This week, the wrestling team from Central Davis Junior High in Layton attended its opening meet of the season. And, as a first for Davis School District, two of the athletes that competed are female.
Davis has allowed girls to compete in wrestling at a high school school level. But until recently, this policy did not apply to junior high.
Kathleen Janis is one of the two female athletes now included on the team. And her mother Kelly has been integral in helping her get a tryout.
After several failed attempts to sign her daughter up, Kelly filed a federal lawsuit. She argued that current district policy is unconstitutional.
“It’s the fact that you don’t deny any child, male or female the opportunity to try," says Kelly Janis.
While the case is ongoing, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby has issued a temporary order allowing Kathleen and her teammate, 8th grader Gabbi Serrao, to compete with their school.
Kelly Janis was there on Tuesday when the girls represented Central Davis for the first time.
“It was amazing," says Kelly. "That’s what we have been fighting for. Not just for my daughter, but for all the girls who want to wrestle.”
District spokesperson Chris Williams has said that current district policy is based on federal law. And that guidelines differ from high school to the junior high level.
But following the court’s final decision, that policy might be changing.