MOUNT VERNON – Cornell College has announced the addition of women’s wrestling as the 20th NCAA Division III varsity varsity sport with competitions starting in the 2023-24 academic year.
Cornell becomes Iowa’s 11th varsity women’s wrestling program that either already competes or plans to do so by at least 2023-24. The Rams join two other Iowa Division III institutions in Wartburg and Simpson.
âWrestling has been the lifeblood of Cornell Athletics, and we are delighted to provide competitive opportunities for women and build on the rich history of our historic program,â said Cornell Director of Athletics, Seth Wing. âCornell is a proud leader of the women’s varsity wrestling movement, which has seen tremendous growth and popularity across the country. Today is a giant leap for the College as we continue to improve the student-athlete experience. “
The NCAA has recognized women’s wrestling as an emerging sport in 2020 for all three divisions. Currently, there are 110 institutions nationwide that will have competitive inter-varsity women’s wrestling teams over the next two years, including 29 in Division III.
Other schools in Iowa include the I University of Iowa Division, Grand View of NAIA, Iowa Wesleyan, Waldorf, William Penn and Indian Hills of NJCAA, Iowa Central and Iowa Western.
“Adding women to our historically accomplished wrestling program at Cornell is a step in the right direction in providing representation and success opportunities for female athletes,” said Lindsay Knake, Cornell senior female administrator and assistant basketball coach. female ball. “We are confident that at Cornell our female wrestling student-athletes will have the opportunity to perform at a high level both athletically and academically.”
In Iowa, more than 600 girls took part in wrestling in high school last year. The Iowa State Championships attracted more than 450 female competitors in 2021. Women’s wrestling is currently sanctioned for high school competitions in 32 states.
With the addition of women’s wrestling, Cornell now sponsors 10 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports in its varsity track program. Men’s and women’s lacrosse was the last program added in 2015.
A national search is underway for Cornell’s first head coach in women’s wrestling. Cornell is accepting nominations until February 15, 2022. The coach is expected to be appointed in early April and begin official duties on July 1, 2022.
Collegiate women’s wrestling is classified as a winter sport with competitions held from October to February. The Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) has governed the sport and oversaw the national championships since 2008.
Joining their male counterparts, the Cornell wrestlers will train in the Meredith Wrestling Complex which features two new full-size mats as well as weight and cardio equipment. The competitions will take place in the main gymnasium of the Small Sport Center.
Women’s wrestling will benefit from a $ 19 million renovation and expansion of the Richard and Norma Small Athletic and Wellness Center (SAW), which is expected to be completed by fall 2022.
Cornell’s men’s wrestling program carries a rich tradition and a history of excellence spanning nearly 100 years. The famous Dream Team of 1947 accomplished an unprecedented feat by winning the NCAA and AAU National Championships in the same year. They are the first team to ever enter the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The Cornell fight is home to 81 All-Americans, nine individual NCAA champions and eight Olympians. Cornell has 33 top-20 teams at the NCAA Championships, including nine such performances since 2007.
Cornell will be holding a zoom media conference from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Contact Sports Information Director Kerry Kahl at [email protected] for zoom details.