Fresno Unified girls won individual titles in two weight classes at the district's championship wrestling tournament this past season, a sign of their increasing participation and skill in the traditionally male-dominated sport.
Aalijah Harris, an eighth-grader at Tioga Middle School and two-time city champ, won the 77-pound middle school title at the Fresno Unified District Wrestling Tournament in December. Karina Vang, a seventh-grader at Tioga and also a two-time city champ, won the 92-pound middle school title.
"We have had girls win their weight class before, but it is very uncommon," said Brett Mar, co-athletics manager for Fresno Unified. "Girls wrestling will continue to grow in popularity in our area and in our district."
Once in high school, girls continue to wrestle on the boys team. But at the end of the season, the girls now have a separate post season California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state tournament.
Mar also noted that more colleges have women's teams, creating more opportunities for girls to attain college scholarships for wrestling. Rosanna Aguilar, an alumnus of Edison High School, is now wrestling with the Fresno State Wrestling Club and another Edison graduate, Beatrize Martinez, recently graduated from Oklahoma City University where she was an All-American wrestler for the women's team. Amber King, a 2016 Roosevelt High School graduate and former California state girls wrestling champion, is a freshman wrestler at Bacone College in Muskogee, OK.