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King University News :: King College Freshman Takes National Title in Women's Collegiate Wrestling

King College freshman Marina Lambert won the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) national title in the 90 kg/198 lbs., weight class during the recent national championships held at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif.

Marina not only won her weight class title, she did it by pinning returning champ Hillary Greening of Simon Fraser University in 1:46, stated head coach for the Lady Tornado wrestling team, Jason Moorman. We knew going in she had great potential.

Lambert dominated throughout, pinning all of her opponents in the tournament in the first period with only one exception, which she beat by technical fall, 7-0, 7-0.

Marina has accomplished what no other person can now - being King College's first women's wrestling national champion, said Moorman. She also never surrendered a single point the entire season. Things like that are rare. It's an almost unheard of feat, especially for a freshman.

In addition to her accomplishments on the mat, Lambert currently has a 3.0 GPA, and is studying biology with plans to pursue a secondary education licensure.

The Lady Tornado finished the season ranked fourth in the nation in women's wrestling. Twelve members of the team were entered in the national tournament that hosted almost 150 participants. In addition to Lambert's national title, the Lady Tornado had seven team members named All-American, two of which took second place in their weight class. Out of the seven All-Americans, six are freshman, five have between a 3.0 and 4.0 GPA, and three are participants in King's academic honors program.

Team members named All-American include: Shannon Constantine (freshman - 4th place 44 kg/97lbs.), Emily Martin (sophomore - 2nd place 48 kg/105.5 lbs.), Hanna Martin (freshman - 5th place 55kg/121 lbs.), Kayla Bartosch (freshman - 6th place 55 kg/121 lbs), Haylee Childs (freshman - 5th place 59 kg/130 lbs.), Alli Ragan (freshman - 2nd place 63 kg/138.75 lbs.), and Marina Lambert (freshman - National Champion (90 kg/198 lbs.).

After returning from the tournament, USA Wrestling ( released the U.S. Senior Women's Wrestling Freestyle Rankings, known also as the Olympic ladder. Three of the Lady Tornado were included: Emily Martin, 9th at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Haylee Childs, 9th at 59 kg/130 lbs., and Alli Ragan, 3rd at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. The 90 kg/198 lbs. weight class is not included in the rankings because it is not eligible weight class for world competition.

We couldn't be more proud of our team and their accomplishments, said Moorman. We have real talent on our team. We started the women's wrestling program only two years ago and already we have a national champion and have risen to fourth in the country. However, our goal is to win a national championship. We also have our sights set on the World and Olympic levels. We will continue working towards accomplishing our goals.

Having only been in existence since 1993, women's collegiate wrestling saw over 5,000 women athletes compete last year alone. Women's wrestling, governed by USA Wrestling, made its Olympic debut at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. The WCWA, which got its start in 2008, now consists of 15 schools from across the country, and growing at a rapid rate. Several of the programs boast of coaches that have been World Team members and Olympians. King, having joined the WCWA in 2009, is one of the few U.S. collegiate programs to offer athletic scholarships to women in the sport of wrestling.

King College will serve as the host college for next year's WCWA National Championship to be held in January 2012. We are delighted to have the National Championships come to King, said Moorman. It is quite an honor, and we look forward to hosting such great talent from women's wrestling programs across the U.S.