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  • Women's Collegiate Transfer Update

    It's been a big summer already for wrestlers entering the portal. Here is a quick update of some notable moves into the portal and commitments as well.
    Emily Mendez - Transfer to William Jewell from Adrian
    Mendez announced she was transferring after this year’s NCWWCs. She was a 3X qualifier for the Bulldogs, and had a sixth Place All-American finish in 2021. She broke into the top 10 in the 109 lb weight class late last season. She ran into tough opponents early in this tournament dropping a match to Ava Bayless in the second round and Jenavi Alejandro after winning two other matches by tech fall on the back side. Mendez made a big splash at the King Tornado Open this past season defeating 3x AA Samantha Miller (also in this article) to win the top spot. The Cardinals did not have a qualifier at 109lbs this past season, so Mendez will be a real boost to that spot (now 110 lbs) in the lineup. 
    Samantha Miller - Transfer to McKendree from Mount Olive
    Miller announced she will be spending her last season at McKendree after starting her career at Presbyterian and transferring to Mount Olive last season. Miller has been an All-American every year she’s wrestled in college finishing sixth, fifth, and fifth at 101 lbs for Presbyterian from 2021-2023 and finishing in 3rd last season at 109 lbs for Mount Olive. Miller has stated in interviews that she liked being up at 109 lbs, and will likely stay there (now 110 lbs) to compete for the Bearcats as she tries to finally get to the top of the podium at NCWWCs.
    Katja Osteen - Transfer to Iowa from Simon Fraser
    Osteen is a 2x All-American from Simon Fraser in 2022 and 2023 at the 191 lb weight class. She took last season off to train at the US Olympic Trainer Center in their Elite Accelerator Program. The new college weight classes will make things interesting with a 180 lb category as well as 207 lbs. The Hawkeyes have no shortage of talent at their upper weights with Jaycee Foeller coming in with her final year of eligibility after her runner-up finish last year and Alivia White, who just finished up her redshirt freshman year with a 19-5 record, including 14 pins and top 3 finishes at the Warrior Open, Soldier Salute and Missouri Valley Open. Add Osteen to the list of talented wrestlers contributing to the insane depth for Iowa this upcoming season. 
    Jennifer Soto - Transferring to King from McKendree
    Soto made the announcement of her transfer in a strongly worded Instagram post, announcing her excitement to join King’s program and Coach Moorman. Soto has been a top 5 ranked wrestler throughout her last season with the Bearcats, finishing fourth at regionals after a loss to teammate and 4x champ Cam Gueron. While Soto qualified for nationals, she went 1-2. In 2023, Soto had her first All-American finish when she came in fourth at 123 lbs her freshman season. King currently has some real talent at both of Soto’s previous weight classes, with NCWWC finalist Virginia Foard and third-place finisher Montana DeLawder at 123 lbs and finalist and top-ranked Victoria Baez-Dilone at 130l bs. With the possibility of redshirts, multiple qualifiers, and shifting weight classes, I think there is certainly a path for Soto to make her way into the lineup, and I am curious to see how she competes with top talent in the room.
    Faith Cole - Transferring to Missouri Baptist from McKendree
    Cole was one of the many talented wrestlers looking for a new home after Iowa Wesleyan closed down. Cole committed to Iowa Wesleyan after becoming the very first girl to become a 4x undefeated state champ in Missouri. Cole was an All-American during her time at Wesleyan, finishing 6th at 109 lbs, and then transferred to McKendree. Faith was a Cadet Pan-Am champ in 2021 and a Fargo champ in addition to her other accolades. While MoBap has some talent at lighter weights, they did not have any All-Americans at 109 lbs last season, and that is certainly the possibility Cole brings to the table. With Missouri Baptist’s move into the stacked Heart of America Conference with teams like Grand View, Central Methodist, Missouri Valley, and William Penn, The Spartans should look to utilize Cole and their other returning talent to make a big splash their first year.
    Bella Ngo - Transfer to Texas Wesleyan from Iowa
    While this announcement came back in February, I still think it is notable for the instant impact Ngo could have on the Texas Wesleyan lineup. Ngo committed to Iowa out of high school and had a 10-5 record with the Hawkeyes her freshman year, even taking second place at the Soldier Salute. Prior to college competition, Ngo finished fourth at USA Wrestling's Folkstyle Nationals in 2021 and had a third-place finish at the California State Championships her senior season in 2022. The Rams are returning Sooner Athletic Conference Champs, and are certainly hopeful that Ngo’s addition to the lineup helps them pull away even more from their NAIA competition.
    Salyna Shotwell - Transfer to Life from McKendree
    This is a homecoming for Shotwell as she originally committed to Life out of high school. After finishing as the NAIA runner-up in 2022 at 116 lbs she transferred to McKendree. During this past season, Shotwell was ranked in the top 10, placed fifth at Midlands, and 2nd at the MoVal Open. Shotwell will certainly be looking to improve upon her last run in the NAIA National tournament to claim a championship title, and while Life is stacked with talent at all weights including 2024 All-American Ariana Martinez at 116 lbs, I have a feeling Shotwell should be able to fight for a spot in the lineup given her talent.
    There are a lot of additional transfer commitments already made and many more to come. Here are also a few notable wrestlers currently in the portal waiting to make a decision to transfer or stay with their original school:
    Kaelani Shufeldt - Lock Haven (2024 NCWWC Runner Up, 109lbs)
    Esther Han - Iowa (ranked in the top 5 last season at 136 lbs, MoVal Open Champ, ended season early due to injury) 
    Payton Stroud - McKendree (3x All-American, 116 lbs)
    Claire Agostini - Adrian (Ranked in top-10 at 143 lbs last season)
    Kendall Bostelman- North Central (2023 All-American at 143 lbs)

