As expected, Iowa came, they saw, and they conquered at the season-opening Frenzy at the Field House event in Kent, OH. Iowa demolished CSU Bakersfield 36-3 in their first dual of the day, and then followed that up by blanking Kent State 45-0 in their second dual of the day. The win over CSU Bakersfield was Iowa's 1000th all-time dual meet victory. They became the fourth program to win at least 1000 dual meets, behind only Oregon State (1029), Iowa State (1065), and Oklahoma State (1105) in the all-time rankings.
FINAL: Iowa 36, CSUB 3
— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) November 10, 2018
Iowa won 19 of 20 matches over the two duals and recorded bonus points in 13 of those 19 wins. Five Iowa wrestlers recorded bonus points in both of their wins on the day, including Spencer Lee, Max Murin, Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli, and Cash Wilcke. The highlight of the day probably came in the Kent State dual, when Iowa rattled off back-to-back-to-back-to-back falls, posting pins from Murin, Pat Lugo, Young, and Marinelli in consecutive matches to turn that dual meet into an utter rout.
There were a lot of new faces on display in Iowa singlets in these duals, as six wrestlers made their official Iowa debuts on Friday: Austin DeSanto, Murin, Lugo, Myles Wilson, Connor Corbin, and Aaron Costello. Collectively they went a combined 10-1 with five bonus point wins -- not too shabby, fellas. Murin, Lugo, Wilson, Corbin, and Costello all redshirted last year, while DeSanto transferred from Drexel in the offseason. Two other Iowa wrestlers made their debuts at their new weights, Kaleb Young at 157 and Cash Wilcke at 184. They combined for three major decisions and a pin in their four wins at their new weights, so they seem to be settling in well there.
Austin DeSanto casually scores 20 points in the first period of his Iowa debut.
The new Hawkeye techs #13 Sean Nickell, 22-6. pic.twitter.com/0IbBHMVRjj
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) November 9, 2018
The competition Iowa faced on Friday was far from the best and there were a few hiccups (which we'll talk about shortly), but it's impossible to be too dissatisfied with a combined score of 80-3 across two duals. Iowa looked active and aggressive at virtually every weight and they took care of business the way they should against overmatched opposition. Job done.
Hawkeye Wrestling picks up wins #1 and #2 in the 2018-19 season in Kent, Ohio, Friday. The wins are #1,000 and #1,001 in program history. Hawks at home next Friday against Princeton. pic.twitter.com/4RAjB1Mh9d
— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) November 10, 2018
#3 IOWA 35, CSU BAKERFIELD 3
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||TECH FALL (18-0; 2:16)||Alex Hernandez-Figueroa||IOWA 5-0|
|133||#11 Austin DeSanto||TECH FALL (22-6; 3:25)||#18 Sean Nickell||IOWA 10-0|
|141||Max Murin||MAJ DEC (18-4)||Carlos Herrera||IOWA 14-0|
|149||Russell Rohlfing||DEC (10-9)||#10 Pat Lugo||IOWA 14-3|
|157||#15 Kaleb Young||MAJ DEC (13-4)||Wyatt Gerl||IOWA 18-3|
|165||#4 Alex Marinelli||MAJ DEC (14-4)||Jacob Thalin||IOWA 22-3|
|174||Myles Wilson||MAJ DEC (12-4)||Bryan Battisto||IOWA 26-3|
|184||#12 Cash Wilcke||MAJ DEC (12-4)||Dominic Ducharme||IOWA 30-3|
|197||Mitch Bowman||DEC (6-2)||Mark Penyacsek||IOWA 33-3|
|285||Aaron Costello||DEC (6-1)||Jacob Sieder||IOWA 36-3|
A few notes:
- Spencer Lee got the season started for Iowa the same way he ended last season: in dominant fashion. He picked up an 18-0 technical fall in the first period by getting a takedown and taking his opponent on a trip to Tilt Town. Once he gets an opponent on the mat, it's game over.
- Lee and DeSanto provided a glimpse of the sort of terror they can produce in lightweight opponents in this dual -- as well as the fast starts they can stake Iowa to in dual meets, as both produced technical falls that gave Iowa a 10-0 lead after two weights. Iowa has had some good 1-2 punches to open the lineup in recent years (such as Matt McDonough and Tony Ramos or Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark) and Lee-DeSanto could be destined to rank among those pairings by the end of their careers. Both got tech falls in this dual, but in different fashion: Lee got a single takedown and then racked up nearfall points in rapid succession with a series of tilts, while DeSanto put on a takedown clinic against his foe. Hey, whatever works.
