Tateum Park of Davenport competes in the Iowa/USA Wrestling's first Girls Folkstyle Championships.
Tatum Park of Davenport competes in the Iowa/USA Wrestling’s first Girls Folkstyle Championships.

By James Zobac for IAwrestle

“I wanna wrestle #likeagirl“, the recent tweet from @alliseeisgold is a favorite for over 1,000 wrestling fans.  Wrestling superstars like Jordan Burroughs aren’t the only ones recognizing the potential and power of female wrestling. Thanks to Iowa/USA Wrestling and Female Elite Wrestling (FEW), more hard-working wrestlers are getting mat time and showing longtime wrestling coaches and fans what it means to “wrestle like a girl”.  There are a growing number of girls competing and having fun wrestling this season.  Iowa/USAW had over 50 girls wrestling in the first Warrior Elite Folkstyle Championships on January 25, 2015. The girls event, complete with unique female wrestling awards, ran along the USA State Championships held at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Girls from all over the state of Iowa, plus Nebraska and as far away as Colorado, came to match their skills on the mat.

The tournament was a success not just in the number of girls competing, but in broadening the minds of the spectators.  According to Josh Park of Davenport, Iowa,  parent of wrestlers Tateum, Sydney, and Hannah, “It was as if at this tournament, the girls were getting just as much recognition as the men. I think it was equally cool listening to all the spectators. You can tell most of them have not seen women wrestle. They were in awe and shock at how good they were… Walking around, I would stop and listen.”  Rylee Zobac of Strawberry Point, Iowa states “It’s fun and all, wrestling boys, but to compete in an all-girls tournament, they have the same strength, same builds, so it all comes down to ability and technique.”  These girls are hitting the mats with enthusiasm and showing that they are dedicated Iowa wrestlers.  Park adds “I think for Hannah, and some of the other girls, it was good to be able to wrestle in an all-female division that is a part of a bigger tournament”.  Todd Mosier of Oxford Iowa shared “Dominique really enjoyed having her family in the stands watching her win the championship at 137 lbs. That, and the support the girls showed for each other was great. Anyone who has not seen girls wrestling before may not realize the intensity of the girls. These girls give everything they have, just like the boys, in a sport that is still trying to gain traction for girls in Iowa. It has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go.”

Some of the more experienced FEW athletes wrestled the new girls event and entered the boys tournament to pick up more mat time.  Daniesha Watson of Waterloo, wrestling in 45# Bantam Division, took home the championships in both the girls and the boys tournaments.  She wrestled seven matches on the day to  earn her spot at the top of the podium #like a girl.

Iowa Place Winners of 2015 Warrior Elite Girls Folkstyle Championships

Middle School 104-113#

Tateum Park 2nd

Middle School 116-125#

Jayden Bentley 1st

Alexis Hamilton 2nd

Chloe Clemons 3rd

Middle School 137#

Dominique Mosier 1st

Riley White 2nd

Novice 77-84#

Ashlynn Miller 1st

Jaleya Zuck 3rd

Novice 90-95#

Sydney Park 3rd

Novice 105-116#

Lacey Hennick 2nd

Novice 125#

Morgan Griffin 1st

Kiara Mcgee 2nd

Middle School 96-103#

Ali Gerbracht 1st

Rylee Zobac 3rd

Intermediate 68-70#

Hannah Park 1st

Intermediate 85+

Elsie Lewis 1st

Novice 56-63#

Adison Musser 2nd

Olivia Hamma 3rd

Alexys Peterson 4th

Lilly Mosier 5th

Novice 64-70#

Ella Schmit 1st

Lexi Hennick 2nd

Charity Mickles 3rd

Peewee 40#

Cadence Christensen 3rd

Aubrey Utterback 4th

Intermediate 45#

Daniesha Watson 1st

Libby Stocks 2nd

Laila Garcia 3rd

Alyia Abbott 4th

Intermediate 48-52#

Reanah Utterback 1st

Amaya Garcia 2nd

Intermediate 58-62#

Chelsea Mickles 1st

Mackenzie Childers 2nd

Aliviah Smith 3rd

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