CHESHIRE—The CIAC will host a girls wrestling invitational tournament in conjunction with the CIAC wrestling state open on Feb. 28-29 at the Floyd Little Center in New Haven. This marks the first CIAC-organized event solely for female wrestlers.
The Invitational will crown winners in 10 weight classes, and the first, third, and fifth-place matches will coincide with the state open boys championship rounds. The invitational seeding and brackets will be released either Monday, Feb. 24, or Tuesday, Feb. 25.
“Over the past 99 years, the CIAC has been committed to providing student-athletes with exceptional education-best experiences,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said in a press release. “The inaugural CIAC girls wrestling invitational tournament exemplifies the CIAC’s innovative approach toward empowering student-athletes through school-based sports. We have every belief this will be a great showcase for talented student-athletes who are certainly deserving of this spotlight.”
Per CIAC by-laws, girls have been permitted to compete on boys wrestling teams, and the number of girls competing in high school wrestling in Connecticut has grown from 70 in 2015-16 to 131 in 2018-19. Female competitors will be able to wrestle in either the girls invitational or the boys tournaments. There will be no qualifying standards for the girls meet. All girl wrestlers may enter.
“There was tremendous enthusiasm to create this invitational with the members of the CIAC wrestling committee, and there is great hope this will create even more excitement and growth for girls wrestling in the state,” said Bob Lehr, CIAC executive staff member and wrestling committee liaison.