Female MHS Wrestler Makes History

Female MHS Wrestler Makes History
Posted on 03/06/2019
Montclair High School had its first female state place winner in wrestling. Senior Jaala Williams placed in the Top 3 of the NJSIAA North Regional, advancing to wrestle in the Inaugural NJSIAA Girls Wrestling Championships in Atlantic City. Williams made it all the way to the state finals in the 136 lb. weight class and came home with a Silver medal.   

group pic wrestlers on podium

The NJSIAA, the governing body for scholastic sports in New Jersey, sanctioned girls’ wrestling this winter for the first time. Ten girls made New Jersey scholastic history on March 2 by participating in the girls’ state tournament, held during the same weekend as the boys’ state tournament at Boardwalk Hall.  

female wrestler in action        female wrestler in action

Earlier this year, for the first time ever, Williams, along with other girls, competed at the Essex County Tournament at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange as part of an ongoing, historic first season for girls wrestling in New Jersey

At that tournament, while there were no brackets exclusively for girls, Williams and a handful of other girls competed against the boys. 

In a recent interview with Montclair Local, Williams said about her groundbreaking efforts. “I just feel like, for sports in general, there is an achievement gap with what men athletes and women athletes are expected to do. I think having girls wrestle with boys eliminates that gap because we’re all expected to do the same thing. We’re all expected to go out and wrestle and win no matter what.”

Read more about Williams’ journey here.      
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