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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Junior World Champion Welker Commits to Iowa

    Kylie Welker at the 2021 Senior World Championships (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Today, the Iowa women's wrestling program received its first verbal commitment. It wasn't just any commitment either. The top senior in the high school Class of 2022, Kylie Welker, will be the first member of Iowa's women's program.

    Welker had a remarkable 2021, making the 76 kg Olympic Trials finals, while still amid her junior year of high school. Later in the spring/summer, Welker made the Junior/Senior/U23 World Teams. Welker came home from Ufa, Russia, with a gold medal from the Junior World Championships at 76 kg. In November, Welker claimed bronze at the U23 World Championships, competing in Belgrade, Serbia.

    Those were not Welker's first taste of international hardware, as she took bronze at the Cadet World Championships in 2019. In 2016, Welker grabbed a bronze medal at the Pan-American Championships.

    Despite her busy international schedule, Welker still took time to head to Fargo, where she won a Junior National title at 164 lbs. During her run to a stop sign, Welker's opposition failed to last more than 1:24 in any of her five bouts. Welker outscored her competition 45-0 with four techs and a fall.

    Welker's verbal commitment comes about two and a half months after Clarissa Chun was named the initial head coach of Iowa's women's program. In late September, the athletic department announced that it would be the first power-five program to add women's wrestling. Along with Welker, a variety of top high school girls have recently visited the school in Iowa City.

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