Junior World champion Kylie Welker makes commitment to University of Iowa
by USA Wrestling
Iowa’s women’s wrestling program has received a commitment from the top-ranked women’s high school wrestler in the country, Kylie Welker. It was reported by multiple outlets on Thursday morning that Welker made the decision after her visit to Iowa last weekend.
Welker, a 2021 Junior freestyle world champion, competed on three World teams this year. In addition to her Junior Worlds competition, she also represented the U.S. at the U23 World Championships and the Senior World Championships. The Wisconsin native won a bronze medal at the U23 Worlds in Belgrade, Serbia.
Welker’s year started with a strong run through the Olympic Team Trials in March, making the finals at 76 kg and finishing second behind Tokyo silver medalist Adeline Gray.
According to Iowa, Welker will train in Iowa City and compete unattached in 2022-23.
The University of Iowa announced the addition of a women’s wrestling program in September, and then announced former USA Wrestling women’s national team assistant coach Clarissa Chun as its head coach in November.
Welker is the first commitment for Chun and the Iowa program. The program will be begin competing in the 2023-24 season.
From the University of Iowa official press release: “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 told Hawk Central: "I went on a visit last weekend, and it felt like home, it felt right... On top of it, I love coach Chun. I've been working with her since I was really little, so I trust her. I wanted to be the first to commit. I want to help build the program. This is the first Division I Power 5 program. It's history, and I think that's really cool."
Fans can read Andy Hamilton's story on Welker to Iowa on FloWrestling.
IA Wrestle also posted a story on Welker's commitment to Iowa this morning.