A look at the 9 world-team wrestlers with Iowa ties

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

With the conclusion of Final X this past weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska, all of the United States’ age-level world teams are set for the 2019 season — and many of them include wrestlers with Iowa ties.

Here, we offer a breakdown of all the Iowa wrestlers on each world team: Senior, U23, Junior and Cadet. We’ve included a quick rundown of how each wrestler qualified, as well as dates for each world championship event.


World Championships Date: Sept. 14-22, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan 

Alli Ragan, Women’s Freestyle, 59 kilos

Hawkeye Wrestling Club's Alli Ragan gets her hand raised after defeating Lauren Louive, two matches to none, at Final X at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb. In doing so, Ragan made the 2019 women's freestyle world team.

Ragan has made the women’s freestyle world every year since 2013. That’s seven-straight world teams. Come September, the Illinois native will compete in her sixth world championships (she missed last year’s with an injury after initially making the team).

A member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, Ragan swept the best-of-three series over fellow HWC member Lauren Louive at Final X in Lincoln over the weekend. She won a world silver in both 2016 and 2017, and is a threat to medal again this year.

Kayla Miracle, Women’s Freestyle, 62 kilos

Hawkeye Wrestling Club's Kayla Miracle gets her hand raised after earning a spot on the 2019 women's freestyle world team on Saturday night in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A second Hawkeye Wrestling Club member on the world team. Miracle broke through and made her first Senior-level World Team in Lincoln. The Indiana native has been successful on other age-level world teams, but struggled when it came to making it on the Senior level.

On Saturday, Miracle dominated Mallory Velte, a returning world bronze medalist, in a Final X rematch, winning the first match by a 12-2 technical fall, then the second, 4-0. At one point last year, Miracle was ranked No. 1 in the world. She’ll finally get a chance to prove it in September.

Forrest Molinari, Women’s Freestyle, 65 kilos

Hawkeye Wrestling Club freestyle wrestler Forrest Molinari poses for a portrait before practice on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Iowa City. Molinari is one of five Senior-level womenÕs wrestlers. Their addition to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club has helped womenÕs wrestling continued its rapid growth.

A third Hawkeye Wrestling Club member on the world team. Molinari won a thrilling three-match series two weekends ago at Final X at Rutgers over the young, up-and-coming Maya Nelson. Molinari took the second and third matches, 12-2 and 4-0, after losing the first, 5-3.

The California native came up just short of earning a medal last year, falling in the bronze-medal match on criteria. Molinari is now ranked No. 4 in the world in the latest United World Wrestling rankings, and is expected to contend for a medal again in September.

Pat Downey, Men’s Freestyle, 86 kilos

Iowa State junior Pat Downey III of Baltimore, Md., poses for a photo during Iowa State University wrestling media day in Ames on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

Perhaps the most intriguing and unlikely member of the United States’ world team. Downey, a 2016 NCAA All-American for Iowa State and 2015 junior college national champ at Iowa Central, won the U.S. Open and the world team trials challenge tournament to reach Final X.

There, the Maryland native was scheduled to wrestle David Taylor, the Penn State graduate who won a world title in 2018. But an injury forced Taylor to miss the wrestle-off, giving Downey the spot. He will be something of a darkhorse in Kazakhstan.



World Championships Date: Oct. 28-Nov. 3, in Budapest, Hungary

Felicity Taylor, women’s freestyle, 53 kilos

South Winneshiek junior Felicity Taylor began wrestling as a freshman, and despite the late start she has quickly climbed her way up to the upper level wrestlers in the 106-pound weight class.

The first of two Iowa natives to go global later this year. Taylor, a South Winneshiek grad, served as the girls’ wrestling torchbearer in Iowa during her prep career, wherein she won 100 matches as well as a Junior national title last summer.

Taylor followed that by reaching the finals of the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national tournament during her freshman year at McKendree, then stormed through the U23 world team trials in May. This is her first age-level world team.

Kayla Miracle, women’s freestyle, 62 kilos

Yes, Miracle also made the U23 team earlier this year. This will be her third appearance at the U23 world championships. She’s fallen in the bronze-medal match each of the last two years.


World Championships Date: Aug. 12-18, in Tallinn, Estonia

Michaela Beck, women’s freestyle, 59 kilos

Hawkeye Wrestling Club freestyle wrestler Michaela Beck poses for a portrait before practice on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Iowa City. Beck is one of five Senior-level womenÕs wrestlers. Their addition to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club has helped womenÕs wrestling continued its rapid growth.

A fourth Hawkeye Wrestling Club member on a world team. Beck went 6-0 and outscored her opponents by a combined 59-7 to win the Junior trials in May. This is her first age-level world team, and she will be a threat to win it.

Beck, a native of New York, is one of America’s brightest young talents. Last year, she reached the U.S. Open finals and also finished as the runner-up at the world team trials challenge. This year, she nearly qualified for Final X, but ultimately fell to Louive in the Senior trials finals.

David Carr, men’s freestyle, 74 kilos

Iowa State Wrestling's David Carr poses for a photo on the team's media day, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, on the Iowa State campus.

Carr, a freshman at Iowa State, spent his redshirt year wrestling a lot of freestyle. He reached the semifinals of the prestigous Dave Schultz Memorial, then took fourth at the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba. He competed against Senior-level post-graduates in both tournaments.

Then, in April, Carr stormed to a Junior national title, which helped set him up to make the Junior world team in May. The Ohio native is a past Cadet world bronze medalist. A junior world title will only inflate expectations further for the future Cyclone star.

Tanner Sloan, men’s freestyle, 97 kilos

Tanner Sloan, a true freshman at South Dakota State, reached the 197-pound finals of the 2018 Midlands Championships. Sloan was a two-time Iowa state champion at Alburnett.

The second of two Iowa natives going global — and perhaps the most surprising. Sloan’s redshirt season was filled with excellent moments. The Alburnett graduate went 24-2 overall and reached the finals of the Midlands Championships while competing for South Dakota State.

Sloan’s only gotten better since then. He finished second at Junior nationals, then reached stormed through the Junior trials to make the team. He also recently won a gold medal at the Junior Pan-American Championships. A bright future has very quickly arrived.


World Championships Date: July 29-Aug. 4, in Sofia, Bulgaria

Ryan Sokol, men’s freestyle, 65 kilos

Sokol, an Iowa commit, rolled through the field at the Cadet world team trials to make his first age-level world team. He went 7-0 and outscored his opponents by a combined 65-17. He recorded three technical falls and two pins along the way.

The Minnesota prep, when healthy, has been one of the nation’s best at his age — he’s a 2021 recruit — and his performance in Akron at the trials only provided further evidence (he took third in the Greco-Roman competition, too). He could be a threat to medal in Bulgaria.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.