Photo: Tony Rotundo

Iowa Women’s Wrestling Recruiting Class


With Iowa announcing that they will be adding a women’s team in the 2023-24 season they have pulled in some of the most talented women’s wrestlers from around the country. The recruiting class is of course headlined by world team member Kylie Welker who burst onto the senior level scene last year with her incredible run at the Olympic Trials where she eventually fell to none other than 6x World Champion Adeline Gray.

Recruiting Class-

Ava Bayless

Nanea Estrella

Brianna Gonzalez

Emilie Gonazalez

Resse Larramendy

Ella Schmidt

Nyla Valencia

Kylie Welker


Before the Hawkeye women’s team competes in their inaugural season in 2023-2024 the wrestlers who are already in the school at that point would be competing unattached for the most part.

Kylie Welker-

Welker is the premier recruit and will probably be the face of collegiate women’s wrestling for as long as she is there. She has done crazy things in the sport already like making the finals of the Olympic Trials and making a senior World Team all while not even turning 18 years old yet. Her committing to Iowa definitely had a huge barring on the other recruits making their choices.

Nyla Valencia-

2x Super 32 Champion and has competed at 106 pounds. She is ranked 3rd in the country at the moment at 106 pounds and will be competing unattached next year before joining the Hawkeyes in their first season.

Ella Schmidt-

The first wrestler from the state of Iowa to commit to the program which is huge. She is a 3x State Champion making the finals all four years she was in high school she won her last title at 125 pounds and along with this she qualified for the boys state tournament as well.

Resse Larramendy-

Very accomplished on the freestyle scene already placing third at the cadet world team trials and placing fifth at the junior world team trials. She was also a 16U national champion in 2019. Competed at Wyoming Seminary in high school earning the number 19 p4p ranking as well as a number 2 spot in her weight class at 144.

Emilie Gonzalez / Brianna Gonzalez-

The first set of sisters to commit. Brianna was ranked #1 at 100 pounds and she is also the #13 prospect in the country as well. She also had a big win at the 2021 WNO. Emilie was ranked 15th in the nation at 106 pounds.

They said that there were a couple different schools that they considered attending but having Clarissa Chun as the coach was the deciding factor for them to make the commitment.

Nanea Estrella-

The first transfer commit for the Hawkeyes coming from Menlo College where she spent the past two years where she finished as a runner up at 130 pounds most recently. Very accomplished on the freestyle scene as she was a UWW Junior National Champ in 2019 and she has ranked up a couple more placements since then.

Ava Bayless-

From Wyoming Seminary as well as Larramendy. Just adding to the stacked level of recruiting that Iowa is getting from that school with Kolby Franklin and Gabe Arnold as well. Bayless was the number 12 nationally ranked recruit at 112 pounds. She is also a 2x National Prep Champion and an All American.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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