IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A junior world champion and U.S. Olympic trials finalist is the first member of the Iowa women's wrestling program's inaugural signing class.
Coach Clarissa Chun on Thursday announced Kylie Welker of Franksville, Wisconsin, as her first recruit.
The 18-year-old Welker won a gold medal at the 2021 Junior World Championships, leading Team USA to its first Junior world team title, and she represented the United States at 72 kg at the 2021 Senior World Championships. Last March she lost to eventual Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray in the finals at the U.S. team trials.
“This is an incredible moment for Kylie, her family and the Iowa wrestling program,” Chun said. “She is the complete package -- competitively, socially, academically -- and the perfect ambassador for the university and this program. We continue to make history in Iowa City. The work doesn’t stop for me or for Kylie with this commitment. This is only the beginning for her and Iowa women’s wrestling.”
Welker will train Iowa City and compete unattached in 2022-23. The Hawkeyes are the first Power 5 school to start a women's wrestling program and will begin competing in 2023-24.