Saturday, February 9, 2019

Michigan had its first-ever girls high school wrestling state championships

Posted By on Sat, Feb 9, 2019 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Cutline: Fenton High School senior Chloe Wagner tries to pin Petoskey's Lydia Krauss in the 140-pound final at the first-ever Michigan Wrestling Association girls state championship on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Adrian College. - DOMINIC ADAMS
  • Dominic Adams
  • Cutline: Fenton High School senior Chloe Wagner tries to pin Petoskey's Lydia Krauss in the 140-pound final at the first-ever Michigan Wrestling Association girls state championship on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Adrian College.

Here's a bittersweet ending to one of our recent cover stories: The Michigan High School Athletic Association finally held its first-ever girls high school wrestling state championships. The match was held Sunday, Feb. 3 at Adrian College.

In 2017, Metro Times ran a cover story about how Michigan's female wrestlers deserved a state championship. The cause was promoted by wrestling coach Brent Harvey, who long advocated for girls to have their own championship; while girls could compete under the rules, they previously had to participate on the boys teams — which limited their chances of winning.



"Michigan has around 250 girls that finish the season. They start around 500 girls at the weigh-in at the beginning of the year, but about half of them don't stick with it for whatever reason," Harvey previously told MT. "And a lot of it is because they don't have an endgame: There's no high school girls' division for them to win a state championship. So if they realize they don't have an opportunity to represent their school in a competition where they know they can have some kind of a success, a lot of them will drop out."

Girls wrestling has grown in popularity to the point where the MHSAA could host a girls championship. The number of girls participating in high school wrestling has doubled since 2014 to 16,565 last season, according to the Michigan Wrestling Association.

Sadly, Harvey never got to see the fruits of his labor, dying in a motorcycle accident on Oct. 20, 2017 at age 46. Metro Times is told a moment of silence was held before the championship matches to honor Harvey.

You can learn more about Harvey's fight in our 2017 cover story.

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