2022 Soldier Salute - ARCHIVE ONLY

Soldier Salute Women's Brackets Are Live!

Soldier Salute Women's Brackets Are Live!

The inaugural Soldier Salute includes a women's field with 10 future Hawkeyes competing.

Dec 29, 2022 by Kyle Klingman
Soldier Salute Women's Brackets Are Live!

Women's freestyle brackets for the inaugural Soldier Salute have been released and there are several intriguing match-ups. The 136-pound class is the weight to watch with future Hawkeye Nanea Estrella seeded second and Iowa Wesleyan star Adaugo Nwachukwu seeded first.

Estrella placed second at the 2022 NAIA Invitational Championships for Menlo before winning the U.S. Open at 59 kilograms. Nwachukwu won a national championship at 136 pounds before earning a bronze medal at the U20 World Championships this summer. 

High school star Valerie Hamilton is in the weight, as is Army's Brigette Duty. Hamilton won a bronze medal at the U17 World Championships in Rome while Duty was the first NAIA champion for the University of the Cumberlands. 

Teenage star and future Hawkeye Kylie Welker makes her much-anticipated return after over a year away from the mat. Only three wrestlers entered at 170 pounds so she will wrestle a best-of-three series with Indiana Tech's Catherine McNulty and with Army's Tristan Kelly

Iowans Felicity Taylor (116) and Ella Schmit (143) should be fan favorites, as should Sterling Dias and Emelie Gonzalez at 101 pounds. The future Hawkeyes met in the finals of the prestigious Missouri Valley Open a month ago with Dias taking the title.

Life University sent a large contingent from Georgia. Devyn Gomez (101) is familiar with the venue after filling in for Sarah Hildebrandt on short notice for the 2020 Hawkeye Wrestling Club Showdown Open. The McBryde sisters — Zaynah (130), Jamilah (143), and Latifah (155) — are entered and will be formidable, as well. 

The tournament is being held at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, on December 29-30. 

For full women's freestyle brackets, click here.