Five Hawkeyes Claim Top 3 Finishes at U20 National Championship

SPOKANE, Washington – Seven University of Iowa women’s wrestlers competed in the U20 USMC Women’s National Championship in Spokane, Washington, this weekend. Five came out with a top three finish, with one being crowned champion.  

At 50kg, the Hawkeyes had three wrestlers competing for the title. Sterling Dias wrestled all the way to the quarterfinals before being defeated via 1-1 decision to Mia Palumbo of Illinois. The loss put Dias in the consolations, where she injury defaulted out of the tournament. Ava Bayless went 5-3 this weekend, taking a sixth-place finish after fighting hard through the blood rounds on the backside. Nyla Valencia finished in second after outscoring her opponents 39-14 with three out of four of her victories coming by technical fall. Valencia faced Arizona’s Audrey Jimenez in the best of three finals, where Jimenez won the first match with a 4-2 decision, and the second match with a 7-0 decision.   

Ella Schmit and Reese Larramendy both took top three finishes at 65kg, with Schmit placing second and Larramendy taking third. Four of Schmit’s five wins were accomplished via pin, which helped to place her in the best of three finals match-up against Missouri’s Maddie Kubicki. Schmidt took the first match with a pin in 4:41, but fell to Kubicki in the second match due to a pin in 4:46. In the third match, Schmidt battled the full six minutes, but lost via decision, 13-4. Larramendy made it to the quarterfinals, but fell to the consolations after a close 10-9 decision favoring Grace Stem from Pennsylvania. From there, Larramendy made her way through consolations with two technical falls, where she met Stem again in the third-place match. Larramendy won with a 16-5 technical fall to take the medal.  

At 68kg, Bella Mir claimed the title and secured her spot at the U20 World Championships this summer. Mir outscored her opponents 26-7, and earned three pins on her way to first place. In her best of three finals matchup against Nevada’s London Houston, Mir only needed 3:30 to get the job done. Mir needed only 1:24 to pin Houston in match one, and 1:54 in round two.  

Kylie Welker finished as runner-up at 76kg after going 4-2 this weekend and outscoring her opponents 49-9. After walking through the tournament with four technical falls, Welker met Kennedy Blades of Illinois in the finals. Welker trailed close in their first match, losing 6-8 via decision. In the second match, Welker was pinned with 38 seconds left in the first period, giving her the second place finish. 


50kg – Sterling Dias (Las Vegas, Nevada), Inj. Default 

WIN Audalie Cruz (Texas), Fall 1:24 

WIN Hailey Holland (California), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Nathalie Erazo (California), Tech. Fall 10-0 

LOSS Mia Palumbo (Illinois), Dec. 1-1 

LOSS Valerie Solorio (Pennsylvania), Inj. Default 


50kg – Ava Bayless (Greenville, Pennsylvania), 6th place 

WIN Sofia Abramson (Nevada), Tech. Fall 10-0 

LOSS Mia Palumbo (Illinois), Dec. 7-2 

WIN Mia Zunia (Washington), Tech. Fall 12-2 

WIN Nathalie Erazo (California), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Elizabeth Elliot (Pennsylvania), Tech. Fall 16-5 

WIN Jenavi Alejandro (Nevada), Tech. Fall 17-6 

LOSS Mia Palumbo (Illinois), Fall 5:54 

LOSS Clare Booe (Florida), Fall 4:20 


50kg – Nyla Valencia (Morgan Hill, California), 2nd place 

WIN Ryasia McDougle (Kansas), Tech. Fall 13-2 

WIN Diana Gonzalez (California), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Clare Booe (Florida), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Mia Palumbo (Illinois), Dec. 4-1 

LOSS Audrey Jimenez (Arizona), Dec. 4-2 

LOSS Audrey Jimenez (Arizona), Dec. 7-0 


65kg – Reese Larramendy (Reno, Nevada), 3rd place 

WIN Zoey Lints (New York), Tech. Fall 10-0 

LOSS Grace Stem (Pennsylvania), Dec. 10-9 

WIN Bridgette Sotomayor (Arizona), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Makayla Munoz (New Mexico), Tech. Fall 12-0 

WIN Janida Garcia (Colorda), Inj. Default 

WIN Grace Stem (Pennsylvania), Tech. Fall 16-5 


65kg – Ella Schmit (Bettendorf, Iowa), 2nd place 

WIN Hannah Hernandez (Oregon), Tech. Fall 13-0 

WIN Gennaveve Matt (Ohio), Fall 0:45 

WIN Gianna DiBenedetto (California), Fall 2:02 

WIN Grace Stem (Pennsylvania), Fall 2:00 

WIN Maddie Kubicki (Missouri), Fall 4:41 

LOSS Maddie Kubicki (Missouri), Fall 4:46 

LOSS Maddie Kubicki (Missouri), Dec. 13-4 


68kg – Bella Mir (Las Vegas, Nevada), 1st place 

WIN Abby Piper (Idaho), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Caitlyn Davis (South Carolina), Fall 4:53 

WIN Katerina Lange (Minnesota), Dec. 6-4 

WIN Nina Makem (Nevada), Dec. 10-3 

WIN London Houston (Nevada), Fall 1:24 

WIN London Houston (Nevada), Fall 1:54 


76kg – Kylie Welker (Franksville, Wisconsin), 2nd place 

WIN Lila Bloomer (Nebraska), Tech. Fall 10-0 

WIN Jacklyn Smith (Connecticut), Tech. Fall 11-0 

WIN Shenita Lawson (Texas), Tech. Fall 12-1 

WIN Lily El-Masri (California), Tech. Fall 10-0 

LOSS Kennedy Blades (Illinois), Dec. 8-6 

LOSS Kennedy Blades (Illinois), Fall 2:22