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March 19, 2013

Boosting women's college wrestling

Ex-Whittier star Constantine thriving on, off mat at King College

If she’s interested, there could definitely be college wrestling in the future for North Andover senior Danielle Coughlin.

And King College (Bristol, Tenn.) junior Shannon Constantine, for one, encourages Coughlin to pursue it.

Constantine, you’ll remember, is the former Whittier Tech standout who, even more than Phillips Academy grad Kassie Archambault before her. paved the path that Coughlin followed.

At Whittier, Constantine compiled a three-year record of 61-34 and had an outstanding senior season, going 28-3 with 15 pins. That last year, she was Outstanding Wrestler at the Tyngsboro Tournament and may have preceded Coughlin as the first-ever girl state champ if she hadn’t suffered a season-ending concussion.

Constantine also fared well at national tournaments, winning the Girls High School Nationals in Michigan, an accomplishment that caught the eye of King coach Jason Moorman.

“We were looking at a girl from Virginia and Shannon beat her and really impressed me,” said Moorman. “I liked the aggressive way she went after it.”

That led to a partial scholarship offer, which she gladly accepted. She had wanted to wrestle in college anyway and King College proved a golden opportunity. It’s one that she would urge Coughlin, or anyone in her situation, to pursue.

“I would encourage anyone to give it a try,” said Constantine. “It’s a great experience to be a college athlete. If you have goals, it’s for you and you get to travel and do a lot that you can’t do as a (regular) student. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Constantine’s goal is to be a national (woman’s) champion and Moorman believes she can do it next year. She has a three-year record of 31-11 and finished fourth this year at 101 pounds at the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association nationals.

“I feel I’ve gotten better and improved a lot, but I still need to get better,” said Constantine.

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