American Samoa athlete making a name for herself in wrestling
Erie, PENNSYLVANIA — The 2021 NCAA Women’s College Wrestling season began well for 2018 Leone High School Valedictorian Stephanie Floor who placed second at 143 lbs with 3 wins and 1 loss at the Adrian College Women’s Wrestling Invitational at Adrian, Michigan.
Both Stephanie and her twin sister Danielle are most noted for their success in Beach Handball as members of American Samoa’s 2017 U17 Women’s Beach Handball Oceania Championship team and as members of the 2018 Youth Olympic U18 Women’s Beach Handball Team.
Stephanie and Danielle also both wrestle for Gannon University, located in Erie Pennsylvania. Both sisters are graduates of Lupelele Elementary School and Leone High School and grew up in Iliili, members of the Sagapolutele family.
Stephanie began her day with an exciting seesaw battle, which led to a 12 to 10 victory over 17th ranked Megan Vondrasek. Both wrestlers traded takedowns over the course of two periods with Stephanie gaining an advantage as time ran out for the win.
Floor started her second match missing a takedown to Adrian College’s Brooklyn Slate who was able to gain a 2 point advantage. After restarting Stephanie was able to secure a double leg take down to even the score at 2 to 2. With 58 second remaining in the period Floor secured her second takedown for a 4 to 2 advantage and proceeded to expose Slate’s back to the mat. With 7 seconds remaining in the period the referee finally awarded Floor the pin for her second win.
Up next was Zoe Nowicki who was ranked 7th last year at 136lbs but has since bumped up to 146lbs and ranked 3rd by the NCAA. Nowicki scored an early takedown and after securing Stephanie’s legs managed to expose her back 3 times for an 8-0 advantage. Another takedown secured the win for Nowicki at 10-0.
“When I saw her name in my bracket I knew it was going to be tough,” said Floor She added “I wrestled her last year at 136lbs and she is strong and very experienced. She blew through the competition pinning or tech falling everyone. I’m sure I’ll see her again at Nationals and I have a few months to be ready.”
Floor ended her day with a 10 – 0 tech fall over Shaylyn Eggleston. At 1:16 seconds of the first period she scored on a single leg takedown and with 1:08 remaining in the 1st period Floor scored on another single leg takedown while exposing Eggleston’s back twice for an 8-0 advantage. After 1 minute into the second and final period Floor scored another takedown to secure a 10-0 tech fall win.
Stephanie said, “We still train and play handball and my sister and I look forward to meeting our new team mates who are training back home,” explained Stephanie. She added, ”It felt good to represent my home in wrestling today. We had to wear masks and I wore the American Samoa flag mask my dad sent.”