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Spokane, Wash. selected to host the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships for the next three years

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Panoramic View of The Podium Powered by STCU in Spokane, during Bigfoot Battle
Panoramic view of The Podium Powered by STCU during the Northwest Bigfoot Battle wrestling event. Photo by Christina Hargrove.

USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States, has selected Spokane, Wash. as the host city for the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships for the next three years.

The event includes competition in freestyle wrestling in eight age divisions, and serves as the World Team Trials in women’s freestyle in four of those age levels. It is one of the largest and most prestigious female wrestling events held in the United States each year.

The venue for the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships will be The Podium Powered by STCU, which is located in the heart of downtown Spokane. This spectacular setting creates the ultimate backdrop for sports events, allowing fans and athletes to walk to Spokane’s hotels, restaurants, retail, and entertainment options. The venue is strategically positioned near Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and Spokane Convention Center.

This is a new facility, which has served as venue for a variety of different sports. This past week, USA Wrestling hosted its Folkstyle Tour of America Northwest Bigfoot Battle at The Podium Powered by STCU.

The local organizing committee for the event will be Spokane Sports and the Washington State Wrestling Association (the USA Wrestling state association in Washington).

"This is a tremendous win for the Spokane community. We are proud that Washington has one of the highest participation rates of women's wrestling in the country. We have longstanding partnerships with USA Wrestling and Washington State Wrestling and look forward to collaborating to put on a first-rate championship event at The Podium,” said Ashley Blake, Vice President of Spokane Sports.

"Washington is honored USA Wrestling selected us in partnership with Spokane Sports to host such an event. this is a great opportunity for the Pacific Northwest and we look forward to putting on a great event for all those who attend,” said Justin Newby, Executive Director of the Washington State Wrestling Association.

“This location will help USA Wrestling to take this competition to the next level. It is a great facility. The growth of women’s wrestling in Washington is huge. Spokane Sports is excited to elevate women’s wrestling,” said Christina Hargrove, USA Wrestling Manager of National Events.

The dates for the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships in Spokane will be April 14-16, 2023; April 12-14, 2024; and April 11-13, 2025.

This event brings together a number of different competitions for girls and women. National tournaments are held for athletes in the following age divisions: 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, U15, U17, U20, and U23. It serves as the U.S. World Team Trials in four of the age divisions (U15, U17, U20, and U23).

The roots of this competition goes back to 1996, when the first U17 Women’s Nationals was held in Las Vegas, N.M. The U20 Women’s Nationals began in 1998 in Metairie, La. The first U23 Women’s Nationals was held in Rochester, Minn., in 2017. The U15 Women’s Nationals was created in 2019 in Irving, Texas.

For many years, USA Wrestling has combined numerous national events for girls and women into what is now called the USA Wrestling Women’s National Championships. This will be the first time that the tournament has been held in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, the 2022 Women’s Nationals was held in Fort Worth, Texas for one year, with the seven previous competitions held in Irving, Texas.