NCAA No. 1 Iowa women, with five champions, top NAIA No. 1 Life at Soldiers Salute

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Bella Mir (Iowa) with her 155-pound Soldiers Salute trophy. Mir was also named Outstanding Wrestler. (Photo by Joseph Cress, ThinkIowaCity)

CORALVILLE, Iowa – NCAA No. 1 Iowa, led by five individual champions, defeated second place NAIA No. 1 Life by 29.5 points to win the Soldier Salute in women’s freestyle on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes scored 223 points, with Life finishing with 193.5 points. Iowa extended their 10.5 point lead from Friday. Rounding out the top five were NAIA Indiana Tech with 92 points, NAIA Texas Wesleyan with 87.5 points and NJCAA Umpqua CC with 59.5 points.

Individual champions for the Hawkeyes were Sterling Dias (101), Ava Bayless (109), Brianna Gonzalez (116), Bella Mir (155) and Haley Ward (170).

At 155 pounds, Iowa’s Bella Mir pinned NAIA No. 2 Latifah McBryde of Life in 2:05. Mir was named Outstanding Wrestler, with six wins including four pins and one technical fall.

Iowa wrestlers who also won their finals by fall were Dias and Gonzalez. Ward scored a technical fall in the finals, and Bayless won by injury default.

Life had three individual champions, all who defeated Iowa wrestlers in the finals: Sarah Savidge (130), Zaynah McBryde (136) and Jamilah McBryde (143).

In a battle of No. 1 ranked wrestlers in their college association, NAIA No. 1 Jamilah McBryde (Life) pinned NCAA No. 1 Reese Larramendy of Iowa in 5:58 in a high-scoring battle.

Savidge, No. 2 in the NAIA, beat NCAA No. 10 Emily Frost in a 12-0 technical fall. Zaynah McBryde, No. 9 in the NAIA, beat Lilly Luft, 5-2.

Other individual champions were Alexandra Waitsman of NCAA William Jewell (123) and unattached Jaycee Foeller (190).

Waitsman stopped Iowa’s Isabella Ngo, 7-6. Foeller, who previously wrestled for McKendree and Central Methodist, is on Iowa’s roster but wrestled unattached. Foeller beat Iowa’s Alivia White by technical fall, 10-0.


At Iowa City, Iowa, Dec. 30, 2023

Women’s freestyle results


1st - NCAA No. 2 Sterling Dias (Iowa) pin NAIA No. 11 Makayla Young (Indiana Tech), 2:48

3rd – Syndey Kutzke (Indiana Tech) pin Juliana Alejandro (Tiffin), 2:18

5th – Devyn Gomez (Life) pin Whitley Blake (Indiana Tech), 2:32

7th – Brianna Richey (Dubuque) inj dft. Teya Garner (William Penn)


1st - NCAA No. 2 Ava Bayless (Iowa) inj dft. NCAA No. 5 Jenavi Alejandro (Tiffin)

3rd – Tehani Soares (Indiana Tech) dec. Diana Gonzalez (Life), 8-6

5th – Brianna Funakoshi (Life) inj. dft. Alyssa Valdivia (William Jewell)

7th – Arianna Rodriguez (Texas Wesleyan)


1st - NCAA No. 3 Brianna Gonzalez (Iowa) pin Morgan Johnson (unattached), 2:15

3rd – Ariana Martinez (Life) inj. dft. Estefany Garcia (Life)

5th – Emma Jones (Indiana Tech) dec. Miranda DiBenedetto (Life), 6-2

7th – Taryn Evans (Umpqua CC) pin Rose Le (William Jewell), 1:18


1st - Alexandra Waitsman (William Jewell) dec. Isabella Ngo (Iowa), 7-6

3rd – Carolina Rios (Texas Wesleyan) dec. Cali Leng (Iowa), 4-4

5th – Josie Bartishofski (Victory School of Wrestling) tech fall Shea Reisel (Dubuque), 10-0, 4:27

7th – Emarie Bolosan (William Jewell) dec. Isabelle Silva (Indiana Tech), 6-4


1st - NAIA No. 2 Sarah Savidge (Life) tech fall NCAA No. 10 Emily Frost (Iowa), 12-0, 4:04

3rd -  Riley Dalrymple (Life) dec. Alexandra Baudhuin (Iowa), 8-4

5th - Zainab Ibrahim (Umpqua CC) pin Ellyana Kuzma (Indiana Tech), 1:55

7th – Marisa Moffitt (Indiana Tech)


