FORT WORTH, Texas — Four Augsburg University women’s wrestlers will pursue their dreams of competing in the Olympic games this weekend at the USA Wrestling Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials Qualifier, to be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Emily Shilson (FY, Maple Grove, Minn./Osseo HS), Vayle-Rae Baker (FY, Benton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary), Gabby Skidmore (FY, Spooner, Wis./Cumberland HS) and Marlynne Deede (FY, Springville, Utah/Springville HS) will compete at the Senior Nationals, which also serves as a qualifying meet for the U.S. Olympic Trials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The top five finishers in each weight class at this weekend’s Senior Nationals will qualify for the Olympic Trials, which will be held on April 4-5 at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.
Shilson, the top-ranked wrestler in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association NCAA individual national rankings and the Women’s Wrestling Coaches Association individual national rankings at 109 pounds, was listed at No. 5 on the pre-seed list for the Senior Nationals at 50 kilograms (110 pounds), the lone Auggie among the top-six pre-seeds in each weight class.
Baker, ranked No. 3 in the NWCA and No. 2 in the WCWA rankings at 123 pounds, and Skidmore, ranked No. 8 at 130 pounds in the NWCA and No. 5 at 123 pounds in the WCWA rankings, will both compete in the 57 kg (126 pound) class, and Moore, ranked No. 4 in the NWCA and No. 3 in the WCWA rankings at 143 pounds, will compete in the 68 kg (150 pound) class. The four Auggie wrestlers have extensive records of success at both the cadet and junior levels, and this will be among their initial forays into the senior level of international competition.
In Fort Worth, action will begin for Shilson, Baker and Skidmore on Friday (12/20) at 10 a.m. (Central time), with preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals and consolation action at 50, 53 and 57 kg. Consolation semifinals and placing matches for third, fifth and seventh will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday (12/21), with the finals later that day at 7 p.m.
For Deede, action begins with preliminary action at 62, 68 and 76 kg on Saturday at 10 a.m., with quarterfinals, semifinals and consolations following. Consolation semifinals and placing matches for third, fifth and seventh will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday (12/22), with the finals later that day at 3 p.m.
One of the most accomplished young female wrestlers in American history, Shilson won the U.S. U-23 World Team Trials title at 50 kg this past summer, qualifying to represent the U.S. at the United World Wrestling U-23 World Championships in October in Budapest, Hungary.
Shilson earned six junior and cadet national titles at the USA Wrestling/U.S. Marine Corps National Championships in Fargo, N.D., during her career, just the second woman ever to accomplish the feat. Shilson became the first American wrestler ever to earn a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games (ages 15-17), when she won the 43-kilogram title in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2018. She also claimed the UWW Cadet World Championships title at 43 kilograms, after finishing second in the event in 2017.
She also earned UWW Pan-American Cadet championships in 2018 (43 kg) and 2016 (46 kg), earning the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s outstanding wrestler in 2018. Competing at the 2019 UWW Pan-American Junior Championships in June in Guatemala, she finished second at 50 kg.
Baker earned runner-up honors at the 2019 U-23 World Team Trials at 53 kg and finished fourth at the UWW Junior World Team Trials at 55 kg. She earned USA Wrestling Junior national titles in Fargo in both 2018 (117) and 2017 (106), while winning the Cadet title in 2015 (88 pounds). She also won the UWW Cadet National title at 49 kg and finished second at the UWW Junior Nationals at 51 kg in 2017, and placed seventh at 49 kg at the 2017 UWW Cadet World Championships.
Skidmore earned a USA Wrestling/USMC Junior National title at 122 pounds in Fargo this past summer, while earning runner-up honors at the 2019 UWW Junior World Team Trials at 57 kg. She also finished third in Fargo at the junior level at 117 pounds in 2018 and sixth at 112 pounds in 2017.
Deede finished in seventh place at 72 kg at the 2019 UWW Junior World Team Trials and fifth at 164 pounds at the 2019 USMC Junior Folkstyle National Championships. In 2018, she placed third at 73 kg at the 2019 UWW Cadet World Championships, and was a runner-up at 164 pounds at the 2018 USMC Junior Folkstyle national Championships.
Check out Auggies Women’s Wrestling at athletics.augsburg.edu.