Women's Wrestling Makes It BACK-to-BACK-to-BACK National Titles

ADRIAN, Mich. - The afternoon of March 5 for No.2 McKendree University women's wrestling marked BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK National Championships after a pair of Bearcats claimed crowns on the second and final day of action. McKendree (158.0) entered the day with a 25.5 point lead over the championship-favorite, King University (132.5), and then pushed through for a third-straight national title by finishing with 188 team points and 12 top-5 All-Americans (top-8 finish at nationals). The two individual national champions for McKendree were sophomore 130lb Cameron Guerin (Yakima, Washington) and senior 191lb Sydnee Kimber (Sitka, Alaska). Guerin was also awarded the Most Outstanding Wrestler award in the tournament.

The Bearcats entered the national championship tournament as the second-ranked team and was chosen to finish as the national runner-up behind No.1-ranked King University. At the end of day one of competition, McKendree boasted a 25.5-point lead over King with seven wrestlers in first-place matches over six weight classes. The Bearcats totaled 188.0 points at the end of the second day of wrestling, pushing five more wrestlers into top-5 placement.


No.2 McKendree recorded a pair of champions behind Guerin, who defended her 2021 crown, and Kimber, who added her third-straight national title. 

Cameron Guerin | 130lb | So. | Yakima, Washington
The sophomore ranked second in her weight class entering the weekend but quickly showed why she spent most of the year at #1 in the 130 class. Guerin, who went 4-0 at the NCWWC, opened the tournament with a victory by fall at the 2:47 mark over Isabela Ruiz of Greensboro College before adding three tech fall wins to round out her first-place finish. In the quarterfinal and semifinal, Guerin defeated Gannon's Anya Knappenberger with a 10-0 tech in 2:22 and followed it with another 10-0 tech over Solana Mottola of Tiffin, which punched her ticket into the finals. In the finals, the 130lb sophomore faced off against Niya Teresita-Gaines of North Central. Guerin got her shots in early and often to rack up points in the first two minutes of the bout, taking the victory by tech fall at the 1:49 mark. Guerin earned a 4-0 record and 26.5 team points on the weekend, winning the 130lb crown and the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler award. 

Sydnee Kimber | 191lb | Sr. | Sitka, Alaska
The Mt. Edgecumbe-product handled business in the 2022 tournament, scoring 27.0 team points and a 4-0 record with two pinfalls and two technical falls. With the conclusion of the season  Kimber kicked off the national tournament with a fall at the 43-second mark against Shola Cascen of East Stroudsburg. The quarterfinal and semifinal both were taken by tech falls for Kimber, defeating New Jersey City's Sandra Gurrero on a 10-0 count at the 2:29 mark and then beat Emmanuel's Cristina Santoyo in the same fashion at the on an 11-0 count (4:28). In the 191 championship match, Kimber took on fellow Bearcat in freshman Jaycee Foeller. The bout lasted 1:18 and concluded with a pinfall for Kimber, marking her third national title.

Felicity Taylor | 116lb | Sr. | Spillville, Iowa
Taylor went 3-1 in the national tournament and collected three tech fall wins to earn a spot in the national final bout. The senior beat Gannon's Nikoly Dos Santos (10-0, 1:21), Emmanuel's Kasey Baynon (10-0, 1:42), and Presbyterian's Jaslynn Gallegos (10-0, 3:15) in her three victories and pit her against Simon Fraser's Karla Godinez-Gonzalez in the title matchup. Taylor dropped the match on 3-1 decision to finish second overall in her class with 20.5 team points scored.

Alara Boyd | 143lb | Jr. | Muncie, Indiana
Boyd scored 20.5 team points enroute to her 3-1, second place finish. The junior joined Taylor in going for three tech fall victories during the tournament. The three victories for her came against Limestone's Mika Walters (10-0, 1:46), Sacred Heart's Madison Sandquist (10-0, 2:13), and North Central's Riley Aamold (10-0, 3:21). The championship bout placed Boyd against King's Ashlynn Ortega, which Boyd dropped on a 3-0 decision to finish as the national runner-up. 

Kayla Marano | 155lb | Jr. | Jefferson, Georgia
Marano, who joined the Bearcats for the 2021-22 season, earned the runner-up finish at the national tournament with a 3-1 overall slate with 19.5 team points. The senior won by fall to begin the outing over Shelsy Renous of Limestone (1:45), then beat Tiffin's Taylor Hites via tech fall (10-0, 4:42) in the quarters, and made it into the title match with a win over Tiera Jimerson of NCC (4-1 decision) in the semis. The national title matchup came against Alyvia Fiskeof Simon Fraser, who defeated Marano by 3-2 decision.

Joye Levendusky | 170lb | Sr. | Avon, New York
Levendusky earned the second-place finish behind a 3-1 overall record. The senior began the weekend with a tech fall win over Jacklyn Smith of Sacred Heart (10-0, 2:08), then collected a pair of decisions to move into the finals. Her two decisions came against Jade Herzer (Stevens Point) on a 3-2 count and over King's Cheyenne Bowman on a 6-4 score. The championship matchup put Levendusky against Yelena Makoyed of NCC, which Levendusky dropped by tech fall (11-0, 3:34). 

Jaycee Foeller | 191lb | Fr. | De Soto, Missouri
The freshman took second behind her teammate, Kimber, with a 3-1 record with a fall, tech fall, and decision win. Foeller started with a fall over Emory and Henry's Andreia Langley (0:52), then earned a tech against Limestone's Journe Land, while her third win was versus Colorado Mesa's Jayleen Sekona. Foeller lost the title bout against Kimber on a fall at 1:18.