Missouri is the “Show Me” state, but given Lindenwood’s exceptional 2012-2013 campaign, led by Head Coach Toccara Montgomery, the Lady Lions have nothing to prove. For the second year in a row, the women’s wrestling team finished in fourth place at the Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championship, concluded January 27 in Bristol, Tennessee. Jonas Edward Salk, an American medical researcher and virologist, best known for his discovery and development of the first successful polio vaccine once said, “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” With ten Lindenwood competitors in the top eight of their weight class and earning All-American status, they continue to raise the bar to do more great works.
Ms. Montgomery is in her second season as the head coach of the women’s wrestling program. In her first season at the helm, she led the Lady Lions to a sixth place finish at the 2011 Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Tournament. Her career accomplishments include being a former Olympic wrestler and coach at the University of the Cumberlands. She was a member of the 2004 United States Olympic team and she placed seventh in her weight class at the Athens Games. She was also a member of the national team from 2001-06 and won two United States Senior National Championships. Ms. Montgomery was a two-time silver medalist at the World Championships. In 2001, she was named the FILA International Female Wrestler of the Year, just the third American and first female from the United States to win that honor.
The Lindenwood Athletic department reports at the Cumberlands, Ms. Montgomery helped build the program into one of the top women’s wrestling programs in the nation. While wrestling, she had an incredible perfect 29-0 dual record and won the 2004 Women’s Collegiate National Championship. The program was ranked first or second in the nation from 2004-09, including being ranked first from 2004-06. She served as a graduate assistant coach for the Patriots her last three years there before joining the Lindenwood staff. Ms. Montgomery received an undergraduate degree in Education from the Cumberlands in 2006, and received her master’s in 2009 in Instructional Leadership.
A glimpse at the university and surrounding community helps one understand why the women’s wrestling program has been well nurtured to flourish. Founded in 1827, Lindenwood is a dynamic four-year liberal arts institution dedicated to excellence in higher education. Nestled amid the beautiful linden trees, the historic 500-acre campus is situated in the heart of St. Charles, Missouri, a growing community of 62,000 just northwest of St. Louis. The first American settlers began arriving in the 1790’s. Daniel Boone, the famous frontiersman, became one of the first settlers in St. Charles County by building a home in nearby Defiance in 1799.
The teaching philosophy at the university is dedicated to producing and continually improving a learning-oriented campus culture. At Lindenwood, that culture includes a commitment to a campus-wide general education program that draws from the full range of the university’s curriculum; education of the whole person; development of critical thinking skills and a problem-solving orientation; character education and the encouragement of social responsibility.
Lindenwood relates it is an independent institution firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values. Those values include belief in an ordered, purposeful universe, the dignity of work, the worth and integrity of the individual, the obligations and privileges of citizenship and the primacy of truth.
As destination for almost one million visitors each year, St. Charles history comes alive and the city is very warm and welcoming to visitors. Currently, the City of Saint Charles has 22 parks. These parks offer a wide variety of opportunities from swimming to nature trails. St. Charles is an active community with options for every sports lover and outdoor enthusiast. Whether you want to bike along the scenic Katy riverside trail or experience the thrill of the five-story water slide, all kinds of adventure await you when you visit St. Charles.
A dynamic university, highly credentialed coach and a picturesque supporting community would entice any new recruit. Phenomenal state champion Lisa Gonzalez from Rio Grande City has reportedly signed with Lindenwood. One of the best women’s wrestling programs just got a lot better.
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Sources: Lindenwood Athletic Department, City of St. Charles Visitor’s Bureau, City of St. Charles Website, Wikipedia, Photos courtesy Wikipedia Commons, Examiner.com Themat.com www.greatriverroad.com/stcharles, Lindenwood U Academics, Lindenwood Sports Website.