    Navy Hires Barry Davis as Assistant Coach

    In an offseason full of surprising coaching moves, the US Naval Academy threw their hat into the ring as they shocked the wrestling world by bringing back the legendary Barry Davis as an assistant coach. 
    Davis spent 25 years as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin - a tenure that ended in 2018. Since then, Davis has not had a position coaching at the collegiate level. 
    While at Wisconsin, Davis amassed a 227-167-11 dual record and oversaw a squad that captured an NCAA team trophy in 2010, finishing fourth in the nation. That placement tied the highest in school history. Individually, Davis coached three national champions, 26 All-Americans, and eight Big Ten champions. The title won by Andrew Howe in 2010 (165 lbs) remains the most recent by a Badger wrestler. 
    As a competitor, Davis was a three-time NCAA champion, four-time All-American, and four-time Big Ten champion. His career mark, wrestling for the University of Iowa, was 162-9-1. 
    In the middle of his college career, Davis took an Olympic redshirt to prep for the 1984 Summer Olympics, He ended up coming away with a silver medal at 57 kg. Davis also medaled at the two World Championships that followed, claiming a bronze in 1985 and a silver in 1986. 
    The Naval Academy produced the first All-American of the Cary Kolat-era in March as David Key finished eighth in the 184 lb weight class. The Navy team finished sixth in the EIWA with 79.5 points and is expected to return three starters with past NCAA experience for the 2024-25 season.

    Earl Smith -


    Iowa's Lineup Could Feature Major Firepower In 2024-25

    It looks like a pair of heavy hitters will be joining the Iowa lineup next season.
    On Tuesday, (May21) there were two announcements that brought the Hawkeye faithful to their feet. First, Nelson Brands announced that he would be back next season then about 30 minutes later Kyle Parco, who entered the transfer portal a month ago, announced he would be joining the Hawkeyes next season as well.
    Parco comes to Iowa City with a 91-18 career record (according to Wrestlestat) and four All-America finishes of 6th ('21), 8th ('22), 4th ('23), and 5th ('24) last season all coming at 149-pounds. He was also a three-time Pac-12 champion while at ASU.
    Brands, who is coming off a one-year suspension after being involved in the widely talked about gambling situation, makes things very interesting. The 2023 NCAA All-American will be part of a bit of a log jam in the Hawks lineup at 174/184 next season. Of note, Iowa returns Patrick Kennedy, who manned the spot at 174, as well as Gabe Arnold, who had some very impactful moments during his true freshman redshirt year at both 174 and 184. Add in top-10 recruit Angelo Ferrari who projects to be a 174/184 as well.
    While the Hawks definitely got stronger with the pair of Tuesday evening announcements, it got a little difficult as well.
    Iowa's Lineup Possibilities
    So, what could the Iowa lineup look like next season with all this middleweight firepower? Let’s take a look some of the possibilities.
    125: Drake Ayala – ‘24 NCAA runner-up
    133: Cullan Schriever – wrestled both 133 and 141 in 23-24 season
    141: Cade Siebrecht – competed at 149 in his two seasons at Iowa
    149: Kyle Parco or Caleb Rathjen or Victor Voinovich – Parco earned 4th AA at ASU; Rathjen went 1-2 at ’24 NCAAs; Voinovich was a qualifier in ’23 at OK State
    157: Parco or Rathjen or Voinovich or Cobe Siebrecht – Siebrecht was a qualifier in ’23
    165: Michael Caliendo – 2x NCAA All-American
    174: Nelson Brands or Patrick Kennedy or Gabe Arnold or Angelo Ferrari – (Notes above)
    184: Brands or Kennedy or Arnold or Ferrari
    197: Zach Glazier – ’24 NCAA qualifier
    285: Ben Kueter or Bradley Hill – Hill went 1-2 at ’24 NCAAs; Kueter looked promising coming off first football season
    Focusing on 141, 149, 157 first. Someone at 149 will have to drop and someone will have to go up. Parco could go up and contend for the spot at 157 against Cobe Siebrecht, a 2023 NCAA qualifier, while Rathjen and Voinovich, battle it out at 149 with whoever loses the wrestle-off dropping to 141.
    At 174 my guess is it will probably come down to Brands vs Kennedy for the spot with Arnold taking over fully at 184 next season. The easiest approach to Ferrari is for him to redshirt, despite his want to be in the lineup as a true freshman. And speaking of Ferrari, it’s yet to be determined (or officially announced) if his older brother AJ, the 2021 197-pound NCAA Champion, will be sporting the black and gold next year. Right now, the only indicators are pictures of him and Kueter flexing in the Iowa room or videos of him working out in their room. If he joins the squad that will make things tough at 197 with Glazier returning as well. We all know how that interaction went down at the Soldier Solute.
    In the end, next year’s Iowa lineup could be very dangerous, it’s just a matter of who will be manning the battle stations in a few key spots.

    Ryan Holmes -

    • Women's Collegiate Transfer Update

      Women's Collegiate Transfer Update

    • Navy Hires Barry Davis as Assistant Coach

      Navy Hires Barry Davis as Assistant Coach

    • Iowa's Lineup Could Feature Major Firepower In 2024-25

      Iowa's Lineup Could Feature Major Firepower In 2024-25

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