Felicity Taylor became the first Iowa girls to win 100 wrestling matches in her high school career. Here's our video of Taylor from 2017.
Last summer, Felicity Taylor stormed her way to a Junior women’s freestyle wrestling national championship. This summer, the South Winneshiek graduate will take her talents to the world stage.
Taylor won the U23 world team trials at 53 kilograms (116 pounds) at the Irving Convention Center in Texas this weekend. She went 4-0 and outscored her opponents 23-5 to qualify for her first age-level world team.
This accomplishment is the latest — and biggest — in a year full of them for Taylor, once the torch-bearer for girls’ wrestling in Iowa.
She graduated with more than 100 career prep victories. She made the finals of the Junior world team trials, then stormed to a Junior national title last July. She then reached the finals of the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships as a freshman at McKendree.
Taylor continued her torrid run this past weekend. After taking fifth in the Junior competition on Friday, she blew through the U23 field on Sunday. In the best-of-three-finals, Taylor beat Vayle Baker, a Pennsylvania native, by scores of 6-3 and 2-1 to make her first age-level world team.
The U23 world championships are set for Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 in Budapest, Hungary. Taylor has long watched many of the country’s best women’s wrestlers compete at the age-level world championships. Later this year, she’ll finally get her shot.
HWC’s Kayla Miracle makes third U23 world team
Kayla Miracle has long been one of the country’s best women’s freestyle wrestlers, and she reinforced that fact with a dominant showing in Texas this weekend.
Miracle, a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, also made the U23 world team, winning at 62 kilograms (136 pounds). She went 5-0 and won all five matches by technical fall, outscoring her opponents 53-3.
This marks the eighth age-level world team for Miracle — two Cadets, three Juniors and now three at U23 — who has much bigger goals ahead still. Last month, she won the U.S. Open at the same weight, positioning her to make a run at her first Senior world team later this spring.
But continuing to rack up these age-level accolades only helps bolster her resume, which might already be among the best. Up next for Miracle will be the world team trials in Raleigh, North Carolina, next week.
Win there, and she’ll move one step closer to her ultimate goal: winning a world title.
Hawkeye Wrestling Club's Kayla Miracle is one of five Senior-level women wrestlers whose addition to the club has helped women wrestling continued its rapid growth. The Des Moines Register
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HWC’s Michaela Beck makes Junior world team
The Hawkeye Wrestling Club made waves when Miracle, Alli Ragan and Forrest Molinari all won titles at the U.S. Open last month. All three are considered strong favorites to make the Senior world team later this spring.
But another Hawkeye Wrestling Club wrestler, Michaela Beck, earned a spot on the Junior women’s freestyle world team. Beck went 6-0 at 59 kilograms (130 pounds) to punch her ticket to the Junior world championships, set for Aug, 12-18 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Much like her teammates did at the Open, Beck dominated the field in Texas. Of her six wins, four came by technical fall. For the tournament, she outscored her opponents by a combined 59-7.
By winning the Junior trials, Beck has also qualified for the Senior world team trials challenge next week in Raleigh. She could push to try and make both the Senior and Junior world teams in the same year, though she’d have to get through Ragan in order to do so.
After falling short at last year’s Junior world team trials, much of Beck’s focus has been on winning a Junior world title this year. This weekend’s performance was an impressive first step toward that goal.
Quad City trio earn All-American honors
Three female Iowa wrestlers from the Quad Cities all turned in All-American performances over the weekend.
Tateum Park, a junior at Davenport North, took sixth at 53 kilos in the U23 division. She went 3-3 with two technical falls and a pin. Park finished first at 113 pounds at the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association girls’ state wrestling tournament in January.
Sydney Park, a freshman at Davenport Central and Tateum’s sister, took seventh at 58 kilos (127 pounds) in the U15 division. She went 4-2, including three-straight wrestleback wins to reach the top eight. Sydney Park finished first at 126 pounds at the IWCOA girls’ state tournament.
Ella Schmit, a freshman at Bettendorf, took seventh at 46 kilos (101 pounds) in the U15 division. She went 3-2 with two technical falls and one pin and reached the quarterfinals. Schmit finished second at 106 pounds at the IWCOA girls’ state tournament.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.