Trailblazers: women’s wrestling debuts in 2022


Chloe Peck

Women’s wrestling putting in the work before upcoming season

For the first time in college history, women’s wrestling will be added to the list of winter sports here at Simpson College. The season will officially begin on Oct. 15, and the first meet will be on Nov. 5. 

Leading the team is coach Jeff McGinness, who has a lengthy history with wrestling. He has been inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame and the University of Iowa Hall of Fame.

This past summer, he was also able to lead the Iowa Girls USA Cadet and Junior National Teams to a championship at USA Wrestling, the biggest national-level competition for high school.

With their first season underway, these wrestlers trust they are in good hands. 

“It honestly feels amazing. I’m so excited to help kickstart a program that hopefully has a really bright future and will make a big impact on some of the lives of future team members,” first-year Jenna Joseph said. 

For Kari German, a Junior transfer student from Indian Hills Community College, being the very first in a program’s history is an experience familiar to her. 

“I’ve been a part of starting up a new program, and it’s nerve-racking but also very exciting to get to be a part of making history; your name will always be remembered,” German said. 

All these women have an opportunity to set the tone for women’s wrestling here at Simpson, but being ‘the first’ can hold a lot of pressure. Especially in a sport such as wrestling, where most of the world holds it to be a sport for “men.” 

After all, it’s women’s wrestling for girls, but it’s wrestling for boys. 

“I personally have a problem with people assuming women’s wrestling isn’t as tough or competitive or as good as the men’s side of the sport,” Joseph said. “It’s a lot more work than people probably assume.”

Freshman Emma Brown added, “I hate the misconception that we [wrestlers] can’t be girly. We can be tough and girly.”

What these women need is support. It’s a lot easier to set a positive and enthusiastic tone for a new program when you know your school is backing you. 

Process and progress are the biggest things I am focused on,” McGinness said. “We have an amazing group of women who are excited and passionate about wrestling. I am equally excited and motivated to ensure I am giving them every opportunity to compete at their best.”

The creation of history is an experience not everyone gets the chance to be involved in. With this opportunity, exciting things lie ahead for the sport of wrestling at Simpson College. 

“It’s hard work, but it’s work that is going to make us the best. We spend hours at practice and then put in work on our own, which is what really matters,” German said. “The team is still getting to know one another, but we are all really supportive of each other.” 

For now, the team will continue their dedication to the sport as they gear up to be the first women in a Simpson College wrestling uniform.