Female wrestler at U of M Dearborn fights to take on male competitors

Posted at 9:27 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 10:44:42-04

A female wrestler at the University of Michigan-Dearborn wants to wrestle men.

She’s taken down all her competition and won the last two Women’s National Championships and now has her sights set on new challenges.

RELATED: ACLU Michigan urges College Wrestling Association to stop sex discrimination

However, there’s one opponent standing in her way - the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.

It hasn't been easy for Marina Goocher. She’s the only female wrestler within the Great Lakes Regional Conference, meaning she has to wait until NCWA National Championships before she can even hit the mats.  

However, Goocher says she wants the opportunity to wrestle with men.

"I’ve been doing this my whole life, so it was like the beginning of college I knew this was an issue," said Goocher.

She is the only female wrestler at U of M Dearborn, and a two-time Women's National Champion for wrestling.  

"Just because I was able to get two national titles doesn't mean I was at the level I want to be at," said Goocher.

She wants to take on male wrestlers, but there’s just one problem.

"Even though there are a lot of men to wrestle I don’t get to compete since there’s no women,  so the only competition I get is National, so I basically have to be benched the whole time," said Goocher.

Goocher has been wrestling against males since she was 5-years-old.

"I’ve gotten a hundred, more than a hundred varsity career wins in high school all against male competitors," said Goocher. 

The ACLU of Michigan has taken notice of Goochers desire to wrestle males and sent a letter the NWCA.

"To urge them to change their rules. Women should be able to wrestle against men if there are no other equal opportunities for them to wrestle and compete," said Bonsitu Kitaba-Gaviglio, staff attorney at the ACLU Michigan.  

According to the ACLU of Michigan, The NCWA sent out an email this past season to the coaches stating, "Women wrestle women.  Men wrestle men in practice and competition period.”

For Goocher she just wants a fair chance.

"It’s just to have the equal opportunity, it not just wanting to wrestle the guys," said Goocher.

 The ACLU is hoping to hear back from the NWCA by Nov. 7

Marina is the second female wrestler to reach and surpass 100 wins in the state of Michigan.