IGHSAU moves to two girls' wrestling classes

Doherty says move will help sport, define Bloodhounds

W. DES MOINES - At its May meeting, the Board of Directors of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union approved the move to two classes for the 2024-25 girls’ wrestling season.
The move will place the 64 largest wrestling schools into Class 2A, with the remaining schools competing in Class 1A. 
Wrestlers will compete to qualify for the state tournament at regional meets across the state on Friday, January 31, 2025. There will be eight regional state qualifying sites hosted by schools for both Class 1A and 2A. 
The top 16 qualifiers from each weight class will qualify for the 2025 Girls' State Wrestling Tournament, which will be held February 6-7 in Xtream Arena in Coralville. The Girls' State Wrestling Tournament will remain a two-day tournament, with separate sessions for each class on February 6 and combined sessions for the championship sessions on Friday, February 7. 
“The rapid rise of participants in girls' wrestling has exceeded even our expectations,” said IGHSAU Executive Director Erin Gerlich. “Adding a second class is the next building block in our efforts to continue to help the sport grow. The hope is that the addition of a second class will encourage more schools to add girls’ wrestling programs.”
The IGHSAU sanctioned girls’ wrestling in 2022 and it has been a one-class tournament since beginning competition in 2023. In 2024, 204 schools sponsored a girls’ wrestling program, while 61 other schools were listed in cooperative sharing agreements.
Fort Madison Head Coach Kyle Doherty said he would rather start in 1A, but the Hounds will wrestle in 2A.
"We're one of the 64 in the 2A. I like it honestly. I would much rather be 1A, but I think we can prepare to battle at 2A," he said.
"This is 100% good for the sport."
Doherty said his understanding is that there will be four sites for 1A regionals and four for 2A. In the past they had four sites for all wrestlers. He said that makes an interesting dynamic for where Fort Madison will wrestle in the regionals.
"To me, there's not too much change there. It will be interesting to see where we fall at for regionals. We pulled some teams from quite a ways away last year. I think they needed to separate it and get some type of uniform foundation for that. Right now it was a free for-all which is fun at times, but we're trying to win titles," Doherty said.
"I like that we're in 2A and know we have to get by the Waverly-Shell Rocks and those type of schools to be the best. We're going to have to beat the heavy hitters, but that's what we talk about in practice every day."
Fort Madison, Hounds, Bloodhounds, Lady Hounds, IGHSAU, union, wrestling, classes, shift, 2A, regionals, state tournament, Pen City Current,


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