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JIMMIES THIRD: Romeike leads Jimmie women hosting NAIA invite

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University of Jamestown's Cara Romeike, top, wrestles Andribeth Rivera of Campbellsville University during the championship match Saturday at the NAIA Women's Wrestling Invitational at Harold Newman Arena. Romeike finished second. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

University of Jamestown's Cara Romeike didn't win her 130-pound championship match Saturday, March 16, at Harold Newman Arena. But the fifth-year senior still had plenty to smile about.

Romeike made program history as the first-ever Jimmie to wrestle in a title bout during the inaugural NAIA Women's Wrestling National Invitational. Romeike was pinned by top-ranked Campbellsville University's (Ky.) Andribeth Rivera 1 minute, 47 seconds into her match.

Jamestown placed third as a team (137.5), as Menlo College, Calif., (230.5) and Oklahoma City University (154.5) took first and second, respectively.

"I feel incredibly honored to be here and represent Jamestown," Romeike said. "I had amazing coaches and I owe it all to them and my teammates pushing me every day. I couldn't do it without them, so I'm just thankful for the opportunity."

Romeike didn't drop a point in her first three matches Saturday, defeating Missouri Baptist University's Nadia Escamilia 10-0, Wayland Baptist University's Leah Olguin 10-0 and Southern Oregon's Julissa Taitano 5-0, en route to the finals.

"Once you hit your stride, you just keep going," Romeike said. "I want to be a coach someday, and that's something I'm going to preach to my athletes. I dealt with a lot of injuries this week, but you don't let it stop you. You gotta wrestle and have grit no matter what."

Despite gaining momentum heading into the championship, Romeike ran into a buzzsaw in the championship match. Rivera broke a 2-all tie in the first period with a takedown and immediately pinned Romeike.

"I was ready to go. I never really made it to the finals of a big tournament like this before," Romeike said. "I've just been working really hard. My goal was to make it to the finals and I did it.

"I wrestled her once in high school, and beat her, but I wrestled her at WCWA's and she clobbered me. So I scored a point on her and that's a pretty big step for me."

Romeike is a native of Coppell, Texas. She transferred to Jamestown from Oklahoma City University three years ago, but didn't wrestle for the Stars. Romeike had a breakout 2018-19, winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference 130-pound title on Feb. 23 and earning All-American status en route to a fifth-place finish at WCWA nationals.

"Jamestown has just been a family to me," Romeike said. "Honestly as soon as I came here, I immediately felt welcome. They support our team so much. It's just great to be here and be loved by everyone."

Romeike said she might compete in a few more tournaments, but does want to coach in either Texas or Utah after graduating from UJ.

"I do ultimately want to coach, but it's bittersweet," Romeike said. "It's a start of a new journey."

Along with Romeike, Agatha Andrew (191 pounds), Alyssa Schrull (170), Arianna Marrufo (123), Chelsea Dionisio (116), Jamayia Blackston (116), Joy Muniz (143) and Junnette Caldera (101) earned All-American status for placing in the top eight grapplers on Saturday.

"We're happy as a team," said second-year Jimmie coach Shauna Kemp. "We won some matches we shouldn't have won and just came together really well. I'm proud of all of them."

Jamestown took many steps forward as it won the Waldorf University Open, the York College Open, the KCAC team title and placed third at nationals. The Jimmies also went an undefeated 8-0 in duals this winter.

"I think going into the season, teams were expecting us to be 10th, so third is big," Kemp said.

Added Romeike: "I'm stoked about the third-place finish. Went from placing 20th last year to third at this national tournament. I couldn't be more proud of my team and the effort everyone's put in. We all worked hard to get here."

2019 NAIA Women's Wrestling Invitational

At Harold Newman Arena

March 16

Team results

1. Menlo College (Calif.) 230.5; 2. Oklahoma City University 154.5; 3. University of Jamestown 137.5; 4. Campbellsville University (Ky.) 126.5; 5. University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) 106.5; 6. Wayland Baptist University (Texas) 105; 7. Life University 102.5 (Ga.) 103.5; 8. Southern Oregon 66.5; 9. Midland University (Neb.) 45; 10. Missouri Baptist University 43; 11. Lyon College (Ark.) 40.5; 12. Missouri Valley College 39; 13. Eastern Oregon University 36.5; 14. Waldorf University (Iowa) 22.5; 15. Ottawa University (Kan.) 18; 16. University of Providence (Mont.) 17; 17. York College (Neb.) 6; 18. Brewton-Parker College (Ga.) 4; 19. (tie) Central Christian College of Kansas 2.5; Warner Pacific University (Ore.) 2.5.

Individual results

(Grapplers finishing in the top four in each weight class are All-America. Places five through eight are All-America honorable mention.)