1st-  NAIA No. 9 Zaynah McBryde (Life) dec. Lilly Luft (Iowa), 5-2

3rd – Emmily Patneaud (unattached) dec. Mattison Parker (Texas Wesleyan), 6-2

5th – Carley Anderson (Indiana Tech) inj dft. Anaya Besco (Iowa)

7th – Emma Gruenhagen (Victory School of Wrestling) pin Angie Prado (Life), 0:51


1st - NAIA No. 1 Jamilah McBryde (Life) pin NCAA No. 1 Reese Larramendy (Iowa), 5:58

3rd –Jalynn Patino (Texas Wesleyan) pin Athena Willden (William Jewell), 1:01

5th –Maia Crum (Indiana Tech) pin Tarleen Saroya (Umpqua CC), 1:10

7th – Paige Barber (William Jewell) inj. dft Naida Abdijanovic (William Penn)


1st - Bella Mir (Iowa) pin NAIA No. 2 Latifah McBryde (Life), 2:05

3rd –Alex Hofrichter (Dubuque), pin Jennifer De La Torre (Umpqua CC), 3:36

5th – Cydney Basset (Indiana Tech) forfeit Leilani Hernandez (Texas Wesleyan)

7th – Erin Martin (Tiffin) inj. dft. Janida Garcia (Tiffin)


1st - NCAA No. 3 Haley Ward (Iowa) tech fall Katelyn Lewis (unattached), 11-0, 2:34

3rd – Zoey Smalley (Umpqua CC) tech fall Kaley Rice (Texas Wesleyan), 10-0, 2:52

5th – Grace Doering (Indiana Tech) inj dft. Margaret Graham (Life)

7th – Catherine McNulty (Indiana Tech) pin Kiara Meek (Dubuque), 2:50

190 pounds

1st – Jaycee Foeller (unattached) tech fall Alivia White (Iowa), 10-0, 2:24

3rd  – Madeline Welch (Life) dec. Tiffany Curry (Texas Wesleyan), 8-0

Women’s Team Scores

1. Iowa, 223

2. Life, 193.5

3. Indiana Tech 92

4. Texas Wesleyan, 87.5

5. Umpqua CC, 59.5

6. William Jewell, 50.5

7. Tiffin, 39.5

8. Univ. of Dubuque, 33.50

9. William Penn, 5

Women’s freestyle semifinals results

101 pounds

NCAA No. 2 Sterling Dias (Iowa) dec. NCAA No. 7 Juliana Alejandro (Tiffin), 2-1

NAIA No. 11 Makayla Young (Indiana Tech) dec. NAIA No. 14 Sydney Kutzke (Indiana Tech), 9-4

109 pounds

NCAA No. 2 Ava Bayless (Iowa) dec. NAIA No. 9 Tehani Soares (Indiana Tech), 10-2

NCAA No. 5 Jenavi Alejandro (Tiffin) pin NAIA No. 5 Diana Gonzalez (Life), 3:29

116 pounds

NCAA No. 3Brianna Gonzalez (Iowa) pin Estefany Garcia (Life), 1:21

Morgan Johnson (unattached) pin NAIA No. 6 Ariana Martinez (Life), 0:44

123 pounds

Alexandra Waitsman (William Jewell) pin Carolina Rios (Texas Wesleyan) , 0:44

Isabella Ngo (Iowa) dec. Josie Bartishofski (Victory School of Wrestling), 8-7

130 pounds

NCAA No. 10 Emily Frost (Iowa) pin NJCAA No. 1 Zainab Ibrahim (Umpqua CC), 2:08

NAIA No. 2 Sarah Savidge (Life) tech fall NAIA No. 11 Ellyana Kuzma (Indiana Tech), 11-0, 0:59

136 pounds

Lilly Luft (Iowa) tech fall Emmily Patneaud (unattached), 14-3, 4:06

NAIA No. 9 Zaynah McBryde (Life) tech fall Anayka Besco (Iowa) 12-1, 3:47

143 pounds

NAIA No. 1 Jamilah McBryde (Life) tech fall NAIA No. 15 Maia Crumb (Indiana Tech), 10-0, 2:16

NCAA No. 1 Reese Larramendy (Iowa) tech fall Athena Willden (William Jewell), 10-0, 0:26

155 pounds

NAIA No. 2 Latifah McBryde (Life) tech fall Alex Hoftichter (Dubuque), 10-0, 1:35

Bella Mir (Iowa) pin NAIA No. 14 Leilani Hernandez (Texas Wesleyan), 0:35

170 pounds

NCAA No. 3 Haley Ward (Iowa) tech fall NAIA No. 11 Kaley Rice (Texas Wesleyan), 10-0, 0:56

Katelyn Lewis (unattached) pin Margaret Graham (Life), 1:18