By John Lauritsen

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.

John Lauritsen

Comments (5)
  1. Mary Carlson says:

    Wahoo! Show em what’s up E!! So much support comin’ from back home! Good luck woman! ♥

  2. JP says:

    I think it is time to see males join volleyball in high schools…

    1. You know!! What’s to say they can’t if girls can wrestle and play football? There would be a big stink if anyone tried though. I’m not a woman basher at all, but I think of women doing something like this as nothing special. I’m past the black white thing, and I’m past the man women thing. People say they are not sexist or racist, but if you think for a split second about somthing being “different”, or the “first to do this” that is being an ist! Sorry but everyone wants to move past that then don’t think like that. Hey its great this girl is wrestling with the boys. Its great women are fishing pro with the guys. But it is also 2011 so let’s move with the times. We don’t need people boast sayin I’m the first or look what I did. That’s so not america anymore. O wait…..I was dreaming

    2. Mama says:

      In order for her to wrestle, she has to have the ability to fit in and compete. I think if a boy has the body to fit in with the girls on the volleyball team then go for it. I think anyone can do a sport if their body and strength match that of the rest of the team, male or female.

      1. JP says:

        Then why did a male that I know get told to leave the ADs office when he asked to play volleyball? That doesn’t sound like gender equality.