Wrestlers know that Fargo is the place to be in July, and to be there for the medal round is an accomplishment. Finals night at Fargo also features the presentation of Asics First Team All-American Awards. This year Iowa City West's 4x varsity letter winner Jasmine Bailey was recognized nationally as one of 14 wrestlers for the Asics All-American Girls High School Team. 2014 third team honors were awarded to sophomore Rachel Watters of Ballard High School after she followed up her 2013 Cadet Fargo National Freestyle Championship with a 2014 Junior USA Folkstyle Championship. Watters and Bailey were voted Iowa's Female Wrestler of the Year in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Asics has published boys team recognition every year since 1986. In 2001, the first Asics girls All-American team was announced. Iowa has had at least one first team All-American selected every year since 2010 with recognition of Roni Goodale from Muscatine. Cassy Herkelman of Cedar Falls stands out as Iowa's first and only three time Asics first team selection (2011-2013). In order to continue that tradition, Iowa girls need to be active in three key national events, USA Girls Folkstyle Nationals, Asics Cadet/Junior Nationals in Fargo, and the annual Body Bar tournament (United World Wrestling/FILA Cadet and Junior World and Pan Am team qualifier).
Asics All-American--- hey that's a cool poster but how much does it matter? Of course awards don't guarantee you anything in wrestling. An award can be a symbol of past success or a goal for future accomplishments but awards don't substitute for smart training and diligent effort. For women's wrestling though, the Asics All-American poster could mean something special. If you're coaching a college women's program (there are more than 20 now), where will you look for recruits? If you want to know who is investing in freestyle skills for future international wrestling success, how's that Asics list look?
US Women's Wrestling finished in 3rd place last month at the World Championships in Tashkent. Perhaps you recognize these 2009 Asics All American Girls Team members--- Jenna Burkert, Adeline Gray, Helen Maroulis, and Alli Ragan. Women's wrestling has grown tremendously since 2009 but if you're looking for hard workers and future freestyle champions, you can check out the annual Asics All American Team list and watch for updates on Iowa's girls at Female Elite Wrestling.