Incoming recruits Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathje were key contributors in Team Iowa capturing the Junior Duals National title this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ayala was 7-0 with seven tech falls and outscored his opponents by a combined 77-5 in match points. Rathje was 6-1 with four tech falls. Rathje dropped an 8-7 decision to Jordan Williams of Oklahoma who has been ranked as the #5 overall recruit in the Class of 2022.

Iowa was 7-0 in duals and defeated Oklahoma in the finals 40-23 for the first title for Iowa since 2005.

Ayala (Ft. Dodge, IA) and Rathjen (Ankeny, IA) will be freshman this fall at the University of Iowa as members of the Recruiting Class of 2021. 

Ryan Morningstar of the University of Iowa was head coach for Team Iowa and was a member of the Junior Duals title team for Iowa in 2005.

This Iowa team was absolutely loaded with D-I recruits.  As I mentioned in a previous blog it will be interesting to look back in a couple of years to see how many future Iowa Wrestling teammates were on this team.  I am hoping for quite a few.


Drake Ayala – 126 lbs.

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Ian Branch (Arkansas) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Parker Janssen (Minnesota Red) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Brennen Cernus (Ohio Red) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Andre Gonzales (California) TF 11-1

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Brayden Sonnentag (Team Wisconsin) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Vincent Robinson (Illinois JR FS) TF 13-2

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Jayce Caviness (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 13-2


Caleb Rathje – 145 lbs.

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Raphael Marascio (Arkansas) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Kyle Boeke (Minnesota Red) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Kael Voinovich (Ohio Red) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Nicco Ruiz (California) Dec 13-6

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Matthew Bianchi (Team Wisconsin) Dec 10-5

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Tommy Curran (Illinois JR FS) TF 16-6

Jordan Williams (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) Dec 8-7


Team Iowa – Junior Duals National Champions

Iowa defeated Arkansas 64-1

Iowa defeated Minnesota Red 50-12

Iowa defeated Ohio Red 50-14

Iowa defeated California 36-27

Iowa defeated Wisconsin 47-17

Iowa defeated Illinois 41-23

Iowa defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 40-23


It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!