Iowa Girls’ State Wrestling Tournament Recap


For the first ever season, Pella High school sent two wrestlers to the Iowa Girls’ State Tournament. Junior Jasey Olson and freshman Elizabeth Thomas wrestled at the tournament. The girls’ both wrestled in the 130 pound weight class. Spanish teacher and wrestling coach David Bouska also attended the tournament. 

The tournament was split into two days, the preliminary rounds and then the placing rounds. On Friday, during prelims, Olson won her first match by fall and Thomas lost. However, both girls continued to wrestle. Thomas came back and won her second match, while Olson lost hers. Due to the arrangement of the bracket, Thomas and Olson had to wrestle.

In the end, Thomas came out on top, eliminating Olson. Her overall record at state was 1-2. With one match left Friday evening, Thomas fell behind her competitor. During the third period, she was down 9-2, but Thomas did not give up. She came back to pin her competitor, and win the match. She moved on to the second day of wrestling. 

On Saturday during the placing rounds, Thomas won her first two matches of the day. She was now 5-1 at the tournament. During her second match, Thomas ended up losing. She placed in the top 12 out of 60 girls and finished with a 5-2 record. 

There was an exciting moment for the future of girls’ wrestling on Saturday. Right before the championship matches, the IGHSAU (Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union), sanctioned girls’ wrestling. This makes it the 11th sanctioned sport. To Olson, this was an exciting moment. 

“With girls’ being sanctioned, I’m excited to see how many more opportunities it opens for new meets and tournaments,” said Olson. “Hopefully it progresses into opportunities for college wrestling.”

The sanctioning of the sport has brought many questions to the coaching staff about what this means for Pella next year. But Coach Bouska is hopeful, despite the unanswered logistical aspects. 

“After a successful finish at State and the sanctioning of girls’ wrestling, there is a lot of anticipation for next season. I am truly hopeful that girls’ wrestling will take off here at Pella, and we will have a much larger number of girls out for the team.”

Both Olson and Thomas plan to continue wrestling next season and work hard to train during the offseason. After their first State experience, they both have many goals. 

Thomas said, “My main goal is to place in the top 8 next year.”

Olson also has an individual goal for state, but also a goal for the team. 

“I hope to place next year and have a full girls line up from Pella.”

If girls’ wrestling has ever been an interest to you, reach out to Jasey Olson, Elizabeth Thomas, or Coach Bouska. This is just the beginning of girls wrestling at PHS.