The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Location: Cowles Fieldhouse, Event: NCWWC Regional Tournament

Abby Hintz
Hicks will wrestle at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling National Championships scheduled for March 8-9 at the prestigious Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids.

For the second year in a row, the Simpson College women’s wrestling team is sending a wrestler to the national tournament. Emme Hicks placed fourth at 101 pounds and helped the women’s wrestling team place fourth overall.    

The Storm finished with 71 team points and finished behind No. 2 Iowa (220), No. 4 McKendree (193) and No. 22 Lindenwood (106). Finishing behind the Storm were two other Division III schools, who were both ranked: No. 11 William Jewell (63.5) and No. 16 Wartburg (61). The other schools at the tournament were Quincy, who placed 7th, Buena Vista, who placed 8th and Eureka, who placed 9th.

Wrestlers had to place in the top four to qualify for the national tournament. Falling short by one place and finishing their seasons with 20 or more wins were Storm wrestlers Sarah Zimmerman (24), Jalynn Goodale (21), Keeley Kehrli (23) and Kassidee Savaria (27). 

Hicks fell in the first match, 10-0, and was able to wrestle back with two straight wins, one against Megan Valdez of Lindenwood by a score of 8-5 and one against Kiona Conner of McKendree by earning a 10-0 technical fall. She fell to McKendree’s Lizette Rodriguez, who was ranked No. 5, 4-0 in the third-place match.

Hicks is a 2023 graduate of Saline High School in Michigan. In high school, she was a two-time All-American, a three-time Michigan State Champion and was a four-time All-Stater. She placed fifth at the 2021 and 2022 World Team Trials and was named the 2023 Michigan Most Outstanding Wrestler.

This is Hick’s 12th year wrestling. She got into wrestling after her older cousin invited her to his wrestling practices, and since then, she’s fallen in love with the sport and hasn’t looked back. Her coaches and her mom are her inspirations for continuing to wrestle, stating she receives unbelievable support from her coaches, and her mom has been her number-one supporter since she started wrestling.

Hick’s favorite part about wrestling is learning everything about wrestling and competing at a high level with the people she cares about and the people who care about her.

One of Hick’s goals for the season was to make nationals and wrestle to the best of her ability, which she accomplished. Her goal for nationals is to be an All-American and place. She wants to go and show everyone her ability by wrestling her best.

“I feel really good. I work really hard, and I’m glad that it showed on the mat,” Hicks said.

Hicks will wrestle at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling National Championships scheduled for March 8-9 at the prestigious Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids. 

Jenna Joseph was the first qualifier in program history last year and commented on Hicks making the tournament.

“I am really proud of Emme,” she said. “Qualifying for nationals as a freshman in arguably the toughest region for college women is not an easy thing.” 

Joseph went on to give advice to the first-year: “Go out and have fun. It’s an amazing experience and definitely something I wish I had been in the moment more for. Also, do not put too much pressure on yourself. You have three more years to get to where you want to be, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get there now.”

This was the first time Cowles Fieldhouse was the location for the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Region V Championship.

“There’s always additional pressure when you’re hosting a postseason event,” Emma Christensen, director of athletics communication, said in an email. “We all wanted to make sure we put our best foot forward as a host institution, and I think we accomplished that.”

Christensen’s responsibilities as director of athletics communication for Simpson consisted of helping before the event. She assisted with general planning, prepared promotional materials for the website and venue and coordinated all media requests. 

During the event, she oversaw media personnel, helped coordinate the awards ceremony and was around for general troubleshooting.

How was Simpson picked to host the regional tournament in the first place? The National Wrestlers Coaches Association asked Simpson to host, and after submitting bid documents, Simpson was selected as the host institution. Even though Simpson has hosted the tournament this year, it is still possible to host it again.

Marty Bell, Simpson’s athletic director, was tasked with conducting two organizational meetings prior to the tournament to ensure all requirements for hosting the tournament were met. 

 Requirements included event operations (concessions and admissions), medical coverage, statistical and video coverage, available practice and meeting spaces and hospitality rooms for coaches and tournament officials.

“There were added responsibilities to my administrative staff and medical staff,”   Bell commented on the added pressure of hosting the tournament in an email. “Additionally, this required extra setup and tear down of the Cowles facility and adjustment to normal usage operations. My staff did a superb job of hosting a first-class event that provided an excellent student-athlete experience.”

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Abby Hintz, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief & Layout Editor

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