By: Breanna Mathes
Wrestling, a highly physical sport typically thought of for boys, is now being organized for girls in Missouri! Missouri is now the ninth state in the nation that has girls wrestling at the high school level. Furthermore, girls wrestling is now one of the fastest growing sports in the state! MSHSAA has now approved of this sport, and its growth and development is really showing.
Girls have always been able to wrestle, but they’ve had to do so with boys. Gender-separated girls wrestling recently passed with 202 in favor and 41 against.
This year, Missouri hosted its first girls state wrestling tournament in mid-February. Claira Wampler, a sophomore from Farmington High School, placed fourth among many other competitors. Like many high school females, Wampler is setting the stage for more girl wrestlers to take part in the sport.
When asked the basics of wrestling for those who don’t know, Wampler said: “The basics of wrestling is there is 2 people on the mat. Your goal is (to) get the other person to their back which is a pin but through that process of getting them to their back you score points for certain things….Whoever has the most points wins the match. Wrestling is as much a mental sport as it is a physical sport or even more and not everyone can understand this amazing sport.”
“How long have you been wrestling?”
“I have been wrestling since 7th grade but in 8th grade, I started doing off-season wrestling after the school season was over and I continued to still do that to this day.”
“Was the district tournament this year the first all-girls wrestling tournament you’ve ever competed in?”
“Yes and no. Yes because it was my first all-girls tournament for school season but no because I have competed in the school season boy/girls KC stampede and then off-season tournament with USA Wrestling including folkstyle and freestyle state.”
“What does it mean to you that girls wrestling is now being organized in Missouri?”
“Now that girls wrestling has been organized in Missouri it has opened very many opportunities for me to see some equal matches and succeed further.”
“What are your goals for State? Will it be an all-girls tournament?”
“My Goal for State is to place 1st, (state champ), and yes it will be an all-girls state tournament competition.”
“Is there anything else you would like to add?”
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me! My hard work has paid off and I was able to place 4th at the first ever girls state in Missouri and be the first girl at Farmington to be a state medalist. Even though it’s not the place I planned on I have time to make a comeback for next season.”
All in all, it sounds like girls wrestling is truly growing! It is showing great potential and promise. Imagine how much it will develop in the