Lange, Lekas win U23 national titles, leading Augsburg women’s wrestlers at USA Wrestling USMC Women’s Nationals

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two Augsburg University women’s wrestlers claimed under-23 national titles, among nine top-six individual finishes at the USA Wrestling/United States Marine Corps Women’s Nationals, held over the weekend at The Podium in Spokane.

Katie Lange (SO, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS), who claimed her first collegiate national title with the 143-pound crown at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships in March, won the U23 national title at 68 kilograms (150 pounds) on Saturday, beating Auggie teammate Nina Makem (SO, Shakopee, Minn./Shakopee HS) in a best-of-three finals, winning 4-2 and 2-2 (criteria). Lange reached the finals with a 10-0 technical fall win over Eleni Fakaosi (Simon Fraser) and a 6-4 win over Chloe Odgen (N.C.), while Makem scored 10-0 technical falls of Abigail Trayhorn (Utah) and Tiera Jimerson (North Central) to reach the finals.

Ashley Lekas (SO, Plano, Texas/Plano West HS), returning to action for the first time since December, won the U23 national title at 76 kg (168 pounds), scoring a pair of shutouts, 2-0 and 5-0, over NAIA national runner-up Joye Levendusky (Southern Oregon), in the best-of-three finals. Lekas opened her tournament with a 10-0 technical fall over Nikita Dhaliwal (California), then scored a 10-0 win over Augsburg teammate Brooklyn Hays (FY, Lindon, Utah/Pleasant Grove HS). She reached the finals with a 6-3 win over Tristan Kelly (Colorado Mesa/Army WCAP) in the semifinals.

Hays, who finished in sixth place at the 2023 NCWWC national meet at 170 pounds, went 4-1 with two pins to finish in third place at 76 kg, while 2023 NCWWC 155-pound national titlist Marlynne Deede (SR, Springville, Utah/Springville HS), a four-time collegiate All-American, finished sixth in the weight class, going 2-2 with a pin and technical fall.

Gabrielle Torgerson (SR, Spooner, Wis../Cumberland HS), who finished in eighth place at the 2023 NCWWC nationals at 123 pounds for her fourth collegiate All-American honor, finished in third place at 55 kg (121 pounds), going 4-1 with a 31-second pin and 11-0 technical fall. She scored a 10-1 win over Mia Macaluso (East Stroudsburg) in the third-place match.

Three Augsburg wrestlers finished in the top four in their weight classes at the U20 Women’s Nationals on Sunday. At 68 kg, Makem finished in third place, going 4-1. All four of her wins were by shutout technical fall victories, as she outscored her opponents 41-3 in the tournament. Lange finished in fourth place at 68 kg, going 4-1 with two pins and a technical fall.

At 76 kg, Hays finished in third place in the U20 bracket, going 4-1 with three technical falls. She topped Sabrina Nauss (Michigan) 14-11 in the third-place match.

Former Augsburg standout Emily Shilson won the U23 50 kg weight class.

USMC Women’s National Championships Brackets/Results on

Check out Auggies Women’s Wrestling at