A memorable day in Pine Island: Panthers host largest girls-only wrestling meet in state history

More than 260 girls competed at the second annual girls-only tournament in Pine Island on Saturday — one not many will forget anytime soon.

PINE ISLAND — In what had already been a remarkable past few months for the sport of girls wrestling in Minnesota, Saturday may have been the icing on the cake.

Female wrestlers from as far north as Bemidji and as far west as Ortonville came to Pine Island High School for the second Pine Island Girls Wrestling Tournament to compete and make history.

According to tournament organizer and Pine Island wrestling board member Jason Elsmore, with more than 260 wrestlers and more than 60 schools represented, the event is the largest girls-only wrestling invitational in state history. Continue reading at ostbulletin.com →

Pine Island’s Elsmore continues to defy the doubters, including her dad

PINE ISLAND — Jason Elsmore will be the first to say he was one of many who didn’t think girls should be wrestling.

He admits now, he couldn’t have been more wrong, but it took time for the former standout Lake City wrestler and three-time state medalist to come to grips with the sport.

“What I grew up with was just — girls didn’t wrestle,” he said. “That’s why I was the way I was until I started learning about it. It’s the old-school mindset, and it’s just having to change that thought process.”

Still, he had an extra singlet with him when he brought his second-grade daughter Lauren to her younger brother’s wrestling tournament. Never one to back down from any challenge, he had a hunch Lauren would want to give it a go, but was hoping she would say no. Continue reading at postbulletin.com →