It took one year and one strategic move to make former Culver Girls Academy wrestler Kayla Miracle ’14 a national champion.
In her first year wrestling for the Campbellsville University (Ky.) women’s team, Miracle won the 136-pound title at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association finals in St. Louis, Mo., on Valentine’s Day. Her individual title helped Campbellsville finish second in the team competition. The Tigers, in just their second year of existence, are coached by Miracle’s father, Lee.
Miracle has been ranked No. 1 at 130 pounds, but bumped up to 136 pounds for the tournament. She dominated her weekend competition with a pin and two tech falls Friday and an 8-2 decision early Saturday.
However, in the championship match, she faced a much taller Shai Mason of Jamestown University (N.D.), who was able to hold off Miracle’s shots. The freshman was able to score two takedowns for the 4-0 championship win.
“I’ve been wrestling up pretty much all year for duals, so I was used to the heavier competition … (Mason) was heavy the entire time, and I couldn’t finish, but then the last go was just a scramble, and I like to scramble,” Kayla Miracle said.
Campbellsville finished with 196 points, one point better than defending champion Oklahoma City. King’s University won the tournament with 269 points.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity this year as a team, and no one would have ever thought a second-place finish was possible,” Kayla Miracle said, “but we’re really stepping up as a team.”
Miracle made history while at Culver, becoming the only girl wrestler in Indiana history to advance to the individual state wrestling finals. Her warm-up partner at the state finals was Sarah Hildebrandt of nearby Penn High School. Hildebrandt, now wrestling at King’s, won the 123-pound weight class title.
Information provided by Chris Megginson, Campbellsville University