Minnesota girl makes history at boys wrestling state tournament

A lack of competition in girls wrestling side pushed Caley Graber to compete in the boys’ bracket. Now, the 16-year-old from Northfield is making history.

After hours of hard work, Graber made it to the Minnesota Wrestling State Tournament. 

"It was always something that was in the back of my mind going through the season -- that if I won, I'd be the first girl to ever win a match at boys state or ever place at boys state in Minnesota," said Graber, who is a sophomore.

She made history as she won three matches in the boys’ division, ending with fifth place in Class 3A's 107-pound weight class.

She became the first girl to ever win a match or medal for boys’ wrestling.

"It was life-changing for my daughters to be able to see that and just to know that girls can do anything in boys’ or girls’ sports," said Tyler Faust, head coach at Summit Wrestling Academy.

Caley’s club coach said she’s typically at Summit Wrestling Academy seven days a week. She’s quiet and humble as she helps coach younger students but also works hard lifting weights and training in the practice room.

"Within the Graber family, they train like nobody else and there's a lot of hours put in that some people see, then what people don't see," Faust said.

Wrestling by the age of 5, Caley practiced with her older brother. She fell in love with the sport after making friends and learning how to push herself.

"When I was younger, there wasn't a ton of girls wrestling, so I was wrestling all guys. Last year in high school, I wrestled in the girls’ tournament," she said.

"She had to wrestle boys to get the push she needed," Faust explained.

Caley said girls’ wrestling is growing, so she believes she will have more fierce competition in the future. She also has a message for other young girls: "Girls can compete with the boys. Even as they get older, they can still compete, and that they can do just as much as the boys can."