EDISON, NJ - History was made this weekend at St. Thomas Aquinas High School when the Greater Middlesex Conference hosted its first-ever all-female championship. Eleven girls were crowned in their respective weight classes and Spotswood High School's Melissa Wehrle brought home a third place finish in the 135-pound weight class.
The freshman is one of two girls on the Spotswood High School wrestling team and was the first female to complete a wrestling season for the school district when she was a part of the Memorial Middle School Colts' wrestling team as an eighth grader. Wehrle finished fourth in the county in her weight class in last season's middle school GMC championship.
She defeated North Brunswick's Zunny Calles by a fall to take third place. The Spotswood native lost her semifinal match to New Brunswick's Karla Ruiz by an 8-2 decision. Wehrle's quarterfinal opponent was Calles as well. She defeated Calles by a fall to move into the semis. Monroe High School's Gabby Miller defeated Ruiz by a fall to take the 135-pound GMC championship title.
The Greater Middlesex Conference became the first league in the Garden State to sanction an all-female high school wrestling tournament last fall. The NJSIAA added a female wrestling tournament to its high-profile state high school wrestling tournament in 2019. Female wrestling was tapped by ESPN as the fastest growing high school sport in the country in the spring of 2018.
Wehrle was drawn to the sport of wrestling after watching her older brother compete. Bob Wehrle is a junior at Spotswood High School and is a member of the Chargers varsity wrestling team. Wehrle's big brother has been a huge supporter of his sister's decision to join the SHS wrestling team.