STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — Women’s wrestling is the latest addition this year to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point athletics.
UWSP is currently the only public university in the Midwest with a women’s wrestling program setting out to make history on Wednesday night. The team will put their mental preparation, their physical preparation, and their “who wants it more” attitude to the test in an inaugural home dual match against Lakeland University.
The team is paving the way for younger girls in the area, looking to one day compete at the collegiate level at a new program that’s “close to home”.
“Women’s wrestling is a highly emerging sport,” UWSP Head Women’s/Men’s Wrestling Coach Johnny Johnson said. “They should be able to compete in any sport at any level, and the fact that they’re competing against women and that it is such a growing sport just shows that this is something that they should have that opportunity to do.”
There’s been a stigma around wrestling as a male-dominated sport, but in recent years women are taking chances of empowerment that they deserve.The women’s team wants to prove throughout the season that they belong in the mix of competition, and that started on Wednesday night in front of a home crowd.
“It’s pretty exciting just to get the word out there,” 109-pound standout wrestler Brooke Thurber said. “That women’s wrestling is on the rise now and creating more opportunities for other little girls and other women interested in women’s wrestling.”Just getting the program started and hopefully it takes off for women in the upcoming years.”
Coach Johnson said the first home match is symbolic of something that will stick with the girls for a lifetime.
“Being recognized as a collegiate varsity athlete and as a wrestler, I think that’s going to be something that when they look back later in life it’s going to be even more special than it is tonight,” Coach Johnson stated.
The Pointers defeated Lakeland University.
To live stream the event you can click here.
You can keep up with the women’s wrestling team throughout the season by clicking here.