Iowa kicked off their dual meet season this morning with their annual Iowa City Duals event and, as expected, it was a thorough Iowa rout. Iowa won the two duals by a combined score of 100-0, blanking Iowa Central 55-0 in the first dual and Cornell College 45-0 in the second dual. Iowa has typically scheduled three other teams for the Duals; I'm not sure why they didn't have a third team this year. But that, coupled with the early start times (Iowa faced Iowa Central at 9 AM and Cornell at around 10:15 AM) led to the smallest attendance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for an Iowa dual meet in a very long time. Giving the Iowa Central and Cornell wrestlers a chance to wrestle at CHA is nice, but unless Iowa can find a way to goose interest in this event, its viability seems very much in doubt. I don't even know if there were enough people in attendance today to justify turning on the soft-serve ice cream machines.
Iowa 55, Iowa Central 0
|125||Thomas Gilman||FALL (1:46)||Joseph Sibomana||IOWA 6-0|
|133||Cory Clark||FALL (2:05)||Zak Hensley||IOWA 12-0|
|141||Topher Carton||TECH FALL (16-1, 3:28)||Nick Santos||IOWA 17-0|
|149||Brandon Sorensen||FALL (0:37)||Keenan Cook||IOWA 23-0|
|157||Michael Kemerer||FALL (2:01)||Carlos Champaign||IOWA 29-0|
|165||Joey Gunther||TECH FALL (21-6, 6:45)||Jonah Egli||IOWA 34-0|
|174||Alex Meyer||MAJ DEC (13-1)||Antrez Clagon||IOWA 38-0|
|184||Jeremiah Moody||FALL (1:10)||Anthony Jones||IOWA 44-0|
|197||Cash Wilcke||TECH FALL (23-8, 6:06)||Jacob Becker||IOWA 49-0|
|285||Mitch Bowman||FALL (1:32)||Amari Latimer||IOWA 55-0|
The lighter half of Iowa's lineup is much better than the heavier half right now, which comes as no surprise -- Iowa's three returning NCAA finalists (Gilman, Clark, Sorensen) are at those weights, as well as a recent blue-chip recruit with high expectations (Kemerer). It doesn't help that the heavier half of the lineup was missing at least three regular starters in this dual. Still, Iowa rolled behind six pins, two technical falls, and a major decision. This was weak competition but, for the most part, they crushed them -- all six pins were notched in the first period. Props to Jeremiah Moody, who wrestled at 165 lbs a week ago, for filling in at 184 lbs and blitzing his opponent with some impressive offense -- he has a really nice double-leg takedown. Bowman was also wrestling up a weight but didn't let it slow him down at all -- he took his (legit) heavyweight opponent down with ease and got him on his back for an easy pin.
Iowa 45, Cornell College 0
|125||Thomas Gilman||FALL (2:23)||Vikash Hypio||IOWA 6-0|
|133||Cory Clark||FALL (1:36)||Brody Lamb||IOWA 12-0|
|141||Topher Carton||FALL (4:23)||Josh Martin||IOWA 18-0|
|149||Brandon Sorensen||MAJ DEC (18-6)||Lenny Bloom||IOWA 22-0|
|157||Michael Kemerer||TECH FALL (16-1, 2:31)||Aaron Engle||IOWA 27-0|
|165||Skyler St. John||DEC (7-4)||Ben Hewson||IOWA 30-0|
|174||Joey Gunther||DEC (9-5)||Mike Maksimovic||IOWA 33-0|
|184||Alex Meyer||DEC (7-0)||Brian Cristion||IOWA 36-0|
|197||Cash Wilcke||FALL (2:43)||Ben Bergen||IOWA 42-0|
|285||Steven Holloway||DEC (3-2)||Tyler Ortmann||IOWA 45-0|
It was more or less second verse, same as the first for Iowa in their second dual of the day, although they didn't rack up quite as many bonus point victories. Gilman, Clark, and Carton got Iowa started with three straight pins, with Gilman and Clark both notching two first-period pins. Clark edged out Gilman for the shortest amount of time on the mat today (3:41 to 4:09). Brandon Sorensen ended the pinning streak, but strung together multiple takedowns to get a major decision. Michael Kemerer, who was making his Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut today, didn't get a pin, but getting a 16-1 technical fall in just 2:31 is pretty damn impressive in its own right. He was racking up back points with ease, which was fun to see.
The second half of the dual didn't feature many bonus points (just Cash Wilcke's pin at 197 when he horsed his opponent over), but it also featured a very odd lineup. Of the final five matches, only one (Wilcke at 197) featured a possible starter wrestling at his best weight. Gunther and Meyer may be starting options for Iowa this year (Meyer will start and Gunther is likely to start at least until the decision to pull Marinelli's redshirt is made), but both were wrestling up a weight from their best weights (165 and 174, respectively). And Steven Holloway is simply filling in at heavyweight until Sam Stoll is ready to go (hopefully by the end of December or sometime in January). Given all that, I'm not interested in getting too caught up in the results in those matches. St. John's struggles against a Division III guy do suggest that he probably isn't a major contender for the starting spot at 165, though.
Overall, there's not much we can take away from these results. Iowa's locked in at the lower weights and they have some great options there, especially with Kemerer hitting the ground running. Carton notched a pin and a technical fall, too, so there's not much to complain about there. Things are much more unsettled in the upper weights, but there's time to sort things out. Hopefully guys get healthy there. Stoll is, of course, a long term absentee but the plan is for him to return around January. When asked today, Brands denied that Brooks was injured, but said that they were "just being smart," which I would interpret to mean that he's dinged up and they didn't want to make things any worse for him. Iowa has a light schedule until Midlands at the end of December, so he should have ample time to get right, presuming his injury isn't anything serious that would require surgery or long-term rehabilitation.
There was some bad news for Iowa this week, though: Vince Turk is "likely" to miss the entire season after sustaining an injury last weekend, per a report from Flowrestling. Turk, a redshirt freshman, was vying for the starting job at 141 lbs with senior Topher Carton; with Turk now out of the picture, Carton will be heavily favored to man that spot all season. Turk went 17-4 while redshirting last year, but that was mostly against weak competition; without knowing how Turk might have fared against stronger competition, it's difficult to know how much his absence may hurt Iowa this year. Still, he was an exciting young wrestler with a lot of potential, so not having him as an option this year will hurt. It looks like we'll have to wait until 2017-18 to see what he can do in a Hawkeye singlet.