North Central College women’s wrestling wins first National Championship

Yelena Makoyed on top of 170 pound National Championship podium
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Traveling to Cedar Rapids, IA for the 2023 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships, North Central College grappled its way to the National Championship for the first time in program history.

Cardinals start strong on opening day

Two weeks after winning their own NCWWC Regional, the Cardinals could not have gotten off to a better start, setting a new program record as well as an NCWWC record as all 15 wrestlers competing for NCC earned All-American honors. Following the record setting opening day, North Central (113.5) led King University (103.5) and McKendree (83) heading into day two with ten wrestlers advancing to the semi final round.

15 All-Americans for NCC

Kendra Ryan, competing at 109 pounds, became a two-time All American after finishing in fifth place.

Also competing at 109 pounds and earning a second All-American honor, Sydney Petzinger took home fourth place.

Sara Sterner won the 5th place match at 130 pounds to join the All-American parade for North Central College.

Another first time All-American is Salome Walker, who fished the day as the 8th place finisher at 136 pounds.

At 143 pounds, Kendall Bostelman also earned All-American honors, claiming sixth place.

NCC had another wrestler competing at 143 in London Houston, who also secured All-American status after finishing in third place.

Tiera Jimerson became a two-time All-American after finishing in 7th place at 155 pounds.

Also competing at 155 pounds for the Cardinals was Malea Palahniuk, who became a three-time All-American after finishing in fourth place.

Another first time All-American, Brittyn Corbishly, took home the third place medal at 191 pounds.

Six Cardinals Compete in Championship Matches

Traeh Haynes actually defeated her teammate Corbishly in the semi final match at 191. Haynes finished as an All-American and the National runner-up to Sydnee Kimber from McKendree.

At 136 pounds, Yele Adcock fell to Ana Luciano from King. Another All-American and National runner-up for NCC.

Amani Jones also earned All-American status as the National-runner up at 123 pounds, losing by decision to Marissa Gallegos from Colorado Mesa.

Three National Champions for North Central

North Central freshman Maddie Avila capped off a fantastic showing, securing a pin over Jenavi Alejandro of Tiffin University to win the National Championship at 101 pounds.

The second National Champion for the Cardinals came from Jaslynn Gallegos at 116 pounds. She also picked up a pin over Samara Chavez from King to win the title.

The superstar from North Central, Yelena Makoyed, claimed her third 170 pound National Championship with a pin over Cheyenne Bowman from King University. A fitting end to her decorated Cardinal career as the senior also earned the Gorriaran Award, which is given to the wrestler to secure the post pins in the least time. Makoyed had four pins in 7:48 of mat time.

In the end, North Central College won its first National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling National Championship with an incredible 198 team points behind 15 All-Americans and three National Champions. King University finished as the runner up with 163 points and McKendree took third with 147.5 points.

This is the third National Championship for North Central College during the 2022-23 school year, following Women’s Triathlon and Football.