Morales earns NAIA Women's Freshman of the Year honors

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 NAIA Women's Freshman of the Year is Paige Morales of Providence.

As a true freshman, the Fresno, California native earned All-America honors at 109 pounds with a fourth-place finish. She compiled a 23-9 record with 14 technical falls, six pins and a 91% bonus rate.

Morales won her first tournament title in early December at Battle of the Rockies over All-American Kayla McKinley-Johnson of Menlo. She claimed a title at the Warrior Open and was runner-up at North Central Open. Morales went 3-0 at the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament, which included a 4-3 finals victory over multiple-time All-American Emma Baertlein of Southern Oregon.

At the 2024 NAIA Women's National Championships, the fourth-seeded Morales reached the semifinals before losing to national champion Mia Palumbo of William Penn. She rebounded to beat second-seeded Alexsys Jacquez of St. Mary in the consolation semifinals before falling to Baertlein in the third-place match.