Washington Evening Journal
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FOREST CITY — The Iowa Wesleyan women’s wrestling team put their flag in the sand on Saturday at the Waldorf University Open in Forest City.
In the first meet of the year, the Tigers brought home two championships. Out of the five wrestlers who made the trip, three finished in the Top-5.
Sophomore Alaina Sunlin made her triumphant return to the mat after last year’s All-American campaign. She did so with a dominant performance, going 3-0 at 101 pounds.
Sunlin cruised in all three matches. She pinned Grand View’s Hannah Michael in the quarterfinals in 1:42. She earned a 10-0 technical fall over Central Methodist’s Abigail Jastal in the semifinals and pinned Grand View’s Emma Cochran in 1:51 to win the tournament.
Highly-touted recruit Mia Palumbo made mince meat of the competition in the 109-pound bracket. In her first collegiate action, the two-time Illinois state champion went 3-0 with three technical falls.
Palumbo skunked Grand View’s Chloe Krebsbach with a 10-0 technical fall in the quarterfinals. She knocked off William Penn’s Brittany Cotter with a 10-0 technical fall in the semifinals, and finished the tournament with a 12-1 technical fall over Central Methodist’s Alexis Miller.
The other Top-5 finish for Iowa Wesleyan came at 130 pounds. JoAnna Vanderwood went 4-2 no the day to take fourth place.
Vanderwood picked up two pins on the day, one in 3:52 against Augsburg’s Kya Rybachek in the opening round, and one, in 2:10, against Central Methodist’s Sabrina King in the consolation semifinals.
Those two wins sandwiched a pair of technical falls. Vanderwood owned a 10-0 technical fall over William Penn’s Lydia Nelson and a 12-0 technical fall over Kami Flordalis of York College.
Vanderwood’s two losses both came against the same wrestler. Missouri Baptist’s Karoline Ortiz beat Vanderwood 10-4 in the quarterfinals and knocked her off with a 12-1 technical fall in the third place match.
At 123 pounds, Emma Benavides went 1-2 on the day, picking up a 10-0 technical fall over Grand View’s Ali Andersen in the process. Zoi Smith went 1-2 at 123 pounds, including a pin, in 2:26, against Grand View’s Samara Lusk.
Iowa Wesleyan’s women’s wrestling team will be back in action next weekend when they compete in the Lindenwood Open in Saint Charles, Missouri, on Sunday.