Quincy grad Kateri Rowell finishes fourth at national tourney
Kateri Rowell, a Quincy graduate wrestling for Aberdeen’s Grays Harbor College, finished fourth at a national competition in Atlanta last month.
Rowell, competing at 109 lbs. in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national tournament, improved upon her own performance at the WCWA nationals last year, when she finished sixth.
“I have a new coach this year, and he kind of changed my style this year, which was good,” she said. “Felt a lot quicker and more in shape.”
The improvement in placing took some of the sting off not being first for Rowell.
“I wanted to be a national champion,” she said, after saying that she wrestled a lot better this year than last year.
In the two-day tournament, Rowell finished the first day undefeated, with three wins, no losses and a spot in the semifinals.
In the first round, she beat Alessia Cockeley from Kansas, 12-0, Angeline Terrones Cruz of Arizona, 10-0, and Rhonda Johnson of Texas, 18-8.
The next day, she lost to Campbellsville’s (Kentucky) McKayla Campbell in semifinals, won her next match, then lost in the third-place match to Ciara McRae of Canada’s Simon Fraser University.
Alleida Martinez of California finished first, followed by Campbell, McRae and Rowell.
Martinez’ school, Menlo College, won the first national title in its history.
“It was pretty competitive for the most part,” Rowell said of her weight class.
The tournament had only one weigh-in, before the first day of competition. A second-day weigh-in would have made a big difference, Rowell said. With only one weigh-in, her second-day opponents were heavier than her, she added.
“If we had had two weigh-ins, I feel like I would have beat the rest of the girls,” she said. Anxiety and nerves conspired against her in her semifinal match, she added.
“I felt nervous, and I feel like it makes a difference,” she said. Nevertheless, she is content with her performance.
“I felt like I wrestled well,” she said. “Everyone wants to take first (place).”
In addition to her fourth place in nationals, Rowell helped the Chokers finish their season undefeated in duals, with a 4-0 mark.
After a short break in March, she will wrestle in U-23 competitions as well as the U.S. Open.
The U-23 competition is in Irving, Texas, and the U.S. Open is in Las Vegas.
Then, Rowell has to ponder her future, whether to go wrestle at a four-year university. Schools in Montana, Oregon and South Carolina are looking into recruiting her, she said.
“I’m not really sure where I want to go,” she said. “First I want to visit them before I make any decisions.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org