Photo: NJCAA

Gilmore named The Open Mat's NJCAA Women's Freshman of the Year

The Open Mat presents awards annually in three categories for each division of college wrestling at the conclusion of the season. Awards are presented for Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

The Open Mat's 2024 NJCAA Women's Freshman of the Year is Genesis Gilmore of Indian Hills.

Gilmore captured the NJCAA women's national championship at 155 pounds in her first season representing the Warriors. She came to Indian Hills from Clarksville, Tennessee, where she competed for Montgomery Central High School and was a state champion and four-time state medalist. Gilmore had an outstanding first season in college, compiling a 19-3 record, with two of her losses coming against NCAA wrestlers and the other loss one she avenged at the 2024 NJCAA Women's Wrestling Invitational. She finished the season with nine technical falls and seven pins. Gilmore defeated several All-Americans this season, including 2023 national champion Ferny Hernandez of Iowa Western, Kylie Hulse of Carl Albert, Jennifer De La Torre of Umpqua and Angella Van Valkenburg of Snow.

She entered the NJCAA Women's Wrestling Invitational as the No. 6 seed and defeated three ranked wrestlers en route to winning the national championship. Gilmore pinned her way into the finals (including pins over the No. 2 and No. 3 wrestlers) before facing the returning champion Hernandez for the second time this season. Hernandez won the first meeting by technical fall at the Luther Hill Open, but Gilmore avenged the loss in the national finals with a technical fall.