Mason returns for wrestling Tournament of ChampionsBy: Steven Wilson,
2016 Women’s West Coast Tournament of Champions
When: Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 17-18
Where: Hardwood Palace; Located at 1091 Tinker Road in Rocklin
Who: The top female wrestlers across 40 high school teams and six collegiate institutions, including 2016 Woodcreek grad Lauren Mason
For the first time since leaving for Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada this past August, Woodcreek alum Lauren Mason is back in Placer County.
The California State wrestling champion and first-ever four-time Sac-Joaquin Section Masters champion will don her collegiate headgear and uniform inside Hardwood Palace in Rocklin for the second-annual Women's West Coast Tournament of Champions (WWCTOC) this weekend.
Thanks to sponorship from Placer Valley Tourism, the Sacramento Area Wrestling Association (SAWA), and title sponsor Cliff Keen Wrestling, this premier, all-female high school and collegiate wrestling event will feature some of the top competitors in the region.
“I fly in Saturday morning, so it’s going to be a jam-packed weekend, but I’m excited,” Mason explained. “I’m excited to be back home for ten days, spend time with my family and see all of my old friends.”
Mason, a three-time prep All-American, is the beneficiary of a new, collegiate open division, which was added this year to the tournament’s schedule on Sunday, Dec. 18. The addition brings in a handful of new participants, which means more eyeballs from collegiate scouts and coaches, like Mason’s coach at SFU, Mike Jones.
"Simon Fraser is currently the No. 1 ranked dual meet team in the country and the second overall team in the nation,” Jones acknowledged. "It should be a great match with Menlo College's top athletes (this weekend) and we are very excited to be entered in a new West Coast event.”
"Along with Woodcreek alum Lauren Mason, we have two other Northern Californians, Dominique Parrish from Scotts Valley and Mallory Velte from Christian Brothers in Sacramento who will be competing," added Jones. "The timing is perfect as these girls will be right near home in time for the holidays."
Eastern Oregon University, Menlo College, University of the Cumberlands, Grays Harbor College, Warner Pacific College and Southwestern Oregon Community College have all committed to attending and the majority of those schools will have collegiate wrestlers suit up and hit the mat.
But before the collegiate grapplers battle for West Coast supremacy, the varsity and junior varsity prep wrestlers entertain the crowds Sat., Dec. 17. Currently, more than 40 teams are scheduled to compete in 14 weight divisions ranging from 101 to 235 pounds.
Cliff Keen is providing exclusive singlets for finalists, and champions will receive custom backpacks, while top placers will be awarded high quality medals.
With so much hardware on hand, the WWCTOC promises to make history in style.