Two-time Iowa Girls State Champion Tateum Park of Davenport North has been named the Iowa winner of the prestigious Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award. Park was also named the Iowa Ms Dan Gable Wrestler of the Year following her senior season. She recently committed to continue her wrestling career at Augsburg University.
See the full press release from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame below.
|STILLWATER, Okla. – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced the state winners of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA).
First presented in 2014, the TSHSEA is named for Tricia Saunders, a four-time World Champion and women’s wrestling pioneer. Saunders was the first woman to be inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006 and was inducted into the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.
The award recognizes and celebrates the nation’s most outstanding high school senior female wrestlers for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service.
For the third consecutive year, the Hall of Fame is recognizing a record number of state winners with 46, up from 35 winners in 2019 and 32 winners in 2018.
Winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria: success and standout performances and sportsmanship in wrestling; review of GPA and class rank, academic honors and distinctions; and participation in activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community.
“It brings us great joy to recognize these outstanding female wrestlers, who have excelled not only on the wrestling mat, but also in the classroom and in their communities. I want to thank our selection committee for the thorough work they have done in determining this year’s winners,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “The growth of girls wrestling is exciting and we’re recognizing a record number of state winners this year. We look forward to following these young women as they chart new goals for themselves on the mat and in their lives.”
TSHSEA regional winners will be announced on May 19 and the national winner will be announced on May 26. State winners of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award will be announced on Thursday with the regional winners announced on May 21 and the national winner on May 28.
Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing high school sports and there are more than 27,000 female high school wrestlers competing across the nation.
From 1998-2015 there were six states with a sanctioned girls state wrestling championship: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Since 2015, 16 additional states have created an official girls wrestling state championships, or have started the path leading to official sanction: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.
Georgia, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey held their first official state championship in 2018-19 while Arkansas, Kansas, Maryland and New Mexico held an official state championship for 2019-20. Colorado voted for a two-year pilot program for 2018-19 with an official state championship for 2020-21. Arizona voted girls wrestling as an emerging sport for 2018-19 and will host an official state championship in 2020-21. Connecticut held a girls wrestling invitational tournament in 2019-20.
Sixteen states have held unofficial girls state championships, organized and run by coaches, state wrestling associations or officials associations. The 16 states with unofficial girls state championships are: Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
There are 81 intercollegiate women’s wrestling teams. The NCAA has approved “Emerging Sport Status” for women’s wrestling at the Division II and Division III levels, and women’s wrestling supporters are hopeful that it will approve it for Division I this summer. The NAIA also recognizes women’s wrestling as an emerging sport.
The Hall of Fame accepts nominations for its high school excellence awards from state chapters and coaches. The nominations are reviewed by a committee, which selects state and regional winners. The committee then determines the national winners from the regional winners.
2020 Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award State Winners
State – Name, High School, Hometown, College Attending
All-Time National Winners of Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award