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The Iowa women’s wrestling recruiting class adds Rianne Murphy

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The Iowa Hawkeye women’s wrestling program got a little bigger Saturday morning with the announcement that Rianne Murphy signed the dotted line to join the 2024 recruiting class.

Murphy is the No. 6 ranked 105-pound wrestler in the country in high school according to Flowrestling. Murphy is from the state of Indiana and is a Fargo champion, a U15 and U17 Pan American champion and a U17 Women’s National champion. She recently placed fifth in the U20 division this spring, ahead of Iowa national champion Emilie Gonzalez in seventh place, and also won the high school girls recruiting showcase at the U.S. Open.

“Thank you to all the women who came before me and allowed me to be here today,” Murphy wrote in an Instagram post. “Thank you to Coach Chun, Coach Tonya and Coach Gary for welcoming me to their team.”

The lighter weights remain a place of strength for coach Clarissa Chun and the Hawkeyes as they face an embarrassment of riches after capturing national titles at 101, 109 and 116 pounds this winter. In those three weight classes, they sent Emilie Gonzalez and Sterling Dias to the 101-pound finals, Ava Bayless to the 109-pound finals and Brianna Gonzalez and Felicity Taylor to the 116-pound finals.

Of those five, only Taylor will not return to the roster next season. Nyla Valencia was expected to be the starter at 109 pounds, but suffered an injury that kept her from competing in the Hawkeyes’ first season. She returned to action this spring and qualified for the Olympic Trials, looking like the impact wrestler she was expected to be this winter.

With the weight classes shifting in 2024-2025, Murphy would compete at 110 pounds, up from the 109-pound class she wrestled at several college opens this past year, including the Indiana Tech Warrior Open and the East Stroudsburg Open. When she struggled in them, she took first place in both.

As it stands now, Iowa’s class looks like this:

  • Karlee Brooks – 2023 U17 National Champion – 117 or 124 pounds
  • Cadence Diduch – Three-time Fargo Champion and 2024 U20 National Champion – 131 or 138 pounds
  • Kiara Djoumessi – two-time Iowa state champion, undefeated in final two seasons of high school – 145 pounds
  • Rianne Murphy – Fargo champion, two-time Pan American champion – 109 or 117 pounds
  • Naomi Simon – four-time undefeated Iowa State Champion, 2023 Fargo Champion and 2024 U20 National Champion – 180 pounds
  • Val Solorio – 2021 U16 National Champion – 103 or 110 pounds

Murphy is one of three in that realm of wrestlers from 103 to 117 looking to become the next Iowa champion in those weight classes. It’s pretty clear how much of an impact the coaching of Chun, a former Olympic bronze medalist, has had on recruiting for the Hawkeyes.

Eli McKown covers high school sports and wrestling for the Des Moines Register. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @EMcKown23.