Iowa held their wrestle-offs for the 2018-19 season on Thursday and Friday this week, with 30 different wrestlers in action. A few wrestlers didn't compete (Sam Stoll and Michael Kemerer), although there's no indication that they're dealing with serious injuries. But for the most part we got a glimpse of most of the wrestlers who will take the mat for Iowa this year -- and got some insight into how things might shake out at the most contested weights, like 141, 157, and 165.
|197||Connor Corbin||DEC (3-2)||Cade Brownlee|
|141||Justin Stickley||TECH FALL (20-2)||Cam Shaver|
|157||Danny Murphy||DEC (2-1)||Keegan Shaw|
|157||Jeremiah Moody||DEC (6-2)||Joe Kelly|
|157||Kaleb Young||TECH FALL (19-4)||Preston Stephenson|
|125||Spencer Lee||TECH FALL (16-1)||Perez Perez|
|133||Austin DeSanto||DEC (6-3)||Paul Glynn|
|141||Max Murin||DEC (3-1)||Carter Happel|
|149||Pat Lugo||MAJ DEC (14-3)||Zach Axmear|
|165||Nelson Brands||TECH FALL (28-12)||Tristan McDonald|
|285||Anthony Cassioppi||DEC (2-0)||Aaron Costello|
|141||Vince Turk||DEC (6-3)||Justin Stickley|
|197||Myles Wilson||TECH FALL (15-0)||Cade Brownlee|
|157||Jeren Glosser||DEC (10-5)||Danny Murphy|
|157||Kaleb Young||MAJ DEC (12-4)||Jeremiah Moody|
The main action on Thursday were the mini-tournaments at 141 and 157 to help decide a starter at those weights. At 141 Max Murin used a takedown late in the first period to score the only takedown of the match; he held on after that to get by Happel. Vince Turk also won at 141, scoring a few takedowns to get by Justin Stickley, who's added quite a bit of mass since filling in at 125 to start last season. That set up a Murin-Turk showdown on Friday.
Jeren Glosser got a bye to the semifinals in the mini-bracket at 157, but the action was on the other side, where Jeremiah Moody and Kaleb Young emerged. Young had two of the more impressive performances of the day, demolishing Preston Stephenson 20-4 in his first match and then dominating Moody 12-4 in his second bout to set up a match with Glosser on Friday. Young filled in for Iowa at 165 and 164 last year, but perhaps he's finally found a home at 157.
In other news, Spencer Lee did Spencer Lee things (takedown, tilt, tilt, tilt, eventual tech fall), while Pat Lugo showed off a strong attacking mindset and a fast tempo in a lopsided win over Zach Axmear. Austin DeSanto made his quasi-debut for Iowa as well and cruised past last year's 133 starter, Paul Glynn. DeSanto's primary competition for the starting job at 133, Nebraska transfer Jason Renteria, didn't compete on Thursday or Friday and seems to be redshirting this year. Finally, Nelson Brands put on quite a takedown clinic in his own quasi-debut for the Iowa faithful:
Nelson Brands = Takedown Machine pic.twitter.com/VsYtrsx59X— IAwrestle (@IAwrestle) November 2, 2018
|125||Spencer Lee||FALL (2nd period)||Aaron Cashman|
|133||Austin DeSanto||DEC (6-3)||Paul Glynn|
|141||Max Murin||DEC (5-4)||Vince Turk|
|149||Pat Lugo||FALL (0:36)||Zach Axmear|
|157||Kaleb Young||DEC (3-1 SV)||Jeren Glosser|
|165||Alex Marinelli||DEC (6-3)||Nelson Brands|
|184||Cash Wilcke||DEC (9-5)||Mitch Bowman|
|197||Jacob Warner||MAJ DEC (10-1)||Connor Corbin|
|125||Aaron Cashman||DEC (8-6)||Perez Perez|
There were half as many matches on Friday as there were on Thursday and no real surprises. Lee one-upped his tech fall from Thursday with a second period pin on Friday, while Lugo also improved his Thursday showing with a lightning-quick pin (in just 36 seconds) on Friday. We'll need to see how he looks against stiffer competition, of course, but Lugo certainly didn't put a step wrong at wrestle-offs. Jacob Warner also picked up a bonus point win with a 10-1 major decision over Connor Corbin. As noted, the competition will ramp up for Warner very quickly this season.
The most contested weights (141, 157, 184) saw two very close matches and one pretty comfortable win. Max Murin jumped out a 4-2 lead on Vince Turk, but gave up that lead by getting dinged for stalling twice in the third period; he won on a riding time point. That wasn't exactly a decisive win and I don't think the battle at 141 is settled yet; I'd expect that both Murin and Turk will get opportunities in the lineup over the next few months and a starting decision may not be made until after Midlands. There wasn't much scoring at 157, as neither Young nor Glosser could get a takedown in regulation and it went into sudden victory at 1-1. Young finally got the two (and the win) in overtime. That probably gives him a leg up in the battle to start at 157, although like Turk-Murin, this battle may not be over quite yet. At 184, Cash Wilcke got a few early takedowns and was able to ease to a solid 9-5 win.
Finally, is there much to take from DeSanto only beating Glynn 6-3 again or Alex Marinelli recording a 6-3 win over true freshman Nelson Brands? Probably not. It's probably wise to avoid overreacting to wrestle-off results, since the familiarity that comes from facing teammates can skew things at times. Let's see what DeSanto and Marinelli look like against opponents they don't see every day in the practice room.
Here are a few more video highlights:
Wrestle-offs continue today at 3:30 p.m. Hope to see you inside the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this afternoon. Admission is free. pic.twitter.com/hZ6vN63HEv— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) November 2, 2018
NEXT: Iowa's season officially gets underway with a pair of dual meets on Friday against CSU-Bakersfield and Kent State.