Bernard named 2011 USA Wrestling Women’s Wrestler of the Year

Ali Bernard (New Ulm, Minn./Gator WC) was named 2011 Women’s Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the first time in her career that she has received this award.

Bernard won a bronze medal at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. at the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in September, one of two U.S. women wrestlers to claim a bronze medal. Her performance helped lead the USA to a tie for third place in the team standings. With her medal performance, Bernard qualified the USA to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games at her weight class. Continue reading at

Pioneer wrestler grapples with gender taboos

Her seven brothers and a family history in wrestling helped Chandell Knox break new ground for women in sports and break into the movies as well. She is one of 11 females featured in Grappling Girls, a 2008 documentary on women wrestling.

“I thought it was very well put together,” she observed after seeing herself on film for the first time during a brief showing at the U of M Tucker Center Film Festival in February. “I really don’t remember doing it, because it was about six years ago. I was at a tournament and the lady who is doing the movie came up and asked questions. She heard that I was the first [female] wrestler for a high school team in Minnesota.” Continue reading at

Ali Bernard to represent Minn. in women’s Olympic wrestling tryouts

WORTHINGTON, Minn. — An Olympic athlete from New Ulm resumes her quest for a gold medal this weekend.

Ali Bernard, 26, is the only woman from Minnesota to qualify for the U.S. women’s wrestling team tryouts in Iowa City Saturday and Sunday. She hopes to make it to the summer games in London and improve on her fifth-place showing at the 2008 Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic hopefuls — both men and women — will wrestle in front of near sell-out crowds of 14,000 plus fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Continue reading at

Young and old, Cloquet female wrestlers head to nationals

Geneveve Fonoti may only be an 8-year-old, but don’t let that fool you. She weighs 93 pounds and is tougher than most her age.

Most kids above her age, too.

Fonoti, a second-grader at Cloquet’s Churchill Elementary, recently competed at the Minnesota USA Girls Wrestling Tournament in Rochester, Minn., where she defeated opponents in fourth and fifth grade. Continue reading at