and will be wrestling for Oklahoma City University this fall. She is ranked #6 in the Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings and #8 in the USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings. Earlier this year, Watters became the first female wrestler in Iowa to become a middle-weight (145 pound) sectional champion. She placed 5th as a United World Wrestling (UWW) Junior World Team Member at 72 kg last summer in Brazil and was the USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle National Champion (Fargo) at 159 pounds (she was also a USA Wrestling Cadet Freestyle National Champion in 2013). Watters is fresh off a USA Wrestling Junior Girls Folkstyle National Championship two weeks ago in Oklahoma City, which was her second Junior Folkstyle Championship.

Watters has faced the majority of her 69 kg competition in previous matches. She has split matches with #1 ranked (WCWA) 155 pound WCWA National Champion and fellow UWW Junior World Team member, Forest Molinari of King University (Bristol, TN) and won 2 of 3 in a high-scoring best of 3 final against #8 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings) Katerina Lobsinger of Combat Sports Academy to claim the 72 kg spot on the UWW World Team. Watters defeated #2 ranked (WCWA) Jessika Rottier of the University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY) in the finals at Fargo last summer. Watters lost to #2 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings, USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings) Olympic Bronze Medalist, Randi Miller last June in the Senior World Team Trials in Madison, WI and lost to #1 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings, USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings) Senior World Team member and WCWA National Champion for Wayland Baptist (Plainview, TX), Tamyra Mensah at the Senior Nationals last December in Las Vegas. Watters also defeated #10 ranked (Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings, USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings) Lisa Gonzalez of Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO) at the Senior Nationals in Las Vegas.

There have been several wrestlers coming down to 69 kg from 75 kg such as Julia Salata (NYAC) #3 ranked-Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings /#4 ranked-USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings and Brittney Roberts (Sunkist Kids) #4 ranked-Takedown Wrestling Senior Women’s Rankings /#7 ranked-USA Wrestling Senior Women’s Freestyle Rankings . This will also be a challenging weight class but is a weight class that could have some interesting surprises and upsets. Watters has shown to be adept at capitalizing on those opportunities.

 

Wrestling Schedule:

For those fans who plan to cheer on our Iowa women wrestlers this weekend, both the 53 kg and 69 kg weight classes will compete on Saturday with action starting at 9:00 a.m.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @watters_ia, @FEWTeamIowa and @IAwrestle.

Know of high school, college or senior women’s wrestling info that was missed? Email me at: matt@femaleelitewrestling.org.

Interested in the benefits of wrestling at any age level? Contact Charlotte Bailey of Female Elite Wrestling (FEW) at: coach@femaleelitewrestling.org to find out more.