ON THE MAT
The top-ranked University of Iowa women’s wrestling team will compete in the Soldier Salute on Dec. 29-30 at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa. Session I begins at 10 a.m. (CT) on Friday followed by Session II at 3:30 p.m. Session III is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday and the tournament will conclude with Session IV at 5 p.m.
FOLLOW ALONG LIVE
• The second annual Soldier Salute will be streamed on B1G+ (subscription required)
• You can follow live results on TrackWrestling and on X.
Follow Iowa women’s wrestling team on X (IowaW_Wrestling), Instagram (Iowawomenswrestling), and Facebook (Iowa Women’s Wrestling).
The week of October 30th, 2023, was the official start of the inaugural University of Iowa women’s wrestling season. The Hawkeyes have opened the season 7-0 in dual competition and have had a total of 12 champions crowned in open competition. On November 12, Iowa hosted the first ever women’s wrestling duals inside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In front of a record breaking crowd of 8,207 fans, the Hawkeyes went 3-0 against three top-15 opponents.
PREVIEWING THE SOLDIER SALUTE
The Hawkeyes will make the short drive to Xtream Arena to compete in the second annual Soldier Salute. Last year, competing unattached, Sterling Dias, Felicity Taylor and Reese Larramendy all captured titles at the inaugural tournament.
The Hawkeyes will be represented at just about every weight class at the Soldier Salute. There will be approximately 15 Iowa Women’s wrestlers competing.
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).
• 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.
HAWKEYES HEADING TO OLYMPIC TRIALS
• Marlynne Deede and Rose Cassioppi both quaified at 76kg for the 2024 Olympic Team Trials after placing at Senior Nationals in Fort Worth, TX. this past weekend. Deede finished in second place and Cassioppic placed fifth.
• Kylie Welker previosuly qualified for trials by being a member the 2021 World Team.
• These three Hawkeyes will be in State College, PA. April 19-20 vying for a spot on the 2024 Olympic Team.
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.
• 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 NWCA WRESTLER OF THE MONTH
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.
The Hawkeyes will head to the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 5-6 to compete in the NWCA National Duals.