Madison Nieuwenhuis atop the 101-pound podium at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.
Sam Janicki

Madison Nieuwenhuis atop the 101-pound podium at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.

Athlete of Week

Madison Nieuwenhuis named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Madison Nieuwenhuis (Plainwell, Mich./ Michigan Grappler RTC) has been named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on Jan. 4, 2024.


The 15-year-old phenom dominated the 101-pound women’s bracket at the 59th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, a tournament that featured seven NCAA programs ranked in the top 15 of the NWCA NCAA Coaches Poll, including the defending NCWWC champions North Central College.


Currently a sophomore at Plainwell High School and ranked No. 2 in the National Girls High School Rankings at 100 pounds, Nieuwenhuis defeated three tough opponents at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., over the holiday weekend to top the Midlands podium. She opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Lock Haven’s Emma Heslin, prior to pinning Wyoming Seminary’s Lisa Pastoriza in the semifinals and North Central’s Madison Avila in the championship match. Avila is the defending NCWWC national champion at the weight class.


Prior to adding a Midlands crown to her ledger, 2023 has been a breakout season for Nieuwenhuis. She capped her freshman campaign for Plainwell with a MHSAA high school state title, earned top prize at the 16U Women’s Nationals in Fargo, N.D., won her bout at the FloWrestling Who’s Number One showcase event, and earned championship honors at the Super 32.


To nominate a wrestler for this honor please email the athlete's name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments, and career accolades to communications@usawrestling.org.

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