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SOU in second after Day 1 of NAIA Invitational

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Southern Oregon sits in second place through Day 1 of the NAIA Women’s Wrestling National Invitational, clinging to title hopes with more individuals still alive than any other team in the field after Friday’s action at Harold Newman Arena.

Three Raiders are through to their bracket semifinals: 116-pound junior Tara Othman, 123-pound freshman Carolina Moreno, and 170-pound redshirt-freshman Bailey Dennis. Six more — Emma Baertlein (101 pounds), Carol Johnson (116), Desinee Lopez (130), Emily Se (136), Sienna Ramirez (155) and Karrah Smith (191) — kept their runs going in the consolation brackets to secure top-eight finishes.

Top-ranked Campbellsville (Ky.) is in first place with 131 ½ points, with five individuals through to the semifinals and three left in the consolation brackets. The fifth-ranked Raiders accumulated 106 points, holding a three-point edge over third-ranked Menlo (Calif.) and an eight-point lead over fourth-ranked Life (Ga.).

Wrestling begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Time this morning. The championship finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. The top-six placers in each weight class are considered All-Americans, while seventh and eighth receive honorable mention.

The Raiders also had three semifinalists when they finished fifth in the team standings last year, but only five total individuals around for Day 2.

Othman, who did not place in 2021, dominated as the No. 5 seed at 116. She outscored her three opponents a combined 31-2 on the day and upset No. 4 seed McKayla Campbell of Campbellsville (Ky.) with a convincing 11-2 decision in the quarterfinals.

Moreno, the No. 4 seed at 123 making her tournament debut, opened with back-to-back technical falls and pulled out an 8-4 decision over Grand View (Iowa)’s Adrienna Turner in her quarterfinal. Dennis, seeded No. 8 at 170, only needed two wins to advance but got the most shocking of the day in her quarterfinal: an 8-2 upset of top-seeded Abby McIntyre from Cumberlands (Ga.).

Overall, SOU’s 12 representatives combined to post a 29-12 record on the day.

Sienna Ramirez won’t repeat after becoming SOU’s first national champion last year but kept her career going at 155 with three consolation wins after being upset in the Round of 16. Baertlein and Lopez had SOU’s toughest roads back, both winning four straight win-or-go-home matches after going down in the Round of 32.