(Editor's note: University of Providence media release)
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Two University of Providence women's wrestlers placed in the top five of the 101-pound weight class at the NAIA National Invitational in Jamestown, N.D. on Saturday. Ivy Navarro earned a second-place finish, while her sister Ira claimed fifth place.
"I couldn't be more proud of those two," head coach Matt Atwood said. "They had good attitudes all weekend. They've been positive. It's been awesome."
After losing in the first round to the top seed, Ira Navarro climbed back through the consolation bracket to reach All-American status Friday. On Day Two she fell to Madison Brown (Texas Wesleyan) before defeating Devyn Gomez (Life) in the fifth-place match.
"Ira battled all the way back on the back side to get to the placing rounds," Atwood said. "She came out on top in her last match. That's the best I've seen her wrestle and it happened in the hardest match she's ever wrestled. She ended on a good note."
Her sister Ivy has been tearing it up all tournament. She had advanced the entire tournament via technical falls until the championship, where she was pinned by top-seeded Nina Pham (Wayland Baptist).
"Ivy has been focused on the mission all weekend," Atwood said. "She's been on it. I think we could have performed a little better during the championship. She knows what she can do better. Ivy cruised through everybody in the tournament ... until the championship."
The championship experience left a positive taste for the nine wrestlers who qualified for the tournament; all but one are expected to return next season, including both Navarro sisters. In a season with so few matches, wrestling against the top competition left the team hungry for more.
"There's a lot of work that goes into getting to this point, but I'm excited for our team to get here again," Atwood said. "We're going to have a great team next year. I think we can definitely break into that elite program status next year."