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IOWA CITY — The road to the 2022 Senior World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, will run through Coralville this weekend.
More than 200 athletes will compete in USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials Challenge Tournament at Xtream Arena.
Thirty of those athletes will advance to Final X tournaments, which will be held in Stillwater, Okla., and New York City. Final X Stillwater and New York are slated for June 3 and 8, respectively.
Final X tournament winners will be added to the U.S. men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman national teams.
Here are wrestlers with Eastern Iowa ties to watch this weekend.
Two Eastern Iowa wrestlers received No. 1 seeds in the World Team Trials women’s freestyle bracket. Felicity Taylor, a South Winneshiek alum, is the top seed at 53 kilograms.
Taylor won two state championships during her career at South Winneshiek. She’s since moved on to McKendree University, an NCAA Division II school in Lebanon, Ill., where she has amassed more than 50 wins in four seasons.
Taylor earned a No. 1 seed for the World Team Trials via her win at the 2022 U.S. Open in Las Vegas on May 1.
All No. 1 seeds participating in the World Team Trials men’s and women’s freestyle competitions are U.S. Open Champions.
Nanea Estrella, who was added to the University of Iowa’s 2022-23 women’s wrestling roster on April 6, will be the No. 1 seed at 59 kilograms this weekend.
Estrella is originally from Makawao, Hawaii. She moved to Atherton, Calif., last year to wrestle for Menlo College, an NAIA school. After one season with the Oaks, Estrella announced her commitment to Iowa.
“I chose the University of Iowa to optimize every opportunity I have,” Estrella said in an April 6 release. “Academically and athletically, I can’t imagine a better fit for me. The Mecca of wrestling. Nowhere else, but Iowa.”
Estrella will wrestle unattached from the UI in 2022-23. The Hawkeyes will begin wrestling as a team in 2023-24.
The Iowa men’s wrestling program will have one representative in the World Team Trials freestyle field. Senior Tony Cassioppi will wrestle at 125 kilograms. He enters the tournament fresh off a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
The three-time All-American tweaked his knee during the 2022 Big Ten Championships in early March. He wrestled through the injury at NCAAs 11 days later.
Pat Lugo, who wrestled at the UI from 2015-19, also will be competing in the men’s freestyle bracket this weekend. He will represent the Hawkeye Wrestling Club alongside women’s freestyle wrestlers Rachel Watters, Victoria Francis and Jordan Nelson.
USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials Challenge Tournament will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Action will resume at the same time on Sunday.