Notes: Iowa Heads West to Desert Duals

ON THE MAT
The University of Iowa women’s wrestling team will head west this week to compete in the Las Vegas Desert Duals, hosted by Wartburg College. The Hawkeyes will compete against Adams State, fourth-ranked Colorado Mesa University, and eighth-ranked Simon Frasier University. Competition will start at 10:35 am (CT) in the ballroom of Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

FOLLOW ALONG LIVE
• The duals will be updated live on trackwrestling.com
• The first dual against Adams State will start at 10:35 am (CT), followed by CMU at 1:30 pm (CT), and ending with SFU at 2:05 pm (CT)

SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow Iowa women’s wrestling team on X (IowaW_Wrestling), Instagram (Iowawomenswrestling), and Facebook (Iowa Women’s Wrestling).

MAKING HISTORY
The week of October 30th, 2023, was the official start of the inaugural University of Iowa women’s wrestling season. At the East Stroudsburg dual, the Hawkeyes dominated ESU, winning their dual 43-1. On Sunday at the Princeton Open, the Hawkeyes secured six gold medals, and a total of 10 top-three finishes. Two placement matches consisted of two Hawkeyes wrestling against each other. Sterling Dias and Emilie Gonzalez wrestled for first at 101, while Anakya Besco and Cali Leng wrestled for fifth at 130.

NO. 1 IN THE POLLS
For the second time in the regular season, the Hawkeyes sit at No. 1 in the NWCA coaches poll. Iowa leads with 115 points, being followed by North Central at No. 2 (107), and King at No. 3 (90).

INCOMING ALL-AMERICAN
• Felicity Taylor, a native of Spillville, Iowa, spent the past four years at McKendree University in Illinois, where she helped the Bearcats win three national team titles. She was the NCWWC National Champion in 2021, while finishing as the 116-pound national runner-up in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
• Taylor has also excelled on the national scene, winning both the U.S. Open and U23 National Tournaments and qualifying for Final X. It is the final leg of USA Wrestling’s Senior World Team Trials process.

DEEDE DOMINATES NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC
• Marlynne Deede competed at the NWCA All-Star Classic on November 21st in State College, Pennsylvania.
• Under the lights of Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University, Deede defeated Latifah Mcbryde of Life, via an 8-3 decision.

NEWCOMERS
• The Hawkeyes brought in 13 new signees to start the 2023-24 season; 4 transfers and 9 freshman.
•Introducing one transfer from Jamestown, Augsburg, and two from McKendree.
• Only one of the Hawkeye newcomers is an Iowa native, Freshman Lilly Luft. Luft comes from Charles City, ranking first nationally in her weight class.
• The other 9 freshman come from a wide range of hometowns, reaching from California all the way to New Jersey.

ESTRELLA’S FIGHT FOR LAHAINA
On August 8th, 2023, the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than 100 years burned through Lahaina, killing at least 115 people and leveling homes and businesses. University of Iowa wrestler Nanea Estrella attended Lahainaluna High School for four years, boarding in her adopted community about an hour west of her hometown of Makawao, in upcountry Maui. Estrella reached out to the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; Macy Anderson, community engagement and communications associate in Student-Athlete Academic Services; and Kara Park, assistant athletics director for student development. Together, they decided to hold a drive to replace the toys and athletic supplies that so many kids lost in the fire. Donations poured into Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Iowa Book, as well as Xtream Arena before the Hawkeye volleyball team’s home opener during FRYfest.

GONZALEZ NAMED REGIONAL WOTM
Sophomore Brianna Gonzalez was named NWCA Region 5 Wrestler of the Month for November. Gonzalez is currently undefeated at 116 pounds, and is ranked third in recent NWCA rankings.

UP NEXT
The Hawkeyes will head to Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, on December 29th-30th to compete in the second annual Soldier Salute. The first session will start on Friday at 10 a.m. CT.