(Freestyle Wrestling Scoring Glossary: VFA--Victory by fall; VPO--Victory without points scored by opponent; VPO1--Victory with points scored by opponent; VSU--Victory superiority without points scored by opponent (technical fall); VSU1--Victory superiority with points scored by opponent (technical fall); VIN--Injury default.)


101: Asia Ray (Wayland Baptist) VSU1 Nina Pham (Wayland Baptist), 8-1 6:00.

109: Alleida Martinez (Menlo) VFA Mckayla Campbell (Campbellsville), 10-0 3:22.

116: Jathiya Isaac (Wayland Baptist) VSU1 Gracie Figueroa (Menlo), 3-2 6:00.

123: Tiana Jackson (Menlo) VSU1 Koral Sugiyama (Campbellsville), 5-2 6:00.

130: Andribeth Rivera (Campbellsville) VFA Cara Romeike (Jamestown), 6-2 1:47.

136: Solin Piearcy (Menlo) VSU1 Erica Sotelo (Life), 8-1 6:00.

143: Marilyn Garcia (Menlo) VSU Angela Peralta (Menlo), 2-0 6:00.

155: Iman Kazem (Menlo) VFA Anna Naylor (University of Cumberlands), 2-0 0:39.

170: Dymond Guilford (Missouri Baptist) VSU1 Precious Bell (Menlo College), 2-1 2:36.

Third place

101: Junnette Caldera (Jamestown) VFA Hiba Salem (Menlo), 8-7 3:30.

109: Tyesha Topps (Life) VPO1 Raven Guidry (Oklahoma), 6-2.

116: Cassidy Jasperson (Oklahoma) VSU Madison Angelito (Cumberlands), 12-0 6:00.

123: Dajan Treder (Providence) VPO1 Macy Higa (Eastern Oregon), 8-4.

130: Sydney Freund (Oklahoma City) VPO1 Anesia Ramirez (Southern Oregon), 2-1.

136: Destiny Lyng (Oklahoma City) VSU Bridgette Duty (Cumberlands), 10-0 3:00.

143: Maggie Douma (Oklahoma City) VFA Zoe Wight (Life), 4-0 1:21.

155: Myranda Velazquez (Jamestown) VSU Shamera Mctier (Missouri Valley).

170: Rachel Watters (Oklahoma City) VPO1 Mariah Harris (Campbellsville), 4-4.

191: Leilani Camargo-naone (Midland) VPO1 Agatha Andrews (Jamestown), 6-5.

Fifth place

101: Jessica Rodriguez (Cumberlands) VFA Kassidy Ramirez (Lyon), 8-0 1:50.

109: Brianna Ribucan-leong (Lyon) VFA Cassidy Freeman (Eastern Oregon), 8-0 1:22.

116: Glory Konecny (Southern Oregon) VFA Taryn Ichimura (Menlo), 8-2 3:35.

123: Alannah Vetterick (Midland) VFA Victoria Norris (Ottawa), 4-4 3:52.

130: Julissa Taitano (Southern Oregon) VPO1 Jocelyn Murphy (Missouri Valley), 14-9.

136: Akina Yamada (Waldorf) VFA Elissa Douglass (Lyon), 8-2 1:57.

143: Sienna Ramirez (Southern Oregon) VIN Cierra Foster (Oklahoma City).

155: Destinee Rivera (Life) VPO1 Gabriela Hunter (Midland), 4-1.

170: Jordan Nelson (Life) VSU1 Kenya Sloan (Campbellsville), 12-1 5:58.

191: Alexandra Castillo (Campbellsville) VPO1 Jesse Kirby (Cumberlands), 8-2.

Seventh place

101: Faye Cherrier (Life) VIN Amber Garriga (Life).

109: Diana Leyva (Waldorf) VSU1 Alessia Cokeley (Ottawa), 14-1 4:24.

116: Chelsea Dionisio (Jamestown) VSU Jamayia Blackston (Jamestown), 10-0 4:46.

123: Arianna Marrufo (Jamestown) VPO1 Daniela Flores (Oklahoma City), 6-5.

130: Breannah Duduoit-vasquez (Wayland Baptist) VSU Aysia Cortez (Life), 10-0 3:23.

136: Brittany Woods-orrison (Menlo) VFA Sophia Carson (Campbellsville), 7-4 4:25.

143: Joy Muniz (Jamestown) VFA Morgan Shines (Life), 7-0 2:07.

155: Sierra Talmadge (Jamestown) VPO1 Isabella Ricchiazzi (Cumberlands), 4-3.

170: Payton Rigert (Cumberlands) VPO1 Alyssa Schrull (Jamestown), 8-6.

191: Emily Sandoval (Menlo) VSU Angel Ochoa (Missouri Baptist), 10-0 0:33.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853