Sam Calkins and Bella Mir, two Junior national champs, join Iowa women's wrestling program
The Iowa women's wrestling program now has 10 wrestlers on the roster after both Sam Calkins and Bella Mir, two of the nation's best high school senior women's wrestlers, gave their verbal commitments to the Hawkeyes.
Calkins is from California and is considered the No. 16 overall women's wrestling recruit in America, according to USA Wrestling. She is also ranked No. 1 nationally at 200 pounds. Mir is from Las Vegas, and is currently ranked No. 6 nationally at 144 pounds.
Calkins is from Liberty High School in Brentwood, Calif. She won a California state title this past season, and won both the Junior women's folkstyle and Junior women's freestyle national championships last year.
Mir is a four-time Nevada state champ and a 2021 Junior folkstyle national champ. She also took fourth at the 2021 Junior women's freestyle world team trials at 65 kilograms (143 pounds). She is the daughter of Frank Mir, a two-time UFC heavyweight champ and 16-year UFC vet. Bella Mir owns a 2-0 MMA record herself.
“I’m going to be doing this my whole life and that’s why I’m sticking so much to wrestling,” Mir told UFC.com in February. “Wrestlers are the most dominant fighters in the UFC, and I only have four years of wrestling left.
“I just know that after that I’m going to be fighting for 10 years.”
Their additions now give head coach Clarissa Chun 10 total signees for the Hawkeyes' inaugural roster. In addition to Calkins and Mir, Chun's first recruiting class includes:
– Kylie Welker, the No. 1 pound-for-pound high school wrestler in America;
– Ella Schmit, a three-time Iowa state champion and Junior All-American;
– Reese Larramendy, another top-20 overall prospect;
– Nyla Valencia, a California state champ and star lightweight;
– Emilie and Brianna Gonzalez, twin lightweight stars from California;
– Nanea Estrella, an NAIA national finalist who is transferring in from Menlo;
– and Ava Bayless, another talented lightweight and a two-time national prep champ.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.