OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Two Pennsylvania wrestlers left the 2018 Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championships with hardware as Mariah Harris (Johnstown, PA/Campbellsville) finished as runner-up at 170 lbs. and Francesca Giorgio (Reading, PA/Simon Fraser) took third at 136 lbs.
Mariah Harris, who competed in Pennsylvania at Greater Johnstown High School, is in her sophomore season at Women’s Wrestling power program Campbellsville University in Kentucky. It was the second straight All-American finish for Harris who placed seventh last season at 155 lbs. Mariah entered the 2018 Championships ranked 4th in the Nation by WCWA but had a tough draw into the finals. In the Championship quarterfinals Harris took on Dymond Guilford of Missouri Baptist who defeated Harris twice already this season. Guilford defeated Harris at the Missouri Valley Open back in November 2017 in the quarterfinals and third place match (8-2) and (6-3). Three months later it was Harris who got the best of Guilford in the quarterfinals earning a four pointer – after giving up a point for being put on the shot clock. Harris was in on a high crotch when she lifted Guilford and dropped her to the mat exposing her back and going up (4-1). She held on for a (4-3) victory after giving up two push-out points.
Her run didn’t stop there as Harris took on top seed and the #1 ranked wrestler in the Nation at 170 lbs. Rachel Watters of Oklahoma City. Harris upset Watter in her home gym thanks to a wild second period where she scored all nine of her points with a four point throw and two takedowns. Harris fought off a late push by Watters who scored four points in the last thirty seconds with Mariah winning (9-5).
In the finals she took on second seed and the #2 ranked wrestler by the WCWA – Brittany Marshall (Wayland Baptist). Harris gave up a four pointer early in the first period but stormed back with a takedown in the first and tacked on another point after Marshall was put on the shot clock but failed to connect. Down (4-3) late in the second, Harris secured a takedown when Marshall attempted to throw her, going up (5-4). With time running out Marshall attempted a double leg and with two seconds left in the match hit a boot scoot from her knees to shock Harris (6-5) for the Championship.
Making her fourth trip to the WCWA Nationals Francesca Giorgio (Wilson West Lawn) became a 4x WCWA All-American as she took third at 136 lbs. Giorgio placed at 136 lbs. in four straight years finishing fifth in 2015, third in 2016, and fourth in 2017. Giorgio was seeded and ranked #3 going into the Championships. In the semifinals Giorgio fell to Desiree Zavala (Grays Harbor) for the second time this season losing by technical superiority (12-1). She bounced back with two solid wins to take third matching her highest finish in 2016.
Full results can be found on the FloArena here.