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Caley Graber made Minnesota history on Friday, becoming the first girl to win a match in the boys bracket at Minnesota's wrestling state championships. She followed with another victory that pushed her into the semifinal round.

The Northfield wrestler's historic run came to an end Saturday with a shutout loss to the state's No. 2-ranked wrestler, Dylan St. Germain of Eagan. A narrow defeat against Anthony Heim of Shakopee in the consolation bracket followed, but Graber finished fifth in Class 3A's 107-pound weight class by winning a rematch of her second-round win against Mounds View's Owen LaRose.

"The tournament felt good, but it was a tough loss," Graber, a sophomore, said after her semifinal loss. "I'll bounce back and hopefully get a little higher on that podium."

Girls at Xcel Energy Center to compete in the girls bracket Saturday took note of Graber's accomplishments in the boys division. South St. Paul's Gisele Gallegos said the showcase of Graber's talent at the Xcel Energy Center would benefit other girl wrestlers statewide, and she expects it to help Graber with the wrestling that's ahead for her.

"This is what she needed," Gallegos said. "I think the competition she faces in the boys section will help her prepare for freestyle wrestling in the future."

After years of watching Graber at national meets and high school tournaments, Hastings' Skylar Little Soldier, who is ranked seventh in the nation at 155 pounds, knows how hard Graber trained for state, and how much she gained.

"It's a big thing for girls to break through against the boys and show it can be done," Little Soldier said.

Aspen Blasko of Forest Lake and Camryn Kenning of St. Cloud, each a former state champion in the girls bracket, said Graber should take plenty of satisfaction away from her state result even though it did not produce a medal. Kenning said she had seen enough support for Graber by fans and athletes to know her weekend in the spotlight would benefit girls wrestling.

"All the girls coming up in recent years, Caley will want to make more of them go out for it," Kenning said.

Blasko, the 114-pound girls champion in 2023, sat out this season but has kept a watchful eye on the girls wrestling scene.

"She's gone through much," Blasko said. "It's absolutely amazing to get to see her be the coolest girl in girls wrestling this year."

Chatfield coach Matt Mauseth called Graber the "gold standard" for girls wrestlers, and he sees girls wrestling catching up to her.

"The quality of girls wrestling in Minnesota is quickly improving," Mauseth said. "Girls of a different caliber will always seek out the best competition they can, but as the quality of girls wrestling continues to improve, girls can feel like they can be pushed in the girls division as well."

Theo Franz is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune.