Jackson Gerber, Sports Editor
The Augsburg women’s wrestling team competed at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships, bringing home a national champion, two runners-up, and a sixth-place team finish.
Emily Shilson won the 109-pound national championship, the first for Augsburg women’s wrestling, with ease last weekend. She went 4-0 and recorded two pins and two tech falls in the two day event. Shilson’s best performance was her semi-final match, where she was on the mat for all of 42 seconds before pinning her opponent. Augsburg had two other wrestlers reach the national championship match, Vayle-Rae Baker at 123 pounds and Gabby Skidmore at 130 pounds, but both would finish as runners-up. As a team, the Auggies finished their first-ever national championship tournament in sixth place with 75 points.
Before their accomplishments on the mat at the WCWA National Championships, the Auggies got some outstanding news off the mat. On Jan. 25th, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, who is in charge of “identifying and managing the progress of emerging sports for women,” adopted proposal 2020-9 which, “Adds women’s wrestling as an emerging sport for women and establishes legislation related to playing and practice seasons and membership.” According to the NCAA’s website, an emerging sport is “a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions, and also help that sport achieve NCAA championship status.”
This is a monumental ruling by the NCAA, as women’s wrestling will now be recognized as an official DII and DIII sport in the coming years. For that to happen, Augsburg will have to be joined by 40 other DIII institutions to transition from an emerging sport to a championship sport, according to the teamusa.org. With this momentum and the growth of women’s wrestling already skyrocketing throughout the country, it will not be long before it becomes official.
The Auggies will compete for the final time this season at the Women’s Collegiate National Championship on March 6 and 7 at Adrian College in Michigan.