Even the broad-minded folks who support girls having their chance to compete in boys sports sometimes draw the line at wrestling. Should girls be permitted on the mat in what is the ultimate contact sport? Further, in a sport requiring endurance, power, strength, how could girls possibly compete?
This is how.
Last week, Elissa Reinsma of Slayton, Minn. broke the cauliflower-ear ceiling, becoming the first girl wrestler in history to qualify for the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament. Reinsma, 5-foot-3 and and just over 100 pounds, earned the berth by finishing second in the 2AA Individual Tournament at 103 pounds.
Reinsma was defeated in her opening-round match by another sophomore Jacoby Bergeron, 9-2. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported, Bergeron (40-2) was ranked third in that weight class and Reinsma (32-9) was No. 7. The match was the first time the two had wrestled. Reinsma is also a sophomore, so could be back - stronger and more experienced - next year.
From the Star-Tribune's coverage:
"Talking with the media in a corridor off the arena floor, the 16-year-old smiled and said, "I just wrestled in the state tournament. I'm pretty happy. I shouldn't be, because losing the match was not what I planned. He was a really good wrestler. But I'm happy."