Iowa girls to have their own state wrestling tournament

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The state tourney medals won in 2016 by Perry's Gisaveri Niyibizi, Kade VanKirk and Zach Thompson. On Jan. 19 Iowa girls will have the chance to earn medals at the own state tournament.

WAVERLY, IA — The Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA) recently announced the inaugural Girls Wrestling Championships will be held Jan. 19 at Waverly-Shell Rock.

IHSAA member schools began officially offering girls the chance to compete in their own division two years ago. All eligible girls competing on wrestling teams sponsored by the IHSAA and listed as team members on the official roster will be eligible to participate. The tourney will count as one of 17 competition dates allowed each season by IHSAA rules.

Weigh-ins for the girls state tourney will be held at 8:30 a.m. with wrestling to begin at 10:30 a.m. The top six place winners in each of 10 weight classes (106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 152, 170, 195 and 285) will be recognized, as will the top three teams (each team limited to 10 participants).

There are currently 164 girls competing in Iowa, a number that has quadrupled in the past five years. Ogden and Independence made state history last season by offering in-season girls’ divisions.

Nationally the numbers have doubled since 2014, with more than 16,000 girls competing in the 2017-18 season, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

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