After wrestling with the boys for the last few years, girls in Wyoming can now wrestle with each other in both dual meets and tournaments.
The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) approved girls’ high school wrestling at their April meeting.
The WHSAA had options to create 12, 13, or 14 weight classes for regional and state competitions, and elected for 14 classes to give student-athletes more opportunities to compete.
The boys also have 14 weight divisions, but the weight classes are different for the two genders.
The girls’ weight classes are as follows, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 155, 170, 190, and 235 pounds.
The boys have the same 14 classes, with approximately the same gap between weights, but are heavier across the range of classes. Boy can wrestle at 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, 215, or 285 pounds.
Last Friday wrestlers across Wyoming certified for their individual weight classes, and 200 girls were certified statewide.
In Fremont County, there are a handful of girls hitting the mat this winter. Wyoming Indian has one girl, Dubois and Lander have two girls on the team, Riverton three, Shoshoni four, and Wind River five.
“When you have a new sport, girls are hesitant to jump to it. Getting to make that jump is hard, you might have to start at a lower level,” Riverton Bobby Thoman said. “You get an athletic girl, and give her a little technique, she can compete.”
Girls’ wrestling has gained traction at the high school level, rising from lower-level programs and non-school organizations like USA Wrestling over the last decade.
Colleges now have women’s wrestling teams as well.
Shoshoni’s Emma Crichton signed with Chadron State last spring and now wrestles at 155 pounds for the Eagles. She was the first Fremont County female athlete to sign a national letter of intent to wrestle in NCAA Division II.
The state tournament at the Ford Wyoming Center will be open to all girls in 2023.
The uncertainty of the number of wrestlers in each division has WHSAA assistant commissioner Trevor Wilson a little concerned.
“I like a little more structure,” Wilson said. “We won’t know how many girls are in each weight class until the week of the tournament. We might have only one or two, or we might need bigger brackets for some weights.”
The boys’ tournament will be divided into Class 2-A, 3-A, and 4-A, but the girls’ division will feature just one class.