Women’s wrestling grabs the NJCAA National Duals by the ankles in Poteau, Oklahoma

Published by Jazmin Ode on

The 33 Women’s Wrestling athletes gather together on the UCC sign. UCC started a Women’s Wrestling team in the fall of 2017. Photo credit to Fiebranz Photography

UCC women’s wrestling took first place as a team in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s first national duals the weekend of Jan. 27, that athletes department announced.

Coaches and athletes left Tuesday, Jan. 23 for the dual in Poteau, Oklahoma at the Carl Albert State College.

The UCC’s women wrestling team has 33 athletes on their roster, coached by Anthony Weerheim, director of wrestling, and assistant coach Matt Barrett.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes have hosted dual women’s wrestling tournaments before, but this tournament is specifically for two-year colleges.

Mía Worsham and Anjolina Espinoza train in the athletic complex. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

The Oklahoma tournament offers UCC wrestlers opportunity to wrestle solely against other two-year collegiate athletes, instead of a mixed roster of two-year and four-year schools. Only the women’s wrestling team went to this event.

This tournament offers 11 matches for each college, and each match will represent a weight class. For women’s two-year college wrestling, the 11 weight classes are 101, 109, 116, 123, 130, 136, 143, 155, 170, 191 and 235 pounds.

Team points are scored in a dual tournament compared to other tournament, Barrett explains. “If you win by points, you’ve also earned three team points. If you win by a tech fall (outscoring an opponent by the maximum number), that’s four team points. And if you win by forfeit, that’s five team points,” Barrett says.

“When it’s women’s freestyle, if you score a point and don’t get pinned, you score a point for your team,” Barrett says. “If Weerheim and I are wrestling, and I lose six to four, he just scored three points for his team, and I scored one. So now the team score is three to one.” An individual wrestler can win by a large number of points, but the team can still lose if the rest of the wrestlers perform poorly.

Gabrielle Shaddy and May Thazin Oo finished their wrestling practice match. UCC has 12 women wrestlers in top 8 ranks for their wrestling class in the NJCAA as of January 2024. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

Weerheim says, “This is going to help find out who has the best dual team in the country as far as junior colleges.”

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