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Ramirez wins national title as SOU finishes in fifth place

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Months of staying patient paid off in a big way for Sienna Ramirez and the Southern Oregon University women’s wrestling team as the NAIA National Invitational came to a close Saturday evening at Newman Arena.

Ramirez completed a dominating run through the 155-pound bracket by claiming the first individual national title in team history, boosting the Raiders to fifth place in the team standings.

Despite being among the only full team in attendance unable to compete before the tournament due to state COVID-19 guidelines, they produced two more All-Americans in third-place juniors Esthela Trevino (101 pounds) and Macie Stewart (109). Glory Konecny (123) placed seventh and Carol Johnson (116) eighth for All-America honorable mention status.

In five previous trips to national postseason tournaments - four to the WCWA Championships, one to the NAIA Invitational - the Raiders totaled just one top-three individual finish.

Ramirez, a senior from Lakewood, Wash., and the team’s all-time wins leader with a career 83-25 record, became a four-time All-American including WCWA and NWCA accolades, though she previously wrestled at 143.

As the No. 8 seed, she knocked out top-seeded Cierra Foster of Oklahoma City by fall in Friday’s quarterfinals, then started Saturday’s action with an 8-6 semifinal win over Campbellsville (Ky.)’s Kendra Thompson. The championship was a romp: She defeated No. 2 Morgan Mayginnes of Baker (Kan.) 10-0 in a technical fall that was called 33 seconds into the second round.

Collectively, the Raiders — sent home from Jamestown last year when the tournament was canceled a day before it was slated to start — improved on their eighth-place team finish at the inaugural 2019 NAIA Invitational.

Trevino — seeded No. 4 at 101 and in uniform as a Raider for the first time this weekend — lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Nina Pham of Wayland Baptist (Texas). She recovered with a convincing, 10-0 technical fall over Life (Ga.)’s Devyn Gomez, and in the third-place match shutout No. 7-seeded Madison Brown of Texas Wesleyan, 4-0.

Stewart, after losing her 109 semifinal to Wayland Baptist’s No. 3-seeded Asia Ray, continued to play spoiler. Stewart In the consolation semis she pinned Life’s No. 7-seeded Katalina Bartelt for the second time at the tourney, then pinned No. 4 Tehani Soares of Indiana Tech for third place. Now a two-time All-American, her run also included Friday’s upest by fall over No. 2 seed Rayana Sahagun of Jamestown (N.D.).

Konecny earned NAIA All-America honorable mention for the second time in as many trips to the tournament. She started the day with a 7-3 loss to the 123-pound No. 6 seed, Campbellsville (Ky.)’s Jacqueline Grant, then held off No. 7 Jasmin Davis from Wayland Baptist, 2-1, for seventh place. She finished the weekend with a 5-2 record.

At 116, Johnson stayed alive Friday with three straight consolation wins but dropped both of her Saturday matches, by fall to No. 2 Camille Fournier of Texas Wesleyan and 7-0 to No. 5 Serenity Durham Goree of Midland (Neb.) in the seventh-place match.

Campbellsville (Ky.) won the team title with 185 points to second-place Life’s 134 1/2.

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