The Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission will host its 15th annual Midwest Nationals Wrestling Tournament this weekend. On Saturday, Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center will be home to more than 1,000 wrestlers.
According to founder of the competition, Mike Manahan, this year is expected to be more eventful than before because now girl vs. girl competitions will be added to the mix. This is the first time the event has seen girls compete and the tournament staff are exciting to see this new change.
Another new first is the addition of title belts, previously contestants battled for a trophy but now winners will get to take home their very own belt of honor. The competition will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top six individuals in each weight class and team trophies will be awarded to the top two teams in each division.
Those who are interested in participating have until weigh-ins on Friday, July 13 to register. Registration forms can be filled out at the Shirk Center prior to weigh-in or downloaded at www.midwestnationalswrestling.com. The entry fee is $50 per wrestler.
The estimated economic impact of hosting the Midwest Nationals Wrestling Tournament in Bloomington-Normal is expected to reach more than $165,800 for the city.
The Midwest Nationals is organized by the Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission, Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association and Illinois Coaches Association, with the Midwest Laborers serving as title sponsor.