Adaugo Nwachukwu in action at the 2024 NAIA Women’s Wrestling Championships in Jamestown, N.D
Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Adaugo Nwachukwu in action at the 2024 NAIA Women’s Wrestling Championships in Jamestown, N.D

Athlete of Week

Adaugo Nwachukwu named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week presented by U.S. Air Force Special Warfare

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

Adaugo Nwachukwu (San Jose, Calif./William Penn University) has been named the USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week, presented by U.S. Air Force Special Warfare, on March 13, 2024.


Nwachukwu powered her way through the 136-pound field at the 2024 NAIA Women’s Wrestling Championships in Jamestown, N.D., on her way to individual national title No. 3, and her first under the William Penn banner. Nwachukwu won two NAIA crowns for Iowa Wesleyan University before the school was shut down last year and she was forced to transfer programs.


Entering as the top seed and heavy favorite in her weight class, Nwachukwu lived up to the hype. She pinned all five of her opponents across the two-day event, including a first-period pin over Zaynah McBryde of Life University in the championship match. Only two of Nwachukwu’s five matches made it to the second period, with her quickest pin clocking in at 28-seconds.  


Nwachukwu was an instrumental ingredient in William Penn’s fourth-place finish in the team race. The Statesmen picked up three individual champions—Nwachukwu, Mia Palumbo at 109 pounds and Ashley Lekas at 170 pounds—the most of any program. All three women were new faces to the ascending program this season—Nwachukwu and Palumbo both transferring from Iowa Wesleyan and Lekas coming in after a stint at Augsburg.


Two athletes joined the NAIA three-timer club last weekend, becoming the third and fourth women to achieve the feat. Southern Oregon’s Carolina Moreno won the 130-pound title, her third, moments before Nwachukwu took the mat for her final. Both women are juniors in eligibility and can return for a chance at fourth titles next season, a feat no one has accomplished. Peyton Prussin and Dymond Guilford complete the list of three-time NAIA women’s wrestling champions.  


Nwachukwu will be a top contender at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials which will be held at Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. next month. She was a U.S. Open champion and Final X runner-up last year, and holds a U20 World bronze medal from 2022.


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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