- Max Murin had a very good official debut at 141, cruising to an 18-4 major decision win. His size and skill was way too much for his opponent to handle.
- The biggest down note of the day for Iowa came in Lugo's match at 149 against the Roadrunners; he dropped a 10-9 decision by giving up a takedown in the closing seconds of the match. Rohlfing, his opponent, was a bigger, lankier, and funkier 149er, which seemed to give Lugo some problems. That said, Lugo will need to beat tougher opponents than Rohlfing to make it on the podium in March. The good news is that there's a lot of season yet to go and there's plenty of time for Lugo to settle in and improve at this weight.
- Young was manhandling guys at his new weight; this weight cut looks like it could be a very, very good move for him.
- Bull gonna Bull: Marinelli overpowered Thalin and poured the points on at 165.
- Myles Wilson got the call at 174 with Kemerer sitting out this trip and he acquitted himself well. He didn't show many jitters despite making his Iowa debut and his active style enabled him to keep the bonus point train rolling for Iowa.
- Like Young, Wilcke looks improved at this new weight. He wrestled a lot of low-scoring matches up at 197, was hesitant to take shots at times, and often struggled to finish shots when he did shoot; he was much more confident and aggressive at 184, which was a welcome sight.
- With Jacob Warner sitting out these duals, Mitch Bowman got a start at 197 and he showed off his riding ability in a low-scoring win.
- Finally, with Sam Stoll suspended, Aaron Costello got to make his Iowa debut and he made the most of it with a very solid 6-1 win.
IOWA 45, KENT STATE 0
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||TECH FALL (16-0; 1:12)||Tomas Gutierrez||IOWA 5-0|
|133||#11 Austin DeSanto||DEC (8-7)||Tim Rooney||IOWA 8-0|
|141||Max Murin||FALL (4:29)||Cory Simpson||IOWA 14-0|
|149||#10 Pat Lugo||FALL (2:17)||Kody Kamara||IOWA 20-0|
|157||#15 Kaleb Young||FALL (4:04)||Richard Jackson||IOWA 26-0|
|165||#4 Alex Marinelli||FALL (2:16)||Isaac Bast||IOWA 32-0|
|174||Myles Wilson||DEC (12-9)||Dylan Barreiro||IOWA 35-0|
|184||#12 Cash Wilcke||MAJ DEC (18-7)||Andrew McNally||IOWA 39-0|
|197||Connor Corbin||DEC (8-3)||Shane Mast||IOWA 42-0|
|285||Aaron Costello||DEC (4-1)||Billy Bolia||IOWA 45-0|
A few notes:
- No pins for Spencer Lee today, but two first period tech fall isn't exactly a bad consolation prize. After taking a whopping 2:16 to finish off his foe in the first dual, he raced to a 16-0 technical fall in just 1:12 here. He recorded only two takedowns all day... mainly because that's all he needed. Once he got a takedown and got an opponent on the mat... game, set, match. I've never seen someone who can do so much damage with just one takedown.
- I think we're going to have to keep track of Lee's total mat time this season. Through two duals, he's at 3:28 and has yet to see the second (let alone third) period in a match.
- After a rip-roaring debut, DeSanto got a major scare from the unheralded Rooney in his second bout. Rooney wrestled very well and was very aggressive and seemed to constantly be attacking DeSanto. DeSanto was able to avoid the upset bid with a late takedown, but this was far from the buzzsaw performance we expected/wanted to see.
- As noted before, the pin train got underway at 141 and didn't stop until 174. It was especially nice to see Lugo get a pin; that was an excellent way for him to rebound from that disappointing loss in the earlier dual. Beyond that, Iowa just overpowered the Kent State wrestlers at these weights; it was fun to see the Iowa wrestlers feed off what their teammates were doing.
- The pin train stopped at 174, but Myles Wilson still managed to get his second win of the day in a 12-9 thriller. This was a high-scoring bout full of action, which is never a bad thing. Wilson scored 12 points in each of his matches here, which is certainly a positive sign.
- McNally is a fringe-ish Top 20 guy and possible NCAA qualifier this year, so seeing Wilcke absolutely dominate him for three periods was a very satisfying result. If we can get a more active, more confident, higher-scoring Cash Money at 184, that's going to be a nice boost for Iowa this year.
- Connor Corbin got the start at 197 in Iowa's second dual meet and he was able to pick up a very solid 8-3 win in his Iowa debut. Overall, Iowa showed some pretty nice depth at the upper weights despite missing three high-powered starters in Kemerer, Warner, and Stoll.
NEXT: Iowa returns to Iowa City for their home opener against Princeton next Friday (7 PM CT, BTN Plus/Flo).