The sport of wrestling is evolving, so the Des Moines Register’s wrestling coverage is evolving, too.
Girls' wrestling is on the rise all over the country. Last season, 21,124 girls wrestled nationwide, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, and 18 states sanction a girls’ state tournament. A decade ago, 6,025 wrestled nationally.
The growth in Iowa mirrors the national uptick. In 2013-14, only 40 girls wrestled in this state, according to numbers kept by Trackwrestling. Last season, 164 girls competed, and the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association hosted a state tournament in January.
The 2019-20 season is already a few weeks old and competitions began in earnest this week. Already, more than 200 girls and counting are registered. It's not yet a sanctioned or official sport in Iowa, but the movement is getting attention.
As such, the Register is pleased to announce our first preseason All-Iowa girls’ wrestling selections.
This will look a bit different than the boys. Rather than 14 weights, we used the same 10 that were contested at last season’s inaugural state tournament. We have a first-team and an honorable mention list of others to follow this season.
We chose the team based on past performances and future prospects, not unlike how we picked our Iowa Eight and preseason All-Iowa boys’ wrestling teams. We also placed the girls based on their registered weights in Trackwrestling’s system or previous competitions.
You will already know a few of these names, but you should get to know the rest.
106: Ali Gerbracht, sr., AGWSR
Returning state champion at 106. Won 35 matches and reached districts in Class 1A while competing against boys last season. Iowa's first Ms. Wrestler of the Year honoree last year.
113: Tateum Park, sr., Davenport North
Returning state champion at 113. AAU folkstyle state champion and USA Wrestling’s preseason national champion. Ranked 21st nationally by American Women’s Wrestling (at 117).
120: Chloe Clemons, sr., Pleasant Valley
Returning state champion at 120. Recorded two pins and a major decision en route to first. Junior women’s freestyle state champion. Indian Hills signee.
126: Sydney Park, soph., Davenport Central
Returning state champion at 126. Recorded four-straight pins on her way to last year’s title. AAU folkstyle state champion and Junior women’s freestyle state champion.
132: Annika Behrends, soph., Waverly-Shell Rock
Returning state champ at 132. Recorded two pins before winning a thrilling state final on a last-second escape.
138: Abby McIntyre, jr., Glenwood
Junior women’s freestyle state champion and 16U women’s freestyle All-American. Ranked 11th nationally by Flowrestling and 17th by American Women’s Wrestling.
152: Toyia Griffin, jr., Nashua-Plainfield
Returning state champion at 152. Recorded two pins en route to first, including a 16-second fall in the finals — the fastest of the tournament. Ranked 20th nationally by Flowrestling.
170: Jacenta Sargisson, sr., LeMars
Returning state champion at 170. Recorded a pin and a major decision en route to first. Produced a top-three finish at the AAU folkstyle state tournament.
195: Millie Peach, jr., Iowa Valley
Returning state champion at 195. Junior women’s freestyle state champion, AAU folkstyle state champion and 16U women’s freestyle All-American. Ranked 10th nationally by American Women’s Wrestling and 11th by Flowrestling (at 200).
285: Iliana Yanes, jr., Riverside (Oakland)
Returning state runner-up at 285. Highest returning finisher from last year’s state tournament.
MORE WRESTLING COVERAGE FROM THE REGISTER
- IOWA EIGHT: Meet the state's best prep wrestlers for the 2019-20 season
- CHASING FOUR: West Sioux's Allard, Lisbon's Happel taking aim at history
- PODCAST: A full Iowa Eight breakdown on the latest In The Room podcast
- Jayden Bentley, jr., Waterloo East
- Maddie Black, soph., Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont
- Nevaeh Bushaw, jr., Edgewood-Colesburg
- Olivia Diggins, sr., Logan-Magnolia
- Haley Eckerman, sr., Waverly-Shell Rock
- Regan Griffith, jr., Waukon
- Emma Grimm, jr., Osage
- Avery Meier, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock
- Makayla Mostek, sr., Osage
- Tierney Perkins, fr., New Hampton-Turkey Valley
- Rylee Rodish, soph., Waukee
- Alexis Ross, fr., Fort Dodge
- Ella Schmidt, soph., Bettendorf
- Meridian Snitker, soph., Waukon
- Alaina Sunlin, sr., Monticello
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.
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