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Tabithia Ramsey captured her first college national championship title when she won the 2004 U.S. FILA-Junior National title for her 112-pound/51-kilo weight March 14. She was wrestling "in the zone" all weekend, according to her coach. She has only one loss since December.

Goin' to Guatemala: Morris women's wrestler going to Pan Am Games

Morris women's wrestler will represent the USA in Pan Am Games

Tabithia Ramsey, a sophomore on the University of Minnesota, Morris, women's wrestling team, is on her way to Guatemala City, where she will represent the United States in the 2004 Pan American Games May 6-9. "I thought it would never happen to me," says Ramsey. "I am very excited to represent the United States. I'm still in shock. The only bad thing is that I have to cut weight for another month!" The three biggest events in international wrestling are the Olympics, the world championships, and the Pan Am Games. "To compete in any one of the three is an opportunity of a lifetime," says the Cougars' head wrestling coach, Doug Reese. "You do whatever it takes to go. And when you get a taste of the big time--the dream--you want more." Reese says Ramsey is on a mission. "Tabithia is wrestling with a lot of heart and intensity this season," he says. "She is determined to have a great year in what she thought was going to be her last season of [collegiate] wrestling." Both men's and women's wrestling at Morris will end with the 2003-04 season due to difficult budget cuts, but Reese is working hard to find schools where team members can keep developing their potential. Only 32 colleges in the United States and Canada have women's wrestling. "When you are given a talent--a gift--you need to develop it to its fullest," he says. "Tabithia...will have plenty of colleges both in the U.S. and Canada pursuing her." The end of wrestling at Morris is a bittersweet finish for a school that became a national powerhouse for women and men in recent years. In the Cougar women's ten seasons, they produced a total of 137 All-Americans and 27 national champions, as well as 7 national team championships.

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