Girl Wrestler Qualifies Again For State Tournament

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — There is a wrestler competing this weekend that hasn’t won a state tournament match yet, but has already set a milestone.

Two years ago, Elissa Reinsma of Fulda Murray County Central became the first-ever girl to qualify for Minnesota’s state tournament. After being injured last year, she qualified again this year as a senior.

“The first time being up here, there were all the jitters,” Reinsma said. “Now that I’ve been up here and experienced it, it’s a lot better.”

Reinsma didn’t win a state tournament match when she was here two years ago. Today her draw wasn’t much better. She squared off against one of the top-ranked wrestlers at her weight class, 103 pounds, and lost her first-round match.

However, Reinsma would rather lose than go through what happened in Iowa: A male wrestler forfeited to a girl wrestler at Iowa’s state tournament, citing religious reasons.

“I guess if you are thinking about anything other than wrestling you shouldn’t be out there,” Reinsma said.

Reinsma hopes to come back through the consolation bracket and beat up on some of the guys at the tournament. No matter what happens, her coach knows she has already set a standard in a male-dominated sport.

“You could see females coming out, but they better be tough. She is flat-out one of the toughest kids I know,” Coach Dan Blankenship said.

“If my sons are as tough as she is, I will be quite happy.”

Reinsma also excels at volleyball and softball, and hopes to play any one of those sports in college.

She credits her three brothers for making her a state tournament wrestler.

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