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Meet Iowa's top high school girls wrestlers

Some of the top girls wrestlers as the first year of sanctioned competition by the IGHSAU begins

By Chris Johnson

Photo of Fort Dodge's Alexis Ross by Britt Kudla 

Just before hitting the mat looking for state gold a year ago, girl wrestlers in the state of Iowa got a much bigger prize. 

Before the 2022 Iowa Coaches Officials Association state finals, the IGHSAU made the announcement to sanction girls wrestling in the state.

For the past four seasons, female wrestlers have been under the IWCOA umbrella and will now break out.

Below is a list of the top Iowa girls wrestlers (using last year’s weights) regardless of class or classification.

Last season, 10 underclassmen, including four freshmen, went undefeated on their way to state titles (53-0). 

Six sophomores compiled a 94-7 mark, claiming six titles.

Skylar Slade, Southeast Polk, freshman, (148)

It’s tough to predict what a freshman will do before they hit the mat. But this is the exception.

Slade just won gold at the U15 Pan Am trials (66g) in late November. In October, she became the first Iowa girl to win the Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C. She looks to make a splash at the varsity level once she hits the mat.

Lilly Luft, Charles, City, senior, (130)

Luft, is a University of Iowa recruit, and was the third instate signee to the University of Iowa program. Luft claimed gold for the second straight season, adding to her fourth-place finish as a freshman. She is 74-6 in her career.

Naomi Simon, Decorah, junior, (170)

All Simon knows how to do is win. The Decorah junior is unbeaten in 35 career matches with two state championships and looks to continue the unbeaten streak.

Simon had a strong showing at the Junior women’s freestyle national championships in Fargo, N.D., this summer. She reached the semifinals and ended up sixth at 165 pounds.

Alexis Ross, Fort Dodge, senior, (135)

Ross has climbed the medal ladder since her freshman season when she was a bronze medalist. After finishing as a silver medalist in 2021, Ross claimed gold with an unbeaten record in 27 matches.

Ross was one of three finalists for the Dan Gable Ms. Wrestler of the year award in 2022 and is 55-3 in her career.

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Emma Peach, Iowa Valley Marengo, sophomore, (140)

Peach burst onto the scene as a freshman. She ran all the way to the top in 21 matches. She knocked off Waverly-Shell Rock’s Annika Behrends, who was a two-time state champion and four-time finalist.

Rachel Eddy, Independence, senior, (190)

Eddy finished third last season after two straight finals appearances. She claimed gold as a sophomore and was second as a freshman. Eddy is 40-2 in her career.

Olivia Huckfelt, Spencer, junior, (220)

Huckfelt finished second as a freshman, only losing in the finals. She returned to the championship match as sophomore and claimed the title with a 14-0 record.

Isabella Deeds, Ridge View, junior, (155)

Deeds claimed gold a year ago winning all six of her matches. She was third in 2021 with an 11-1 record.

Samantha Spielbauer, Clayton Ridge, senior (170)

A year after winning a state championship as a freshman Spielbauer finished third, winning 17 matches.

Jannell Avila, Iowa City West, senior (155)

Avila is a three-time medalist, who won a state title as a freshman. After a sixth-place finish as a sophomore, she was third last year.

Bella Porcelli, Southeast Polk, junior (170)

Porcelli’s only loss in her sophomore campaign was in the state finals. She placed third as a freshman and is 20-3 in her career.

Jalynn Goodale, Osage, senior (110)

Goodale was a state runner-up as a junior, adding to her medal haul of fifth and seventh place.

Sophie Barnes, Lewis Central, senior (125)

Barnes has won 51 matches and only lost five. She earned bronze a year ago and was second her sophomore season to go along with a fifth place finish.

Adyson Lundquist, Southwest Valley, senior (110)

Lundquist is looking for her fourth state medal. She has second, third (last year) and fifth place finishes. Lundquist is 49-5 in three seasons.

Keeley Kehrli, East Buchanan, senior (155)

Kehrli started with a fifth-place finish and jumped all the way to second as a sophomore. She won 26 matches with a sixth place finish a year ago.

Adison Musser, North Cedar/Starwood, junior (115)

In two seasons Musser has won 40 matches (40-6). She was second as a freshman and fifth last season.

Haidyn Snyder, Waverly-Shell Rock, senior, (145)

Snyder reached the semifinals last season. She bounced back with a third-place win to go along with sixth place sophomore season.

Ava Thompson, Charles City, junior (220)

Thompson grabbed a third place showing with 16 wins in 2022, adding to her seventh-place medal.

Jillian Worthen, Union, LaPorte City, sophomore (100)

Worthern burst onto the season in her rookie campaign. Worthern won all 18 of her matches and claimed the state championship.

Jana Terwee, West Lyon, junior (190)

Terwee captured an unbeaten season in 20 matches, winning the 190-pound state championship for West Lyon.