high school wrestling

The state individual wrestling tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in an undated photo.

New Jersey will soon become the first Northeast state to have high school girls wrestling.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association unanimously approved Wednesday region and state championships for individual girls wrestlers beginning this winter. The executive committee also must approve the measure on second reading at its Oct. 8 meeting for it become official.

The NJSIAA governs most New Jersey high school sports.

New Jersey would be the 12th state in the country to have girls wrestling. NJSIAA officials said New Jersey had 126 girls wrestlers last season. The hope is that if the NJSIAA sanctions the sport, more girls will participate.

In 2017-18, 16,562 girls wrestled at 2,351 schools around the country, according to the annual National Federation of State High School Associations participation survey. California had the most girl wrestlers of any state with 5,286 participants.

In 2017-18, 16,562 girls wrestled at 2,351 schools around the country, according to the annual National Federation of State High School Associations participation survey. California had the most girl wrestlers of any state with 5,286 participants.

The girls will have eight weight classes. The proposal calls for the top-three wrestlers in each weight class at the region competition to advance to the individual state championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

In other wrestling news, the NJSIAA the state individual tournament in Atlantic City for the next two years will now run Thursday to Saturday instead of Friday to Sunday. That means the 2019 sta te wrestling championship will begin on Thursday, Feb. 28 and finish on Saturday, March 2. The change was made in part to allow wrestling fans to attend the 2020 Big 10 Championships at Rutgers, which would have conflicted with the state high school tournament if the high school event kept its Friday-Sunday format.

HOF inductees

The NJSIAA also announced its 2018 Hall of Fame Class. A committee comprised of media members and active and retired school administrators selected 16 individuals to be inducted. Among the South Jersey athletes to be inducted are track and field standout Erin Donohue of Haddonfield, current New York Met Todd Frazier of Toms River South, and football standouts Lydell Mitchell of Salem and Mike Rozier of Woodrow Wilson.

Steroid testing

The NJSIAA announced it tested 498 athletes at 74 schools for performance-enhancing drugs during the 2017-18 school year. There were no positive tests.

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Contact: 609-272-7209 MMcGarry@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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