Menlo College's Kazam wins wrestling title at tournament


Menlo College junior Iman Kazam went 6-0 in the Open 155 Division to claim a wrestling title at the season-opening Blue Chip Open in Oklahoma City on Saturday.

The 10th-ranked Oaks' women's wrestling team, which finished fifth at the national championships a year ago, had 12 top-8 finishes, including a pair of second-place finishes to go with Kazam's title.

Iman Kazam

Precious Bell

Hiba Salem
Solin Piearcy, at 136, and Precious Bell, at 170, each reached the championship match before falling. Hiba Salem (101) and Solove Naufahu (191) placed third; Dionnica Tolliver (130), Tiana Jackson (116) and Marliyn Garcia (143) were fifth; Shelly Avelino (130) and Evonne Evien (170) finished seventh; and Alexandra Christoforatos (109) and Laynee Pasion (123) placed eighth.

Angela Peralta (143) was ninth and Mikayla Abe (109) and Melanie Cordero (136) finished in 11th place.

Kazem's first two matches of the day were 10-0 tech fall wins and the next two were by pin. She needed 1:22 to pin Emmanuel College's Krista Martin and took down Wayland Baptist's Marina Briceno in even less time at 1:12 in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Kazem made quick work of Oklahoma City's Yvonne Galindo, earning a 10-0 tech fall. Her opponent in the finals had to withdraw due to injury default, giving Kazam the title.

Bell opened the tournament with a pair of byes and a pair of victories to reach the quarterfinals, where she beat Bacone College's Cynthia Perez via tech fall. In the semifinals, Bell won a hard-fought 7-0 decision over Olivia Toth of McKendree University and in the finals, she drew Rachel Watters of Oklahoma City University and fell by way of an 11-2 decision to claim second place.

Piearcy won her first six matches. four by tech fall and two by pins. She earned a spot in the finals when her opponent withdrew with an injury and lostto Grays Harbor's Desiree Zavala, 7-4, in the championship.

Solove Naufahu, who took last year off, returned to place third. She won her first two matches by tech fall and then claimed an 8-2 decision in the third round.

In the fourth round and quarterfinals, she earned two more tech fall victories before suffering her first loss of the day in the semifinals to Leilani Camargo-Naone of Midland University.

Naufahu battled back to finish the day strong with a 6-2 decision win to advance to the third place match which she won via tech fall.

Also finishing on the podium was Salem, who picked up all seven of her wins by way of tech fall. She rattled off four consecutive tech fall wins to begin the day.

In the fifth round, Asia Ray of Wayland Baptist defeated Salem by tech fall, 12-1, sending her to the consolation round where she turned things around and picked up three more tech fall wins to earn a third-place finish.

Menlo will compete at the NWCA All-Star Classic in New Jersey on Nov. 5.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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