Wieber Advances to National Championship Semifinals

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Five Mounties made an appearance at the second annual NAIA Women’s Wrestling National Championship today. Only one EOU grappler remains in contention after the first two sessions, Liv Wieber. The sophomore went 2-0 on the day advancing to the NAIA Semifinals. The Mounties finished the day in 23rd pace with 14 team points.
Wieber started off the day with a first-round bye then ran away with a 13-0 VSU win over Hastings College’s Lisa Hoeflich.
Her biggest challenge came in the quarterfinals where she matched up with Menlo’s Shannon Workinger. Workinger, the No. 3 ranked wrestler in the nation, was the favorite going in against Wieber (6 seed), but Wieber struck first powering her way to a takedown with just over a minute and a half remaining in the first period. An early stalling call in the second proved to be the deciding factor as Wieber went up 3-0. Workinger followed up with a takedown to make it 3-2 but couldn’t earn another point as Wieber earned the victory and a spot in the semifinals.
Wieber will be the only Mountie competing on day two of the NAIA National Championships. The Boise product will take on No. 2-ranked Latifah McBryde of Life University (Georgia) with a national championship berth on the line tomorrow morning in session three of the championships beginning at 10 a.m.
Eastern had four other athletes in action on day one of the national championships. Irma Retano (116 lbs), Paige Chafin (123 lbs), Anna Rodriguez (130 lbs), and Trinity Tafoya (191 lbs) also represented Eastern Oregon.
Retano battled through five matches on the day, the most of any Mountie. The senior won a nailbiter in her first match taking a 10-9 victory over Avila University’s Markayla Lottie. She was then met with a tough matchup against the No. 1 seeded (No. 2-nationally ranked) Julian Diaz of Missouri Baptist. Diaz took the win via pin sending Retano to the consolation bracket. Retano would battle to two more victories before falling short in the consolation round of eight to Campbellsville’s Icart Galumette, the No. 6 seed.

At 123 pounds, Paige Chafin made an appearance in the round of 16 after a first-round bye. She fell 14-9 to Midland University’s Emily Paulino. Her season then came to an end with a  loss to University of Providence’s Alicia Frank.
Anna Rodriguez represented the Mountaineers at 130 pounds. The junior gave a strong effort against No. 6-seeded Janiah Jones of Missouri Baptist but fell short via fall late in the second period. In the consolation bracket she took a 10-0 loss to Evergreen’s Erica Grant to bring her tournament to an end.
The last Mountie on the mat was 191-pounder, Trinity Tafoya. Tafoya earned a bye in the first round then fell to No. 2-seeded Joanna Hendricks of Waldorf University in the round of 16. A consolation matchup against Baker University’s Elisa Robinson didn’t go her way either as she fell by pin in the first period to end her postseason run.
Eastern now focuses their attention on Wieber’s semifinal match as the last Mountie in action on day two. The semifinal round will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. All event coverage can be found on the women’s wrestling schedule and at the above links.

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