Interest has been growing steadily in women’s wrestling in Indiana over the past several years with this year being no exception. We are making important improvements to our women’s events, opportunities, and overall outlook to allow for more young women to enter the sport. Once we get them involved in the sport at a young age, the most important item is to keep them involved and competing in wrestling throughout high school and into college.
Our ISWA Women’s State Tournaments have both been streamlined in reducing the number of age groups and weight classes to allow for more competitive tournaments. Team competition is an area that will continue to expand in the years to come. Having a group of women wrestlers in a club or team will contribute to them wanting to stay involved and competing throughout high school.
Getting the word out for women’s wrestling and the importance of attending all of our Indiana events and national team events is an ongoing effort. We continue to have really strong women wrestlers coming up through the age groups and our current Indiana representatives are making a name for themselves in Junior and Senior Level events, both nationally and internationally.
We will continue to do everything we can to assist any women wrestler to reach her goal. It is very hard work to compete with boys throughout the year, but the payoff is when you get to compete against other women at the state, national, and international levels.
Thirty Indiana Girls traveled to OKC, Oklahoma for the 2019 USAW/Marine Corps Girls Folkstyle Nationals. At the completion of the tournament,16 emerged as All-Americans. The junior dual team didn't fair so well giving up 5 weight classes due to injury, sickness, and early departure. But wrestled well considering all obstacles going 1-4. Team Indiana placed in the top 10 for team points in 4 age divisions. They are, 9U 8th place, 12U 10th place, 14U 2nd place and led the tournament at one point, 16U 8th place.
We have a great group of young wrestlers coming in and it shined through. Everyone gave it there all and more than half came away with the title ALL-American respectively placing 8th or higher in their weight division. Those who placed are,
Gloria Cloud 50lbs. 4th place
Corabella Wesley 60lbs. 4th place
Julianna Cantu 75lbs. 8th place
Kaylee Bunton 102lbs. 5th place
Ella Gahl 110lbs. 2nd place
Maddie Marsh 110lbs. 3rd place
Elly Janovsky 127lbs. 3rd place
Heather Crull 72lbs. 1st place
Joy Cantu 79lbs. 5th place
Rianne Murphy 85lbs. 2nd place
Devyn Moore 92lbs. 1st place
Sydney DeLois 105lbs. 4th place
Kaylie Petersen 127lbs. 1st place
Trinity Coyne 138lbs. 7th place
Kiersten O'Neill 164lbs. 3rd place
Riley Dempewolf 200lbs. 4th place
I would like to thank the ISWA for entrusting me as Director of Women’s Development. It is an honor to represent those women of our state who have chosen to wrestle, and I will use the advocacy of my office to provide them with more opportunities to hone their craft. As many of you know, Indiana and the nation has experienced a rapid growth in the number of females participating in the sport of wrestling in the past few years. Across this state, we have established a great group of young women who participate in local, national, and international competitions. These athletes are setting the pace for others to come and make a name for themselves. We must move from a paradigm that sees female inclusion in the sport as an experiment to one that recognizes the permanence and ownership of women’s wrestling. We must say loudly and often that wrestling is no longer just a boys sport; girls wrestle as well, and women’s wrestling is in fact the quickest growing sport in the nation. It is time for ideological stragglers to get on the right side of history—the time is ripe for change with the sky being the limit for women’s wrestling.