Lincoln holds first citywide girls wrestling meet
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – It was a day of firsts Friday as teams from eight Lincoln schools competed in the first citywide girls wrestling meet.
In 2022, Lincoln Public Schools approved a budget to add the sport to all high schools.
Seeing all the teams come together in one place has athletes and coaches alike saying it’s been a long time coming.
Lincoln Northeast head coach Brittne Westerman says the season as a whole was “long overdue” but coming together Friday was worth the wait.
“I’m just so glad these girls get the opportunity that so many girls before them didn’t get to have,” Westerman said.
Lincoln East sophomore Mileena Notaro has been wrestling since middle school and had to compete on the boys team last year because the district didn’t offer a girls team.
“Even this year, I didn’t think we were gonna be able to have an LPS girls tournament,” Notaro said. “That’s just super big for Lincoln and Nebraska, just to show that in one year, we can have a tournament just for all the Lincoln schools.”
Notaro is breaking barriers in the inaugural season, currently undefeated for the Spartans, winning first place in her weight class Friday.
Lincoln East head coach Allyn Gonsor says she is a “force” on the mat.
Beyond Notaro, wrestlers and coaches alike say Friday marked a historic moment in their sport and a turning point for Lincoln girls athletics.
“Making it a priority to give girls those same opportunities without having to fight for it every day just means a lot to these girls,” Westerman said.
Notaro echoed that sentiment.
“I mean, it just is something huge to me that girls and boys can get out here, do the same thing, wrestle just as hard, just show just as good of a match,” she said.