Two Jayettes, one Hawk wrestle at girls state tournament

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The popularity of girls wrestling continues to blossom in Iowa, as evidenced by the 457 entrants to the 2021 state tourney, held in Coralville. Those numbers are up from 87 entrants in 2019 and 350 last season. Photo submitted

CORALVILLE — Taylor Atwell and Martha Turrado from Perry were joined by Woodward-Granger’s Charity Mickles in competing recently at the IWOCA Girls State Wrestling Tournament.

Atwell (5-8) finished 4-2 at 106 pounds, with all four of her victories coming by pin fall, while Turrado (1-5) was in action at 138 pounds. She dropped a 5-9 decision and was then eliminated by fall in her first trip to the state event.

Mickles (12-6) was 4-2 for W-G at 120 pounds. She recorded a trio of wins by pin and also earned a 12-4 major decision.

Despite the COVID pandemic girls wrestling continues to explode, in both popularity and participation — and critically, in depth of talent — with each passing year.

Only 67 girls competed in Iowa five years ago, but that number has reached nearly 700 this season.

As for the state tourney, there were 87 girls in action in 2019, 350 last season, and 457 this year, from 100 schools. Of the 48 grapplers reaching the final six in their weight bracket, 32 different schools were represented, testifying both to the continuing growth of the sport and to the widespread nature of the talent.

Taylor Atwell (left) and Martha Turrado competed for Perry at the Girls State Wrestling Tournament in Coralville recently. Photo submitted.

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