On the 12th day of Blowout Win-mas, my favorite team gave to me...
12 Kemerer takedowns
11 Maryland fans in attendance
10 weights a-scheduled
9 weights a-wrestled
8 announcer gaffes
7 Wilcke takedowns
6 bonus point wins
5 matches ended early
4 ranked wrestlers winning
3 technical falls
2 pins and...
1 dual... meet... win...!
Ho ho ho! Iowa wrapped up their Big Ten road trip with a resounding win over Maryland on Sunday, thrashing the Terps 40-6. Iowa won nine of ten matches and recorded bonus points in six of those nine wins, including three technical falls, two pins, and a major decision. Iowa recorded 36 takedowns in the dual and held the Terps to just two. Maryland was, if anything, even worse than anticipated, but Iowa did what they should do against an overmatched team: beat them down. The only disappointment in the dual was that it ended on a sour note, with Iowa forfeiting the heavyweight match. Forfeits are always unsatisfying, but particularly so in this case when the match was the most anticipated one of the day, featuring the only showdown of ranked wrestlers (#6 Sam Stoll and #10 Yousif Hemida). Unfortunately, it didn't happen, with Tom Brands not offering any details but citing the need to "do the right thing" because "it's December." Hopefully Stoll isn't dealing with any sort of serious injury concern; his last two seasons have been ended prematurely as a result of major knee injuries, so if anyone should be owed some good luck in the injury department, it's probably him.
#7 IOWA 40, MARYLAND 6
|125||Justin Stickley||DEC (3-0)||Brandon Cray||IOWA 3-0|
|133||Phillip Laux||MAJ DEC (13-3)||Jhared Simmons||IOWA 7-0|
|141||Carter Happel||DEC (8-7)||#12 Ryan Diehl||IOWA 10-0|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen||FALL (1:18)||Garrett Burnham||IOWA 16-0|
|157||#3 Michael Kemerer||TECH FALL (27-10)||Justin Alexander||IOWA 21-0|
|165||#13 Alex Marinelli||FALL (2:42)||Brendan Burnham||IOWA 27-0|
|174||Joey Gunther||DEC (3-1)||Josh Ugalde||IOWA 30-0|
|184||Mitch Bowman||TECH FALL (21-3)||Spencer Woods||IOWA 35-0|
|197||#8 Cash Wilcke||TECH FALL (20-4)||Niko Cappello||IOWA 40-0|
|285||#10 Yousif Hemida||WIN VIA FORFEIT||n/a||IOWA 40-6|
Unlike recent duals, where Iowa has started poorly with losses at the light weights and needed to battle back, Iowa started brightly at the lighter weights in this dual and had the dual thoroughly salted away by the time the upper weights rolled around. The dual started at 125, with Justin Stickley recording a fairly dull 3-0 win. After a scoreless first period (the only one of the dual, thankfully), Stickley got a reversal in the second and rode out Cray, then rode him from the top position for the entire third period. Laux started the bonus points rolling for Iowa with a 13-3 major decision; he got off to a bright start with a pair of first period takedowns and then locked up bonus points with a big third period performance: a takedown and a tilt for four nearfall points.
At 141 Carter Happel won the wildest match of the day, an 8-7 thriller that featured five lead changes and Happel tying the match at 7-7 with a takedown late in the third period before winning with a riding time point. It was good to see Happel get a win after his narrow loss on Friday and the fight he showed here ought to give him a few more opportunities, although Midlands figures be pretty decisive in helping determine who starts at 141 for the second half of the season. 149 saw a sighting of that rarest of creatures: bonus point Brandon Sorensen! Sorensen tore through his opponent (Garrett Burnham) in less than 90 seconds, recording a pair of quick takedowns before cranking Burnham to his back with ease and getting a pin. It was an immensely satisfying performance, but also the sort of thing that we'd like to see from Sorensen more often.
Kemerer kept the bonus points rolling at 157, working a takedown clinic to secure a 27-10 technical fall win; as noted in my ditty above, he recorded a whopping 12 takedowns in this one. It was 6+ minutes of takedown, escape, takedown, escape, rinse and repeat, with a few efforts to turn Alexander. When those efforts went for naught, though, Kemerer wisely didn't waste much time in getting back to his takedown clinic. After a brief intermission, the bonus point train continued with Alex Marinelli recording his first pin as an official Iowa wrestler. Marinelli recorded three slick takedowns in the first period and then horsed Burnham over for a pin before the first period was over. (It was not a great day for the Burnham clan.) Marinelli's debut weekend certainly lived up to expectations, I'd say.
Iowa made it seven wins in seven matches with a 3-1 Joey Gunther win at 174. Gunther got a takedown on the edge near the end of the first period and then an escape to start the third period; there wasn't much else of note in-between. Mitch Bowman came out and put the pedal to the metal at 184, racking up takedowns early and often on the way to a 9-2 lead after the first period. He kept up the pressure after that as well, which ultimately helped him lock up a 21-3 technical fall with 20 seconds to go. At 197 Cash Wilcke saw Bowman's technical fall and decided to match it -- in half the time. Wilcke used four takedowns and a four-point nearfall in the first period to open up a 12-2 lead after one, then used an escape and three more takedowns in the second period to wrap up his technical fall in under four minutes total. And that turned out to be the end of the dual, as Iowa forfeited at heavyweight.
All in all, a pretty satisfying performance for the Hawkeyes. It's hard to take too much away from most of these wins, given that most of Iowa's remaining duals will feature far more talented opponents, but you can only wrestle who's in front of you and it was good to see Iowa wrestlers (with a few exceptions) continually pushing the pace and constantly looking for more scoring opportunities and more points.
NEXT: Iowa has the next several weeks off before returning to action at the Midlands Championships in Hoffman Estates, IL on December 29-30.