UPDATE: MRSS grad fourth at female wrestling college nationals

Payten Smith an All-American for SFU at WCWA finals

Payten Smith, wrestling for SFU, is the top-ranked female wrestler in her class at the nationals. (files)

Maple Ridge secondary grad Payten Smith finished fourth at the national championships in Oklahoma City, as she was upset in the semi-finals this past weekend.

Smith, injured most of the season, was the top-ranked and defending champion in the 191-pound weight class.

Smith fell to Brandy Lowe (McKendree) in 2:16.

The Simon Fraser University wrestler was still one of nine All-Americans on the women’s team, which finished second overall.

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Smith was one of four top-ranked SFU female wrestlers entering the nationals. SFU slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the final rankings and was aiming for its second national title at the Women’s College Wrestling Association national championships.

Three SFU wrestlers were crowned national champions and two others won silver medals.

Senior Mallory Velte won her third consecutive WCWA national title at 143-pounds without conceding a single point in the tournament all three years.

Abby Lloyd, a senior, finally won a title at 116-pounds after finishing top three in her three previous tournaments, while junior Dominique Parrish won her first title at 123, defeating freshman teammate Alex Hedrick in the national final.

Hedrick and Nicole Deepa, a junior, won silver medals, while senior Francesca Giorgio won bronze.

Overall, SFU finished second to Campbellsville University 196.5 to 191.5.

It was the second consecutive second place finish for the Clan, which won its only women’s national title in 2013.

Campbellsville had two champions, one silver and one bronze medalist. In the All-American count, Campbellsville led the way with 10 with SFU and McKendree closely behind with nine apiece.

SFU was leading after eight of the 10 matches were complete and the Campbellsville Lady Tigers needed two wins in the final two matches to take the title.

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