The Legacy Series

Wreaper Wrestling | Culture, Events, & News

I recently started working with an organization called Wreaper Wrestling.

They are a company that strives to empower women in combative sports; sports such as wrestling. With a mission statement that explains how they “[aim] to inspire athletes with a cutting-edge brand for women’s wrestling” you can expect great things.

As the Communications and Marketing Officer (CMO) I have created and headed a new project called “The Legacy Series” that I am very passionate about and excited for.

The Legacy Series is a series of videos highlighting women’s wrestler over the years that have done great things for the sport.

Strong women, pioneers, role models, and many others that don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

My aim through this series is to show the wrestling community and even the whole world how amazing these women are. To tell even a little part of their story so that people will know them better.

Wrestling is such a diverse and inclusive sport in many aspects, and that’s part of what makes it so great. There are many stories about the legendary men’s wrestlers throughout the years, however, on the women’s side, we are lacking.

This is where I hope The Legacy Series will help.

These women and the things they did/do are incredible.

Their stories need to be told.

Head to Wreaper Wrestling on Instagram and Youtube to follow along.

Emerging Sport Status

Women’s wrestling was just granted NCAA Emerging Sport Status after a vote last week.

According to the NCAA website, “an emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institution..” It is required that Division I and II sports must gain at least 40 programs, among other standards, in order to be considered to gain that status.

On January 25, 2020, the NCAA Convention voted to grant Women’s Wrestling (and a few other sports such as acrobatics and tumbling) Emerging Sport Status for Division II and III. (Division I is still yet to vote on this later in the year)

What a huge leap forward in the promotion of Women’s Wrestling.

So what does this mean for women’s wrestling?

Adding wrestling to the NCAA is another way to increase the popularity, visibility and accessibility of women’s wrestling in Universities across the nation.

There are now more women portrayed in the College wrestling scene for younger girls to look up to than ever before. With the entrance into the NCAA, that will only increase tenfold. It is very important for young athletes to be able to see people like them, doing what they do, at an elite level. These college athletes can now be seen as role models for the up and coming generation.

Women’s programs in many cases can help to save men’s programs at some schools that are struggling. Many schools like Boise State, UC Davis and many others have lost their men’s wrestling programs in the last 10 years. Adding women’s programs to schools like these will help schools to comply with Title IX , and therefore help to save men’s programs.

Colleges are adding women’s wrestling programs at a incredibly fast rate, and as time progresses, girls will one day no longer have to chose between academics and wrestling. For years, girls in high school have had to make the decision to either go to the school that is popular and well known; one that they have had family go to or have heard about for years and years, or one that has a wrestling program. Granted, many of these colleges with women’s programs are great schools with wonderful facilities, but with the introduction of women’s wrestling into the NCAA, these girls will have so many more options.

USA National team coach Terry Steiner in this article by USA Wrestling quotes how, “as a sport, we have been fighting for many years to create opportunity for girls and women’s to wrestle at all levels… this decision gives complete legitimacy for the sport.”

This decision is the first of many in the realm of women’s wrestling and the NCAA, and is just a starting point for all the great things that are to come.

Happy New Year!

It’s now the year 2020, and how crazy it is that it’s already here. With a new year comes a season for change, and improvements, and LOTS of wrestling!!!

January is one of the busiest months for college wrestling on both the men and the women’s side. It is a preparatory time to get athletes ready for their NCAA and NAIA Nationals in the coming months; the work that is put in now is what will show later on at those tournaments.

One of the biggest tournaments this month on the women’s side is the NCAA and NAIA National Duals in Louisville, Kentucky. This tournament is one of the only dual tournaments that exists in the women’s division, and is great to showcase the teams and how they compare to each other.

Top contenders for this tournament for the NCAA division are McKendree University and Simon Fraser University. McKendree returns as the champions of this tournament in 2019, and will be looking to defend that title. They come in with standouts Alex Glaude, Alara Boyd, Kori Bullock and Felicity Taylor to name a few. Simon Fraser comes as a powerhouse school that has placed top 3 in the National Tournament for over 10 years. They too head to this tournament with some great girls to look out for; Alex Hedrick, Lauren Mason, Nicole Depa, Alyvia Fiske, and Emily Cue among many others on their squad.

Top contenders for the NAIA division are returning WCWA Champions Menlo College and Campbellsville University. Menlo heads to this tournament as the reining WCWA Champions, and fields girls of a high caliber to watch out for; Alleida Martinez, Gracie Figueroa, Solin Percey and Precious Bell. Campbellsville comes in strong as the winner of this tournament in 2018, and brings many good girls including Abby Nette, Charlotte Fowler, Katlyn Pizzo, and Kenya Sloan.

There will be a lot of good wrestling this weekend, and at the end, both a NCAA and an NAIA Champion. This is the first time that the tournament has been split into a NCAA and an NAIA division, and it is just the beginning of a new kind of college women’s wrestling. Good luck to all the teams competing!

Check out this article to get even more about the tournament and those teams competing there.

Head to @loloslowdown as a new place to check out some more women’s wrestling coverage! Also shoutout to @wreaperwrestling for their continued coverage of the women’s divisions!

Olympic Trials

The year 2020.

What’s the first you think of when you hear that?

A new decade. The Presidential Election.

Did the Olympics come to mind? If you are an athlete, it probably did.

As 2019 comes to an end, and 2020 comes closer, a lot of athletes have their eyes set on the Olympics. Even though they will be held in the summer, they are closer than they seem.

In our practice room, we have both Canadians and Americans competing and training to make Olympic Teams.

The Canadians have their Olympic Trials in 2 weeks! December 7-8th! So soon! They are currently in their prep for the competition, and will begin their taper in the coming days.

