By Nick Fornicoia
Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Publicity Chairperson
Winning the ‘Triple Crown’ in Minnesota wrestling is an extraordinary accomplishment. To win the triple crown an athlete must win each of the three styles of wrestling all in the same year. The three types are Folkstyle (collegiate or high school style), Greco Roman (Olympic style) and Freestyle (Olympic style).
This past weekend (May 18th and 19th), Emily Shilson of Maple Grove won both the MN USA State Greco Championship and Freestyle Championship in the boys division and also won the MN USA Girls’ Freestyle State Tournament. Add to that the MN USA Folkstyle State Championship boys division and the MN USA Girls’ Folkstyle State Championship that she won in March, you get five state titles in one season! That is correct, five state titles in one season for the Quintuple Crown.
Emily, now 11, began wrestling at the age of 5 while in kindergarten. She had been watching her brother Tyler practice and compete for the previous three years and wanted to join in the fun. Tyler, 13, is also the owner of a MN USA Wrestling Triple Crown award himself. He said that he is proud of his little sister and how much she has accomplished already. When asked what are some reasons for Emily’s success, Tyler said, “She practices with some of the best boy wrestlers in the country, she has great coaches and she is just plain tough”.
Emily also draws some of her inspiration from the state’s accomplished female wrestlers.
Minnesota has seen its share of female wrestling success with the likes of 2008 Olympian Ali Bernard of New Ulm, MN. Bernard was also a 2011 World bronze medalist and a 2012 Olympic trials finalist. Natalie Rutt from New Prague was a regular on the Minnesota wrestling circuit as a youth, practicing and competing with the boys, just as Emily does now. Natalie, currently wrestling for Jamestown College was a 2011 WCWA College All-American and a two time Junior National finalist in Freestyle. Wrestling for Fulda/Murray County Central High School, Elissa Reinsma was the first female to qualify for the Minnesota State High School Wrestling tournament in 2009 as a sophomore. She again qualified for the state tournament as a senior.
Emily Shilson has grown up watching all three of the above mentioned women compete and aspires to be on the Olympic level some day.
Earlier this year, Emily won her fourth consecutive USAW Girls’ Folkstyle National Championship in Oklahoma City, OK. Next month, she will travel to Grand Island, Nebraska for the Northern Plains Greco and Freestyle Championships which will have athletes competing from seven different states. Later in June, it will be off to the USA Greco and Freestyle Nationals in Orem, Utah.
Emily currently wrestles for Pinnacle Wrestling out of Shoreview, MN. She is coached by Olympic and World Silver medalist Brandon Paulson, 2004 Olympic Team Alternate and 2002 NCAA Champion Jared Lawrence and her father Chad Shilson.
4 X Defending USA Girls National Folkstyle Champion
2 X USA National Greco finalist (Runner-up both years)
2 X USA Freestyle All-American
2 X USA Folkstyle All-American
2 X USA Wrestling Pre-season Nationals All-American
4 X MN USA Freestyle State Champ
2 X MN USA Folkstyle State Champ
2 X MN USA Greco State Champ
2 X MN USA State Triple Crown (1 X Quintuple Crown)
5 X MN USA Girls Folkstyle State Champ
5 X MN USA Girls Freestyle State Champ