The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa women’s wrestling dominates NCWWC Regional, sending 15 wrestlers to national championships

Six Hawkeye wrestlers claimed regional championships on Friday.
Sahithi Shankaiahgari
Iowa’s 130-pound Emily Frost celebrates after the NCWWC Regionals at Cowles Fieldhouse in Indianola, Iowa on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.

By sundown, Cowles Fieldhouse in Indianola, Iowa, might as well have been painted black and gold.

The Iowa women’s wrestling team sent 15 wrestlers to the NCWWC Regionals on Thursday, and all 15 earned berths to the national championships in March. Six Hawkeyes claimed individual regional championships.

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The Hawkeyes competed in Region Five, which was hosted by Simpson College. The bracket featured four ranked teams – McKendree, William Jewell, Wartburg, and Lindenwood. 

Though team scores were kept, the real emphasis was placed on individual scores, with the top four wrestlers in each weight class qualifying for the NCWWC Nationals on March 8-9. Iowa was allowed to send 15 wrestlers to Indianola, including one wrestler per weight class along with five substitutes. Each wrestler can qualify for a trip to the NCWWC Nationals, but only one wrestler in each weight class will count toward the overall team score. 

“These 15 qualifiers are a combination of the support from administration, the community, staff, family, and the work day in and day out from our wrestlers,” Iowa head coach Clarissa Chun told Hawkeye Sports. “I think of each and every one of these girls’ individual journey throughout the season, and just to see their growth and knowing where they want to be and how they want to execute is awesome. It’s a great day to be a Hawkeye.”


Iowa had no problems in the quarterfinal round, with each wrestler moving on to the semifinals. Twelve matches ended with technical falls. 

Sterling Dias, Emilie Gonzalez, and Ava Bayless dominated their opponents by wide margins. Brianna Gonzalez followed her twin sister Emilie by pummeling Rose Le of William Jewell to clinch a berth in the next round. 

Felicity Taylor earned a hard-fought victory via fall in the 116 bout, setting up the best match of the round. Despite being down 8-0 at one point in the match, first-year Ava Rose came back to defeat Alexandra Waitsman of William Jewell, 11-8. 

The thrilling victory seemed to light an even bigger fire under the rest of the Hawkeye squad, and Emily Frost, Lilly Luft, and Ella Schmit responded with easy wins. 

Reese Larramendy, Marlynne Deede, and Bella Mir continued the momentum with technical falls at 143 and 155 pounds, respectively. 

Iowa ended the round just how it started it, with Kylie Welker winning the 170 bout in 25 seconds and more technical falls from Haley Ward and Jaycee Foeller. 


The Hawkeyes picked up right where they left off in the semifinals, sending 11 wrestlers to the regional finals, as well as the national finals in March.

Emilie Gonzalez and Bayless secured their spots in the finals with easy victories in the 101 and 109 bouts. Sandwiched in between them was Diaz in the second 101 match. She struggled with McKendree’s Lizette Rodriguez but came out on top with a 3-0 decision to move on.  Brianna Gonzalez punched her ticket to the regional finals with a victory over Quincy’s Trinity Pendergrass. The wins also clinched national final spots for Bayless and the Gonzalez twins. 

Taylor advanced with a fall over McKendree’s Julia Vidallon. Rose was defeated by McKendree’s Shelby Moore in the 123 semifinal. 

Frost and Schmit lost their respective bouts, but Luft earned her spot in the final round with a 5-0 decision over McKendree’s Estella Gutches. From there, Larramendy, Deede, and Mir marched to the national finals with easy wins. 

Welker and Foeller advanced to the next round and qualified for the national championships, but Ward fell in the 170 match, sending her to the consolation rounds.

Consolation round

Iowa continued its dominating day in the consolation round, with all four remaining Hawkeye wrestlers punching their ticket to Cedar Rapids. 

Rose earned a 7-1 victory via decision over William Jewell’s Emarie Bolosan, while Frost knocked off Lindenwood’s Cayden Condit with a fall 90 seconds into the match. 

Schmit had to earn her way to the finals but finally reached the mountaintop with a fall over Lindenwood’s Rebecca Strong five minutes into the match. Ward secured her spot in the national finals with an 8-2 decision over Kassidee Savaria of Simpson College.


Iowa concluded regional action in the final round, where six Hawkeyes earned regional championships. Iowa also took home the regional championship as a team, followed by McKendree with 193 points and Lindenwood with 106. 

Emilie Gonzalez, Brianna Gonzalez, Rose and Larramendy secured regional titles.

Larramendy had arguably the biggest win of the tournament against U.S. World Team representative and top-ranked Emma Bruntil of McKendree. 

Emilie Gonzalez defeated fellow teammate Sterling Dias for the crown at 101 pounds. Deede and Welker also claimed regional championships. Welker wrestled a total of 2:01 minutes the entire tournament.

Iowa earned five second-place finishes, two third-place crowns, and two in fourth-place. 

Up next 

Iowa concludes its season in the NCWWC National Championships on March 8-9. The event will be held at Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Hawkeyes said they hope to perform with a home crowd advantage.

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About the Contributor
Brad Schultz
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.