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A ticket to London is on the line as King College Women’s Wrestling will provide a
healthy showing while competing in the Olympic Trials Qualifier in Iowa City, Iowa.
The event that will send four of the nation’s best in women’s wrestling to represent
the country at the 2012 Summer Olympics will be held this weekend on the campus of
the University of Iowa. Six Lady Tornado grapplers will represent the College in competition
between four Olympic weight classes.
KING COLLEGE COMPETITORS
Emily Martin, Sr., 48 kg
Ali Ragan, So., 63 kg
Krista Revelle, Fr., 63 kg
Julia Salata, Fr., 72 kg
Sarah Hildebrandt, Fr., 55 kg
Amanda Hendey, Fr., 63 kg
King College will send six of its best wrestlers who have qualified for the Olympic
Trials to the Carver Hawkeye Center (Iowa City, Iowa) this weekend. WCWA National
Champions Emily Martin (Frisco, Texas) and Krista Revelle (Meriden, Kan.) lead the
charge into the Hawkeye State for a spot on the USA Olympic team and are joined by
four of their King Lady Tornado teammates. Joining Martin and Revelle are freshmen
Julia Salata (Canton, Mich.), Amanda Hendey (Beaumont, Calif.), Sarah Hildebrandt
(Granger, Ind.) and sophomore Ali Ragan (Cardondale, Ill.).
The tournament to create the USA Women’s Wrestling team will begin on Saturday, April
21 and have a challenge tournament format. Two weight classes will begin action on
Saturday morning with the final two rounding out the competition on Sunday, April
22. The four Olympic weight classes represented are 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg, and 72 kg.
King has at least one wrestler in each of the four weight classes.
Senior Emily Martin will wrestle in the 48 kg weight class this weekend. She qualified
for the Trials after being crowned the 109 lb. National Champion at the 2011-12 WCWA
National Championships held at King in January. Martin is currently ranked No. 1 in
the nation by the WCWA after the national championships in which she defeated No.
2 Kristi Garr (Oklahoma City University) and was named the WCWA Wrestler of the Year
after the competition.
Freshman Krista Revelle burst onto the scene at King and in her just her second tournament
as a collegiate wrestler and won a national championship at the 136-pound level, also
defeating an Oklahoma City University wrestler, Stephanie Geltmacher, shutting her
out 3-0, 3-0. She will be one of two to represent King in the 63-kilo class.
Julia Salata and Alli Ragan both qualified not once, but twice for the Olympic Trials.
Ragan was the first Lady Tornado to qualify for the honor back in mid-November at
the NYAC International Open. The sophomore standout won the 138-pound title by defeating
Trinity Plessinger (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) in a three-period decision (4-1,
2-5, 1-0). She qualified a second time by finishing second at the U.S. Senior Nationals.
Salata (72 kg) sealed her RSVP to the Olympic Trials with a top-7 placement at US
Senior Nationals, held on Dec. 17, when she placed fifth in the competition. Even
more impressive, Salata took top honors at University Nationals, held in Oklahoma
City, Okla. on March 23-24. She won the 72 kg division by defeating Brittany Roberts
(OCU) in two periods, 4-1, 2-0.
Freshmen Sarah Hildebrandt and Amanda Hendey will also represent King while attempting
earning a spot at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Hildebrandt took away second place honors
at WCWA Nationals after forcing overtime but falling short in the title bout. Hendey,
a newcomer to the team in the spring semester, participated at the Last Chance Olympic
Qualifier in Cedar Falls, Iowa March 31-April 1. There, Hendey took first place in
the 72 kg competition, locking her place into the Olympic Trials this weekend. She
will wrestle in the 63 kg class this weekend.
The challenge tournament is a double elimination format tournament, though winners
of the most recent U.S. Open Nationals receive byes to the final bout. The winner
of each weight class of the challenge tournament will then face the respective U.S.
Open Nationals champion for the right to go to London. Should the loser of the finals
bout not have faced off against the third place finisher, the second place finisher
may challenge the loser of the title bout for “true second” and the chance to be the
alternate U.S. representative.
“I think we have a great chance to compete for an Olympic berth,” said Head Coach
Jason Moorman. “Both Emily [Martin] and Ali [Ragan] have beaten almost everybody in
their pool at some point and each has big time wrestling experience. We have a lot
of young wrestlers competing, which should be interesting to watch.”
Of the six wrestlers King is sending to the Olympic Trials this weekend, the group
is comprised of one senior, one sophomore, and four freshmen. Two of those freshmen
have joined the team in the spring semester of the academic year.
Select divisions of the U.S. Olympic Trials will be aired on the newly re-launched
NBCOlympics.com. Some coverage will be broadcast on tape-delay through the website.
Full coverage information can be found by clicking here.
USA Wrestling and Gary Abbott have published its latest edition of USA Wrestling Weekly
with a preview of this weekend’s events. Click here to view the preview segment.
TheMat.com has also provided a preview to this weekend’s tournament. Click here to read Gary Abbott’s preview.
The field of competitors will reach nearly 50 women’s wrestlers, most of which King
has seen before in competitions leading up to this point. “We will see a lot of the
same faces,” said Moorman. “I’m sure there is no one that we haven’t seen or know
about that will be here but it will be the top competitors, the best of the best,
here this weekend. There will be national champions, returning champions and former
Olympians and alternates here competing for this opportunity.”
The women are not the only competitors that will be at Carver Hawkeye Arena this weekend.
The men’s freestyle and men’s Greco Olympic Wrestling Trials will also be ongoing
in addition to the women’s tournament. As of a report given in March, over 10,000
tickets have been sold in the 13,000-seat arena and capacity is expected to be near
full for this weekend.
“This is the pinnacle tournament. This is what you dream of and train for, and wrestle
hard for when you’re a young wrestler. The makeup of this group is incredible and
they are going to wrestle their hearts out this weekend,” said Moorman.