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“Boys never took us that seriously:” female wrestlers across the state await WIAA decision

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Rose Ann Marshall of Stoughton has had to wrestle against the boys all of her life. She has been wrestling since she was seven years old.

"My parents thought I was aggressive around the house and so they signed me up for wrestling," said Marshall.

Now at 17-years-old, Marshall will be a senior at Stoughton and as of now she is the only girl on the wrestling team.

"Ever since girls started wrestling boys never took us that seriously," said Marshall.

On Wednesday of this week the WIAA Board of Control is set to make a decision on whether or not to make girls wrestling a sanctioned sport in the state.

Each winter, 560 individuals qualify for the state wrestling tournament, only two girls qualified for this event in it's 80 years of existence.

Alyssa Lampe from Tomahawk High School broke the gender barrier at the state meet for the first time in event's history in 2004. She later went on to win two bronze medals in back-to-back senior world championships.

"It's definitely going to grow it. Before, girls could only join guys teams," Lampe told 27 News. "That can be a little daunting if you've never wrestled before."

Other support is building for the approval of girls wrestling being sanctioned. Roughly 120 superintendents across the state have signed a petition showing their support for the decision.

"This would provide more opportunities for girls across the state," said Mel Dow, Athletics Director at Stoughton High School.

"That's the thing you strive for with gender equality that's the thing we need to take a closer look at."

In the meantime, Marshall, the soon to be high school senior continues to practice and train. She hopes to become the first girl in Stoughton High School history to be on the wrestling team all four years of her high school career.

Alec Ausmus

Sports reporter

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