ST. GEORGE — Corrie Williams of Enterprise, a sophomore on the Snow College women’s wrestling team, became the Badgers’ first-ever national champion when she won the 136-pound division at the NJCAA National Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday.

Snow College sophomore Corrie Williams (center) stands atop the medals podium after taking first place in the 136-pound women’s division of the NJCAA National Finals, Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 2, 2024 | Image courtesy of NJCAA, St. George News

Williams, who entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, faced No. 2 seed Malia Kehne of Carl Albert State College in the finals of the 136-pound bracket. With 1:52 remaining in the second round, Williams went ahead by 10 points (13-3) and was declared the winner via superior decision.

Earlier in the tournament, Williams won her round of 16 match via fall and her quarterfinals match via technical fall. Then, in the semifinals, she faced Tarnpreet Saroya of Umpqua, with that match ending when Saroya sustained an injury after being taken down 30 seconds into the first round. 

In a telephone interview with St. George News on Monday, Snow Canyon head coach Ross Taylor described the process by which Williams had bounced back late in the season after being out for two weeks with a concussion she’d sustained during practice.

Taylor said he reminded Williams to focus on things within her control.

“Worry about the things that you have control over and everything else will work out,” he said. “It was fun to watch her go through that process and just focus on herself and not worry about anything else, just enjoying the journey and the last two weeks of practice.”

When she returned to practice, Williams was “calm, collective and confident,” her coach added.

Chart displays results of the NJCAA finals of the women’s 136-pound division, won by Snow College sophomore Corrie Williams at Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 2, 2024 | Image courtesy of, St. George News

“Going into nationals, it was more of the same,” Taylor said. “She continued to focus on herself and control the things that she could control. Let the things you can’t control slip out of your mind. There’s no sense of stressing over those things. 

And it was fun. She wrestled well and got the job done.”

Taylor noted that the Snow College women’s wrestling program just wrapped up its second year of existence with an 8-4 overall record, which included six wins against ranked teams. 

“Last year was the first year of our program,” he said. “We took 10 girls to nationals and ended up with three All-Americans: Ashlea Larson, Corrie Williams and Angella Van Valkenburg. This year, we’ve taken 16 girls to nationals and we had seven all-Americans, with Corrie Williams being a national champ.”

Besides Williams, Snow’s other six all-Americans, who each placed among the top six in their respective brackets, are as follows: Abigail Trayhorn (second place at 145 pounds), Jennifer Thomas (fifth place at 101 pounds), Rachel Jones (fifth place at 109 pounds), Valentina Martinez (fifth place at 123 pounds), Angella Van Valkenburg (fifth place at 155 pounds), and Hannah Broderick (sixth place at 170 pounds).

Photo shows Corrie Williams, Snow College sophomore wrestler and winner of the 136-pound division of the 2024 NJCAA National Championship, date and location of photo not specified | Image courtesy of Snow College Athletics, St. George News

Other Snow Canyon team members who competed at nationals were Leilani Milla (101 pounds), Melbourne Earl (109), Samantha Memmott (116), Rylee Turnbow (123), Sarah Trunell (130), Hallie Carter (136), Lily Polvado (143), Teagan Moss (170) and Audrey Gribble (190). Earl and Carter are both freshmen from the Cedar City area, graduating from Cedar High and Canyon View, respectively.

“I’m extremely proud of the way this team competed,” Taylor said in a news release published by Snow College Athletics on Monday. “In life and in sports, you can’t always control the outcome, but you can control your effort.  The effort this team put in at Nationals and throughout the season was inspiring.”

Williams said in the same news release that she approached the NJCAA Nationals with confidence.

“I went into the tournament knowing I had the capability of winning it all,” Williams said.  “That is what I have been aiming for throughout the entire season. After being named an All-American last season, I didn’t want to settle for that again this year. I knew I could win the National Title, and I had a great support system that helped me reach that goal.”

Williams also gave credit to her coach and teammates.

“The National Title isn’t just mine,” she said. “It belongs to Coach Taylor. It belongs to the sophomores who started this program two years ago. It belongs to the rest of my teammates who pushed me every day to be my best. They have all helped me become a better wrestler, and I owe this title to them.”

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