The Americans have their Olympic Trials April 3-4! So a little later on. They are currently training for tournaments that qualify for the Trials.

There are good and bad aspects of having the Trials tournaments when they have them. Having them in December allows for athletes to have ample time to get ready for the Olympics and to get mentally and physically prepared for the tournament. Having them in April allows for the excitement to be fresh in the Olympian’s mind. However, having the trials in December is not ideal because it is pretty early in the season and quite soon after the World Championships which were in September. Having them in April is not ideal because it is pretty late in the season, only 4 months before the Olympics take place.

No matter when they are, the Trials are incredibly important. The Olympic Trials tournament is the tournament that decides who the Olympian will be from each athletes respective countries. It is an incredible honor to represent your country in the Olympic Games. A feat not many get to do.

There are 3 teams wrestlers can make. Men and Women’s Freestyle, and Men’s Greco. For the women, there are only 6 weight classes; 50, 53, 57, 62, 68, and 76 kilograms. Six! Only six women get to compete in the Olympics for the entire country.

Many athletes have dreamt of going to the Olympics since they were little, and the Trials are the first step to the realization of that dream.

So as 2020 creeps up, the Olympics do as well.

It’s going to be a big year, and a great competition, but first, the Trials.

Time to Compete

It’s October, that means not only spooky season, but wrestling season.

November is when it all starts! (With the exception of some preseason competitions at the end of October)

For SFU, it all starts on Saturday!

The women will compete in their first tournament on Saturday in Calgary Alberta; the ‘Dino Open’. This tournament is a common first competition of the year for SFU, and serves as a good meet to get the team back into the competition mindset along with getting in some good matches with other teams from Canada.

The Men will kick off their season with the SFU Open on November 2nd. This is an international tournament for the men and women and will bring in some great competition for both sides from both Canada and the US.

The Women’s team is looking strong this year, returning as the runner up at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championships. They will be losing two-time National Champion Dominique Parrish, but will have a lot of great talent returning and incoming for next year.

There are a lot of good women this year for the Simon Fraser Clan, and according to an article by American Women’s Wrestling, there are quite a few girls ranked in the WCWA. Some girls to look out for this year include Junior Ciara McCrae, Redshirt Junior Lauren Mason both ranked 3rd in their respective weight classes, Juniors Alex Hedrick and Alyvia Fiske both ranked 2nd, and Sophomore Serena Woldring ranked 2nd as well. Redshirt Senior Nicole Depa will be returning this year off an injury and will be looking to claim her first title after three 2nd place finishes.

The women’s team will also be adding 10 new members including sisters Karla and Ana Godinez Gonzalez, both National team members for Canada. Ana also comes off this summer as the Junior and Senior National Champion and World Team Member. Other girls to keep an eye on this year are Khaya MacKillop, and Victoria Seal.

As this new season begins, the Simon Fraser University Women’s Wrestling team looks ahead with hopeful eyes. With a strong returning team, they are hoping to continue past traditions of performing and representing the Clan well. They have high goals, and will be working hard to prepare for tournaments starting this weekend and all throughout the year.

The women will be competing in the WCWA National Championships in February, but will also be adding a NCAA National tournament for the first time in history. With a team full of good girls and a season full of good tournaments, the team has high hopes for this year.

Stay tuned for some great wrestling to come!

Women’s College Wrestling

“So do you wrestle for your school? With the boys?”

I get a lot of questions about wrestling, but this one (and ones similar to it) is probably the most commonly asked…

So, here’s some clarification.

The answer is yes, I wrestle for my school, Simon Fraser University. SFU, among many other universities, has a men and a women’s wrestling team. (Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @SFUWrestling) There are about 25 girls on my team from all over the United States and Canada.

Since SFU is an NCAA school, our boys wrestle with the other NCAA schools. Women’s wrestling however is not an NCAA sanctioned sport yet, so the schools with programs formed their own governing body known as the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association or WCWA. This is the organization that puts on our National tournament, and regulates the teams to ensure fairness and equality. There is a National Tournament every year in February, and last year there were over 60 teams competing.

But this year, along with the WCWA tournament, there will be an NCAA tournament as well! Exciting!

This summer, women’s college wrestling earned “emerging sport status“, one of the first steps in introducing it into the NCAA full time. A decision backed by many wrestling organizations including USA Wrestling and the US Olympic Committee as well. Check out this article for more information on that decision.

This is an exciting time for women’s wrestling, and introducing the sport into the NCAA will open doors for women and girls everywhere. Now, girls coming out of high school will not have to choose between a school where they want to go to for academics and a school where they want to go for wrestling. Many times, girls have to look at a school they want to go to, but doesn’t have wrestling, or another school that has it, so they have to choose between the two. Nicole Depa, one of the captains of the SFU wrestling team said that she thinks it is “about time! And it will be a great thing for women’s wrestling and sports in general.” Women’s wrestling is actually the fastest growing sport in the United States, which makes this announcement so exciting for girl wrestlers now and years to come.

These girls who wrestle are amazing. (And yes I may be a little biased) But they have high hopes and dreams, work hard, and create an environment for others to be their best as well. On my team, we have many girls on the National or World team for Canada and the United States, and this year, we have quite a few Olympic Hopefuls.

Another question I get is, “Is there women’s wrestling in the Olympics?”

And to that, I say yes, there is women’s wrestling in the Olympics.

Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in history, and the men have been competing in the Olympics since 708 BC, but the women first competed in the Olympics in 2004. This is the ultimate goal for a lot of women who wrestle, and that is what they are working towards.

So yes, there is a lot going on in realm of women’s wrestling, but just wait; it’s only just begun.