Girls wrestling in the state of Kansas continues to grow, and Saturday at the McPherson Roundhouse was another testament to that
McPherson edged Fort Scott 113 to 110 to win the third annual unofficial girls wrestling championship in McPherson on Saturday. With more than 200 wrestlers from nearly 80 different schools in attendance the event has grown substantially in just three years, and now it appears the sport could be sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association with an approval vote planned for April.
Several top-ranked wrestlers performed as expected with Nickerson's Nichole Moore wining the 106 pound title, McPherson's Mya Kretzer winning at 126 pounds, Fredonia's Mason Claibourn winning the 160 pound class and Junction City's Elisa Robinson winning at 182.
Check out Everett Royer's photo gallery from the tournament at this link.
Next weekend the boys postseason series continues with the Regional Tournaments February 15-16 and the State Championships will follow February 22-23.
Check out complete girls team results below:
Original tournament preview below:
For the third year in a row, McPherson will be host to the unofficial state tournament for girls wrestling. While girls wrestling is still not a sanctioned sport by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, McPherson head coach Doug Kretzer is optimistic that will be changing soon.
“I feel really good that the proposal to add a girls postseason series will pass at the KSHSAA level in April,” Kretzer said.
In 2017, 53 girls participated in the state tournament from 37 schools. Last season, those numbers increased to 120 girls from 55 schools.
The McPherson athletic department is expecting those numbers to soar even higher, with 227 girls entered from 80 schools.
“I don’t see the girls participation numbers to drop anytime soon; girls wrestling is here to stay,” Kretzer said.
Host-school McPherson will have 15 girls represented on Saturday, headlined by Mya Kretzer, who is ranked ninth nationally at 127 according to the National High School Girls Wrestling Rankings.
Other nationally-ranked wrestlers who will compete include Nickerson’s Nichole Moore (ranked eighth at 106), Fredonia’s Mason Claibourn (ranked 14th at 152), and Junction City’s Elisa Robinson (ranked second at 180).
“There are a lot of girls around the state that have had this tournament circled since the season started,” Kretzer said. “I expect it to be very competitive with lots of passionate wrestling on Saturday.”
If and when girls wrestling becomes a sanctioned sport, the McPherson Roundhouse would be an ideal location to host state.
“I’m glad we have the facility to put this tournament on,” Kretzer said. “I hear from the visiting coaches and girls that the Roundhouse makes this tournament really feel like a state tournament.”
McPherson will be looking to defend its title, but with a record turnout this year, the Bullpups will have stiff competition.
“Girls wrestling in Kansas is exploding,” Kretzer said. “It is an exciting time to be a girl who wrestles in Kansas.”
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