CASPER, Wyo. — For the first time in the history of Wyoming high school athletics, girls wrestlers from throughout the state took to the mat to compete for a chance at a state title today.
“I woke up with a smile on my face knowing that today was girls state,” Natrona County High School girls wrestling coach Jessica Brenton said. “I’m so thrilled to see all these girls getting their mat time. … This is something we fought for for a long time.”
Among the hundreds of wrestlers in attendance on Thursday were more than a few wrestlers from Natrona County High School and Kelly Walsh High School.
For both the Natrona County Mustangs and Kelly Walsh Trojans, this first season of girls wrestling has been one with several bright spots.
“We’ve won some big upsets and have some first-year girls that have done really well,” Brenton said with a smile. “Overall we’ve done well, and we’re just taking it step by step and focusing on getting better every day.”
“It’s been a good first year, and we’ve gained more girls as the season has gone on, which is great,” Kelly Walsh coach Travis Peak said. “The girls have worked really hard, especially the ones who are just starting, but it’s gone great.”
Brenton said the strong level of participation in just the sport’s first year has her excited for what the future holds.
“I’m very optimistic about the future of girls wrestling, not just here in Natrona County but throughout all of Wyoming,” Brenton said. “I think numbers are going to double or triple next year. This is just the beginning.”
Girls wrestling matches will continue today until roughly 5:30 p.m. On Friday, boys wrestling matches will run through most of the day, with the girls championships beginning at roughly 5 p.m. On Saturday, the state meet will wrap up with boys championships beginning at roughly 3:30 p.m.