Snow couldn’t stop parents from attending Bi-State Classic

58 schools competed in event

The storm that brought 6-12 inches of snow to our area provided plenty of challenges for the Bi-State wrestling tournament in La Crosse.

The competition draws people from across the area, and for some traveling parents, making alternate plans was necessary.

To avoid the storm entirely, some parents even changed their plans, trying to simply watch wrestling rather than wrestling with roads.

It’s a tradition 34 years in the making.

“It’s not just a wrestling tournament,” said Dave Rudrud, tournament director for the event, “It’s a festival.”

But for some parents, Monday’s snowstorm put their traveling plans in jeopardy.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve come down to La Crosse in inclement weather,” said Kelly Massie, a parent from Hudson.

“This is the biggest weather challenge we’ve ever had in restructuring the event,” said Rudrud.

Massie has been to Bi-state for several years now.

“This will be my fourth trip since my son’s a senior,” said Massie. “Bi-state’s an awesome tournament. We love it.”

But after watching the forecast Monday, Massie decided to change plans.

“We kind of made a quick call yesterday morning to work, and decided we just take off a little early and enjoy this last year the night before rather than driving early in the morning and putting up with traffic,” said Massie.

Tournament officials pushed today’s start back two hours to allow far away teams the chance to travel.

“(We) adjusted the weigh-in window by two hours, so that everybody could travel in the daylight,” said Rudrud. “Some teams traveled in early, so they all traveled in daylight, so that two hour adjustment really made it happen.”

The change provided parents much needed relief from winter’s toughest test.

“It helped a lot. Out team left earlier,” said Bill Harter from Stillwater, Minnesota. “I know they left an hour and a half earlier than they were planning, so they got here safely.”

Regardless of how parents got to La Crosse, parents and staff are happy this tradition is alive and well.

“I told everybody yesterday, it’s a snowstorm, we’re going to be wrestling on warm mats, not jet skiing down the Mississippi,” said Rudrud.

“Anyone who lives in the Minnesota Wisconsin area knows that weather is a part of our lives, so we adjust,” said Harter.

In total, 58 teams are competing in the tournament this year.

Only one school was unable to attend the competition due to the weather.