USMC Girls Folkstyle Nationals, Women’s U23 Nationals/Trials and Junior Women’s Folkstyle Duals awarded to Oklahoma City

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Nov. 13, 2017, 11:42 a.m. (ET)
Samara Chavez of Texas competing at the 2017 U.S. Marine Corps Girls Cadet Folkstyle National Championships in Oklahoma City.

USA Wrestling has announced that it has awarded three popular women’s wrestling competitions to Oklahoma City, Okla. for the next three years (2018-2020).

The U.S. Marine Corps Girls Folkstyle Nationals, the Women’s U23 Nationals/World Team Trials and the Junior Women’s Folkstyle Duals will be hosted at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla., March 22-25, 2018. Dates for the 2019 and 2020 events have not yet been determined.

The local organizing committee for these events are Oklahoma USA Wrestling and the Aires Wrestling Club. The event is supported by the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We are really excited to host these competitions for the next three years,” said event director Matt Stevens, a leader with both Oklahoma USA Wrestling and the Aires WC. “These events have been started in Oklahoma City, and we are pleased to continue the tradition of success here. The tournaments are growing, and downtown Oklahoma City is thriving. We look forward to working with USA Wrestling to keep expanding the events.”

Two of these events have been held in Oklahoma City since their inception. The U.S. Marine Corps Girls Folkstyle Nationals were created in 2008, and held every year in Oklahoma City. The Junior Women’s Folkstyle Duals were initiated in 2010, and has been held each year in Oklahoma City.

The U.S. Marine Corps Girls Folkstyle Nationals is the annual national championships for girls in folkstyle wrestling, which is also known as scholastic wrestling. Competition is held in the Junior, Cadet, Schoolgirl and two youth divisions.

The Women’s Junior National Duals is a national dual meet competition between state-level teams in folkstyle wrestling.

The Women’s U23 Nationals/World Team Trials is a new event which was created in 2017, for women’s freestyle athletes who are 18-23 years old. This event is the qualifying event for USA Wrestling’s U23 World Team, which competes at the annual U23 World Championships.

The first U23 Nationals/World Team Trials was held in Rochester, Minn. in October of 2017. The women’s freestyle division was held alongside the men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions in Rochester. In 2018, the women’s division will not be held with the men’s, as it comes to Oklahoma City with the men’s event scheduled for Akron, Ohio.

The Women’s U23 Nationals/World Team Trials replaces the Women’s University Nationals, an event which USA Wrestling will no longer host. The Women’s University Nationals was created in 1998, and was held in Oklahoma City for the last six years (2012-2017).

In 2017, these women’s wrestling events were held in the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City for the first time. Prior to that, the events were hosted at Freede Center on the campus of Oklahoma City University.

In 2017, USA Wrestling set a record for the number of participants in this combined women’s wrestling event. There were 945 athletes at the U.S. Marine Corps Girls Folkstyle Nationals, 96 wrestlers at the Women’s University Nationals, and 13 teams at the Junior Women’s Folkstyle Duals.