OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Team Michigan girls wrestling team has its sights set on bringing home the hardware this weekend at the USA Wrestling girls folkstyle nationals.
There are 38 Michigan girls competing in the event, which begins Friday, March 27, and runs through Sunday, March 29.
Team Michigan has 11 returning all-American’s competing in the 2015 tournament, including defending champions Theresa Rankin and Kenya Spencer.
“When I look at the team this year, potentially, I’m seeing five or six national champions and I’m seeing as many as 20 all-Americans,” said Mark Rankin, who is in his first year as head coach of the team. “At certain weight classes we may have two girls as all-Americans.”
Friday will feature cadet wrestlers, while Saturday is juniors and Sunday is the team dual portion and schoolgirls.
The last two years has finished second in the team dual portion of the tournament.
“I’m expecting to be in the finals and my goal is to win it,” Mark Rankin said.
Michigan has 240 girls wrestling across the state. States like Texas and California have more than 2,000, respectively.
“We have a lot of quality girls in our state who don’t do national tournaments,” Mark Rankin said. “If you’re a good wrestler, this has to be a priority.”
Team Michigan also has three girls who competed for USA Wrestling’s cadet world team in Theresa Rankin, Kenya Spencer and Hannah Jewell.
Dominic Adams is a journalist and wrestling coach based in Fenton, Mich. He can be reached via email here.