Iowa Women’s Wrestling signs two-time national champion Ava Bayless
The roster for Iowa’s women’s wrestling program is now at eight after Ava Bayless signed on Thursday to join head coach Clarissa Chun and the Hawkeyes.
Bayless, a senior from Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, is yet another talented lightweight, currently ranked No. 12 nationally at 112 lbs by USA Wrestling. She is also a two-time national prep champion, winning titles in 2020 and 2021.
“I chose to attend the University of Iowa because of the academic and athletic opportunities,” Bayless said in a statement, announcing his signing. “There is no better place to become the best wrestler I can be than under Coach Clarissa Chun and the support of the fans, the community and the University of Iowa Hawkeye.
“I am extremely grateful to be part of this historic team!”
Bayless has consistently been one of the top lightweight wrestlers in the nation for the past five years:
- In 2018, she qualified for the Cadet Women’s Freestyle National Final at 94 pounds.
- In 2019, she finished sixth at the National Cadet Tournament and then third at the UWW Cadet World Team Trials.
- In 2020, she took third place at the UWW Junior Women’s National Championships at 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
- In 2021, she took fourth place at the World Junior Team Trials and fifth at the National Junior Championships.
“Ava is a quiet, hard worker who goes about her business,” Chun said in a statement. “I rubbed shoulders with her at various camps overseas and domestically in developmental age groups with USA Wrestling.
“She’s a great student, a great person, and comes from a family of wrestlers. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Ava again.”
Bayless is the latest Wyoming Seminary wrestler to sign with the Hawkeyes. join Reese Larramendy, another female signer from Iowacurrently the No. 1 ranked 144-pounder in the country according to USA Wrestling.
Two more Wyoming Seminary wrestlers will soon join the men’s wrestling program: Kolby Franklin, a 2022 signerand Gabe Arnold, who signed up as part of the Hawkeyes’ 2023 recruiting class.
In addition to Bayless and Larramendy, Iowa’s other six female signers include:
“A big thank you to everyone who has supported women’s wrestling and the women who paved the way for girls like me to have these amazing opportunities,” Bayless said. wrote in an Instagram post, announcing his signing.
“I look forward to continuing to be a part of this athletic growth (sic)!”
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.