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U.S. Women's College Pre-Season Individual Rankings released; NMU/USOEC and Univ. of Cumberlands have three No. 1 athletes

Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

The U.S. Women's College Pre-Season Rankings have been released, recognizing the top women's college wrestlers going into the new 2006-07 season.

This year, a monthly individual ranking will be released during the women's college season, running from October through March. In addition, a monthly poll of the top college teams will be released, beginning in November.

The ranking includes full-time undergraduate college students who compete on women's college varsity teams, women's college wrestling clubs or are members of their men's college varsity programs. Also ranked are full-time undergraduate students who compete for with the USOEC program at Northern Michigan Univ.

The women's college season gets underway next week, as a number of college students will compete the Sunkist Kids International Open in Chandler, Ariz., Oct. 26-28. There will be a full season of tournaments and dual meets featuring the women's college programs during the winter.

The U.S. women's college season concludes with the annual U.S. Women's College National Championships, set for Oklahoma City Univ. in Oklahoma City, Okla. on March 15.

Last year, the University of the Cumberlands won the team title at the U.S. Women's College Nationals, with Missouri Valley College finishing second and Pacific Univ. placing third.

Many of the college women wrestlers are also expected to excel in the major USA Wrestling national and international events in the spring and summer.

Three of the top-ranked athletes in the pre-season college rankings compete for the U.S. Olympic Education Center program at Northern Michigan Univ: Alyssa Lampe at 105.5 pounds, Whitney Conder at 112.25 pounds and Amy Borgnini at 121 pounds. Conder won a gold medal and Lampe won a bronze medal at the 2007 Junior World Championships. Borgnini currently holds a No. 4 ranking on the Senior level.

The Univ. of the Cumberlands has three top-ranked athletes, Melissa Gerard at 97 pounds, Paige Rife at 147.5 pounds and Theresa Fennell at 176 pounds. Rife was a member of the 2007 Junior World Team.

Missouri Valley College athletes who earned No. 1 preseason rankings were Emily Rinehart at 138.75 pounds and Leah Paige at 209 pounds.

Other pre-season No. 1 ranked wrestlers are Kelsey Campbell of Arizona State at 130 pounds and Melissa Simmons of Oklahoma City Univ. at 158.5 pounds.

Campbell is among the three U.S. Women's College national champions from last year who are included in the pre-season ranking, along with No. 2 ranked Jackie Stiles of the Univ. of the Cumberlands at 105.5 pounds and Othella Lucas of the Univ. of the Cumberlands at 130 pounds.

Click here for U.S. Women's College Pre-Season Rankings for Oct. 16

For more information on women's college wrestling, visit:
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