By Cody Goodwin
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Most days, Tom Brands walks into the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex and watches some of the nation’s and world’s best wrestler go through strenuous workouts. Such was the case Monday, too — except, well, the characters were a tad different.
“Good morning, ladies,” said the Hawkeyes’ head wrestling coach, a Distinguished Member inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001.
Some of the country’s best women’s freestyle wrestlers were on the mat Monday — not only Alli Ragan and Lauren Louive, both members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, but also Kayla Miracle, Forrest Molinari and Michaela Beck. Ragan and Molinari recently made the 2018 world team. Miracle was a U.S. Open Champ. Beck and Louive were both runners-up.
All five spent three days as the lead instructors for the Iowa wrestling program’s first All Female Wrestling Camp. They coached girls of all ages and skill levels from around the country (including one from Alaska) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“When I was looking at camps to go to in high school, I was usually the only girl with all boys’ coaches,” said Ragan, a two-time world silver medalist. “I think this is a great opportunity for girls, and it shows how our sport is growing. We had all-girls clinicians and all-girls campers, and I think that’s huge.”