Varsity Kansas

Iowa wrestler chooses default over wrestling female

Here is a story on an Iowa wrestler who chose to default in the state wrestling meet rather than wrestle a girl. Was he right? What do you think? This was the first female to win a state match in Iowa.

There are females wrestling in Kansas. And Santa Fe Trail’s Brooke Bogren was the first female to advance to the Kansas state wrestling tournament. I’ve attached the story we wrote in 1999 below.

ike many other parents at this weekend’s state high school wrestling tournament, Mary and Alvin Bogren will be sitting in the stands and cheering for their child’s success.But the Bogrens’ situation is quite different from that of the parents of the other 671 competitors in the Class 6A, 5A and 4A state meet at the Kansas Coliseum.The Bogrens will be cheering for their daughter, Brooke.Brooke Bogren, a 103-pound freshman for Santa Fe Trail, is the only female competitor at the state wrestling meet.“I’ve been a nervous wreck for two weeks,” Mary Bogren said. “Brooke handles all of this just fine. But I’ll be nervous until it’s all over.”Mary Bogren may not have much to worry about. Her daughter has a 26-6 record. Half of her victories are by pins.Brooke tries to take it all in stride.“It’s kind of strange getting all this attention,” she said. “Quite a few people have talked to me lately. I never really expected all of this.”The fuss over Bogren is simple: She’s succeeding in a sport dominated by males.Nearly 4,700 Kansas high school athletes compete in wrestling but only 34 are female, said Gary Musselman, executive director for the Kansas State High School Activities Association. Bogren is the first Kansas female to qualify for the state meet.That’s not a surprise to Regan Erickson, Santa Fe Trail’s coach.“I watched her come through the kids wrestling programs, so I knew what she could do,” Erickson said. “She’s very strong, and she’s physically and mentally tough.”Mary Bogren isn’t surprised, either.“Brooke is not your regular girl,” she said. “She’s always been a bit of a tomboy. She broke her collarbone while climbing a tree rope when she was 31/2. And don’t dare buy her a dress because it’ll just sit there in the closet.”Brooke’s interest in wrestling began at an early age. When she was 6, she began following her two older brothers to wrestling meets.“I just loved the competition,” said Brooke, whose first match will be at 9 a.m. today. “I’ve played other sports, but wrestling is what I always liked best.”Mary Bogren recalls her daughter being instantly taken by the sport.“I remember after one meet we all got in the car and Brooke was gone,” she said. “We all went back inside, and there was Brooke. She was laying there on the mat watching all the other kids wrestling.”Soon, the Bogrens began letting their daughter attend her brothers’ practices. It wasn’t long before she was also competing in meets.“I never really got too many comments from people,” Brooke said. “Most people would say things like, ‘We were cheering for you during that match.’ That was always nice.”As high school approached, Bogren continued to wrestle. She also continued to improve.In 1998, she won the 101-pound title at a national tournament for girls. The tournament, which was near New Orleans, included nearly 200 competitors.And when the high school wrestling season began in November, Bogren joined Santa Fe Trail’s team. Her older brother, Brad, is a 215-pound wrestler on the team. He did not qualify for state.“When Brooke joined our team, it really wasn’t a big deal to the other guys,” Erickson said. “They accepted her just like they would any other teammate.”They began counting on her, too. Bogren’s success on the mat was helping her team get quick starts in most meets. The 103-pound division competes first at every meet, and Bogren was usually putting points on the scoreboard.“I enjoy wrestling as much as I ever have,” she said. “I could probably do without all the long practices, but I really love the competition. The meets are the best part.”Mary and Alvin Bogren, meanwhile, will spend one more weekend at a wrestling meet.This one, however, will be special.“I get real excited when any of my kids wrestle at state,” Mary Bogren said. “But this one is certainly a little different.”