SARTELL -- We could see more girls in Minnesota participating in high school wrestling then ever before come this winter.

Back in May, the Minnesota State High School League approved the addition of a Girls Wrestling Division in the postseason which will begin this season.

Cody Olson is the Sartell-St. Stephen wrestling coach. He says girl's wrestling is exploding across the country and it's great that Minnesota is taking advantage.

I think it's a huge step for the women's programs to have a high school league-sanctioned state championship and to be recognized that way. Programs in Iowa and North Dakota have it so it's good that it's here and we have this opportunity now.

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Olson says the league is still working out the protocols and procedures on how the postseason tournament will work.

Olson says the Tokyo Olympics are a prime example of the sports growing popularity.

Our women's Olympic team did amazing. Watching athletes like Jacarra Winchester, Tamyra Mensah-Stock,  Adeline Grey, Helen Maroulis they're awesome. They bring so much joy to the sport.

Olson says he's had a handful of girls wrestle in their program over the last few years and anticipates those numbers to grow.

He says there has been really strong support from the Sartell community for girls wrestling prior to it becoming a League-sanctioned activity.

Prior to the pandemic, 153 girls in Minnesota participated in high school wrestling.

Team USA Women's Olympic Wrestling Team