Women's College Pound-For-Pound Rankings

Adaugo Nwachukwu Retains Top Spot In Pound-For-Pound College Rankings

Adaugo Nwachukwu Retains Top Spot In Pound-For-Pound College Rankings

William Penn's Adaugo Nwachukwu takes top honors in the women's college pound-for-pound rankings, while Iowa has eight in the top 25.

Nov 24, 2023 by Kyle Klingman
Adaugo Nwachukwu Retains Top Spot In Pound-For-Pound College Rankings

The college season is underway and Iowa programs occupy five of the top 10 spots in the women’s college pound-for-pound rankings. William Penn’s Adaugo Nwachukwu retains her #1 spot while her teammate Mia Palumbo is #10.

Iowa has eight wrestlers in the top 25 and three in the top 10, which is the most of any school. 

Those who have competed in at least one sanctioned college match are eligible to be ranked, which is why several top names with eligibility are not included. Off-season results factor into this ranking since women’s college wrestling uses freestyle rules. 

This is a collaboration between FloWrestling and American Women’s Wrestling.

1. Adaugo Nwachukwu (William Penn), Junior, NAIA, 143 pounds

Nwachukwu won the 2023 US Open and is the only wrestler on this list to reach Final X this year. She won a pair of titles at 136 and has moved up to 143 (for now). The William Penn star defeated North Central’s Yele Aycock, 11-7, but has been dominant this season at her new weight.

2. Kylie Welker (Iowa), Freshman, NCAA, 170 pounds

Welker is on the US National Team (top three) in the deep 76-kilogram class. She fell to Dymond Guilford — a post-graduate who won four national collegiate titles — at the prestigious Missouri Valley Open but defeated her to make the National Team. The Hawkeye star has a legitimate chance to make the 2024 Olympic Team.

3. Alexis Janiak (Aurora), Sophomore, NCAA, 130 pounds

Janiak won a bronze medal at the 2023 U20 World Championships and it should have been gold. She has dominated her college competition and made a statement with a 10-0 win in 30 seconds over Life’s Sarah Savidge at the NWCA All-Star Classic.

4. Felicity Taylor (Iowa), Senior, NCAA, 123 pounds

Taylor normally competes at 116 pounds (53 kg) but moved up to 123, presumably, to solidify Iowa’s line-up. She is still growing into the weight but has defeated everyone she has faced thus far. The Spillville, Iowa, native was a 2021 NCWWC (NCAA) champion and a four-time national collegiate finalist for McKendree who is finishing her college career in her home state. 

5. Marlynne Deede (Iowa), Senior, NCAA, 155 pounds

Deede is another super senior transfer completing her college eligibility at Iowa. The returning NCWWC (NCAA) champion has looked sharp this season and recently defeated Life’s Latifah McBryde, 8-3, at the NWCA All-Star Classic. 

6. Amani Jones (North Central), Junior, NCAA, 123 pounds

Jones won a bronze medal at the U20 World Championships over the summer and ran through her bracket at the Pointer Open.

7. Victoria Baez-Dillone (King), Junior, NCAA, 130 pounds

Baez-Dillone competed at the 2023 Senior World Championships for Spain and rolled through the East Stroudsburg Open. A potential showdown with Janiak will be a highlight match of the season. 

8. Samara Chavez (King), Junior, NCAA, 116 pounds

Chavez is on the US National Team at 53 kg and recently pinned North Central’s Sydney Petzinger at the NWCA All-Star Classic after winning Eagle Madness. She fell to former teammate Sage Mortimer at the recent Bill Farrell Memorial International when she competed at 50 kg (with a 2 kg allowance).

9. Reese Larramendy (Iowa), Freshman, NCAA, 143 pounds

Larramendy fell to Maya Letona of NYRTC at the Princeton Open but has won all of her matches against college competition, including a title at the prestigious Missouri Valley Open. 

10. Mia Palumbo (William Penn), Junior, NAIA, 109 pounds

Palumbo is seeking her first NAIA crown after reaching the finals each of the past two seasons. She is undefeated this season and took the Missouri Valley Open title with a 2-1 win in the finals over Iowa’s Ava Bayless.

11. Carolina Moreno (Southern Oregon), Junior, NAIA, 130 pounds

Moreno has a pair of NAIA titles and recently won the Missouri Valley Open.

12. Yele Aycock (North Central), Junior, NCAA, 136 pounds

Aycock is a returning national finalist who took P4P #1 Adaugo Nwachukwu to deep waters at the All-Star Classic. 

13. Cheyenne Bowman (King), Junior, NCAA, 155 pounds

Bowman reached the 170-pound NCWWC (NCAA) finals last season but moved down to 155 for her season year. She tore through the Eagle Madness tournament. 

14. Sterling Dias (Iowa), Freshman, NCAA, 101 pounds

Her only loss on the season was to teammate Emilie Gonzalez in the Princeton Open finals, which she avenged in the Missouri Valley Open finals. 

15. Emilie Gonzalez (Iowa), Freshman, NCAA, 101 pounds

Gonzalez has a win over Dias and appears to be on a collision course with her teammate at the 2024 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships. 

16. Caitlyn Davis (Southern Oregon), SO, NAIA, 155 pounds

Davis took titles at the Menlo Open and the Missouri Valley Open. 

17. Brianna Gonzalez (Iowa), FR, NCAA, 116 pounds

Gonzalez was at 109 during her redshirt year but has filled in nicely at 116. She is perfect on the season with titles at the Princeton Open and Missouri Valley Open. 

18. Sydney Petzinger (North Central), JR, NCAA, 116 pounds

Petzinger will stay at 116 pounds after finishing second and fourth down a weight at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships. She’s had a dominant year with the exception of her loss to Chavez in the All-Star Classic. 

19. Latifah McBryde (Life), SO, NAIA, 155 pounds

McBryde’s only two losses on the season are to wrestlers in the pound-for-pound top 25 rankings. 

20. Mea Mohler (Texas Wesleyan), JR, NAIA, 143 pounds

Mohler finished third and second at the NAIA Championships and recently finished second at the Missouri Valley Open to Larramendy after moving up a weight.

21. Cristelle Rodriguez (Doane), JR, NAIA, 123 pounds

Rodriguez didn’t surrender a point at the Embry-Riddle Mile High Open after finishing third at the 2023 NAIA Championships.

22. Esther Han (Iowa), FR, NCAA, 136 pounds

Han made her Iowa debut at the Missouri Valley Open with four falls and a technical superiority. 

23. Montana DeLawder (King), JR, NCAA, 123 pounds

DeLawder fell to teammate Virginia Foard at the East Stroudsburg Open finals but avenged the loss in the Eagle Madness finals.

24. Virginia Foard (King), FR, NCAA, 123 pounds

Foard had an impressive college debut at the East Stroudsburg Open and her only loss on the season was to her teammate, DeLawder. 

25. London Houston (North Central), SO, NCAA, 155 pounds

Houston moved up a weight this season following a third-place finish at the 2023 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships. She reached the U20 World Team Trials finals and won the Pointer Open with a 4-4 win over Augsburg’s Nina Makem in the finals.