Release courtesy of Gary Abbott/USA Wrestling.
On September 11, during the 2021 World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb., the Hawkeye Wrestling Club made an announcement via Twitter about the addition of three women’s freestyle wrestlers to its roster.
Joining the HWC, which is coached by Olympian Dan Dennis, are past World Team member Victoria Francis, 2018 Final X runner-up Rachel Watters and past college star Jordan Nelson.
Francis was fifth in the 2019 Senior World Championships at 72 kg, and was also a member of the 2017 Senior World Team at 76 kg. She is a current member of the Women’s National Team, after placing third at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. Francis was a 2014 Junior World bronze medalist, and won two WCWA national titles for Lindenwood.
Watters is an Iowa native, and has an extensive resume on the Senior, college and age-group levels. She most recently served as a graduate assistant at William Penn University in Iowa. Watters was second in 2018 Final X, which made her No. 2 on the national team at 72 kg. She competed on five U.S. age-group World Teams, three at the Junior World Championships and two at the U23 World Championships. She competed for Oklahoma City University, where she was a 2020 WCWA national champion.
Nelson was a star in college for Life University, winning the 2021 NAIA National title at 170 pounds, and placing fifth at the 2019 NAIA Nationals.
All three athletes compete among the upper weight classes, giving the HWC women a great set of training partners around the same weight class.
A number of successful women athletes have trained with the Hawkeye WC in the past.