For the first time in the state's history, there will an Iowa High School girls state wrestling tournament and 18 girls from the Siouxland area will be competing in the historic event.
The IWCOA first girls state tournament takes place Saturday at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. The championship by the IWCOA marks the end of the second season in which IHSAA members offered females the opportunity to compete in girls' division.
The tournament begins at 10:30 a.m. at Waverly-Shell Rock High School and will feature 10 weight classes (106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 152, 170, 195 and 285) and the top six place-winners will be recognized in each weight class. The top three teams will also be recognized. All of the brackets can be found on trackwrestling.com.
Le Mars is sending the most girls from the Siouxland area to the state tournament with four - Jaycee Davison (120 pounds), Josie Matgen, Claire Ohlrichs (195) and Jacenta Sargisson. Matgen and Sargisson were both ranked at 170 in the inaugural rankings by IAwrestle.com - Sargisson at No. 3 and Matgen at No. 4.
Ridge View's Karen Meyer is ranked right behind those two at 170 at No. 5.
Sioux Central has three wrestlers - Morgan Griffin, Dannie Richardson and Katy Unger - who will compete at state and Hinton has two wrestlers at state as does Kingsley-Pierson - Shae Muecke (113) and Serenity Rex (182) - each at state.
Hinton's Karley Havener is ranked No. 5 at 113 pounds and Madison Goosmann is ranked No. 5 at 152 pounds.
The Metro schools will be represented by East's Yareli Morales and West's Kada Webb. Both will wrestle at 120 pounds.
Spencer's Hailie Vlaminck (145), Denison-Schleswig's Evelyn Henschen (145), West Lyon's Summer Landen-Allen (106) and GTRA's Madison Petersen (126) will all be competing at state, also.
The IHSAA press release said 93 girls participated in wrestling in the 2017-18 season and that number jumped to 187 girls this season, a 101-percent increase. The sport has grown from 36 wrestlers from the 2013-2014 season. It grew to 41 in 2014-15 and then 67 in 2015-16. When the sport grew to 93 in 2016-17, it stayed at that number for 2017-18 before doubling in size this season.
Denver has had the highest participation this season with 17 female wrestlers, Osage has 13 and Waverly-Shell Rock has 11.
Iowa has had 20 former female high school wrestlers move on to the next level, including Kingsley-Pierson graduate Rachel Dreeszen, who wrestled at Waldorf University, which competed at NAIA. She is one of 20 female wrestlers who competed in college.
Kingsley-Pierson's Shae Muecke, a senior, already has committed to wrestle for Lakeland University in Wisconsin, which competes at the NCAA Division III level.