Iowa Wrestling Puts 7 In Quarterfinals

By RossWB on March 21, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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Session II of the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Tournament is in the books and while it wasn't as good for Iowa as the first session of the day Thursday, it was still pretty successful. Iowa went 7-2 in their second round matches Thursday evening and placed seven wrestlers into the Friday morning quarterfinals. The twinge of disappointment comes from the end of the evening, where Cash Wilcke and Jacob Warner both lost in overtime in matches they had been leading. That was a bitter pill to swallow to end the day, but Iowa still did well in most matches. 

1) 32.5 -- Penn State (6 in QF)
2) 25.0 -- Ohio State (5 in QF)
3) 24.0 -- Iowa (7 in QF)
4) 20.0 -- Minnesota (4 in QF)
4) 20.0 -- Oklahoma State (4 in QF)

Second round results: 

125 #3 Spencer Lee MAJ DEC (10-1) #14 Sean Fausz (NC State)
133 #7 Austin DeSanto DEC (7-2) #10 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)
141 #22 Max Murin DEC (4-3) #6 Mike Carr (Illinois)
149 #10 Pat Lugo DEC (4-2 4OT) #26 Ryan Blees (Virginia Tech)
157 #6 Kaleb Young MAJ DEC (14-2) #11 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State)
165 #1 Alex Marinelli MAJ DEC (12-4) #16 Thomas Bullard (NC State)
184 #5 Max Dean (Cornell) DEC (6-4 OT) #12 Cash Wilcke
197 #21 Thomas Lane (Cal Poly) DEC (4-2 OT) #5 Jacob Warner
285 #28 Sam Stoll DEC (1-0) #12 Conan Jennings (Northwestern)

Once again, Spencer Lee got the ball rolling for Iowa and once again he picked up bonus points in his win -- though it didn't come easy. He led just 2-1 after the first period and again got ridden hard by his opponent in the second before finally getting an escape and another takedown to extend to his lead. Fausz chose down to start the third. That... was a poor decision. Lee rode him for the entire period and managed to turn him for four near fall points to boost his win into bonus points territory. Fausz's size and length (he's a big and tall 125er) seemed to give Lee problems when it came to finishing shots; he was in on Fausz's legs constantly in the first period, but was unable to finish most of those attacks. 

DeSanto's win at 133 looks like a comfortable win on the score sheet -- 7-2 -- but it was anything but. He led just 3-2 late in the third before Bravo-Young attempted a big move that DeSanto was able to counter into a big move of his own, landing a takedown and exposing Bravo-Young's match for two near fall points to make it a 7-2 final score. Yet while the match was low scoring to that point, it was pretty gripping, with Bravo-Young doggedly holding his left arm back to keep it out of DeSanto's iron grip (a key adjustment he made after their first match in the Big Ten Tournament a few weeks ago) and DeSanto working his usual heavy hands and intense approach all match long. Bravo-Young was achingly close to a takedown in the third period in a wild scramble that ended up with both wrestlers crashing into the way-too-close officiating/scoring table at the edge of the mat; a video review confirmed that Bravo-Young was simply close, but no cigar. 

Max Murin picked up his second straight upset over a Big Ten foe at 141, with a 4-3 victory over #6 Mike Carr of Illinois, a repeat of the result when Murin and Carr wrestled in the Big Ten Tournament two weeks ago. Carr got a takedown early on, but Murin got an escape; the key move in the match came near the end of the first, when Murin landed a takedown on Carr at the buzzer. That put him up 3-2. They traded escapes in the second and third periods and Murin held off Carr's attacks in the third, advancing himself to the quarterfinals in the process. Nicely done. 

Iowa had another nail-biter at 149, where Pat Lugo ultimately prevailed 4-2 in the second sudden victory overtime period (fourth overtime period total). For most of the match Blees' height and length had Lugo stymied, though truth be told, there wasn't a lot of action from either guy in this bout. They traded very quick escapes in the second and third periods and after a scoreless first sudden victory overtime, trade two more quick escapes in the next segment of overtime. Finally in the second sudden victory period Lugo got got the winning move -- in improbable fashion; Blees made a rare shot and got in deep on Lugo, but Lugo was able to duck under and finish the move for a 4-2 win. Exhale

After the drama of the preceding three matches, Kaleb Young and Alex Marinelli provided much more relaxing wins for Iowa fans at 157 and 165. Young jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on a takedown on #11 Ke-Shawn Hayes, then went to work on the mat, using some quick turns to extend his lead to 8-0 in a hurry. It was easy street for Young from there and he used a few more takedowns and turns to finish off Hayes with a 14-2 major decision. Young has looked really, really, really good so far at this tournament. After his painfully close win in round one, Marinelli cruised to a 12-4 major decision win in the second round over NC State's Thomas Bullard. Marinelli worked a takedown clinic on Bullard, picking up two quick takedowns in the first and ultimately securing five takedowns in the match. This was a solid, controlling performance from Marinelli. 

After the highs of 157 and 165, though, Iowa wrestling hit its lowest points of day one at 184 and 197. Cash Wilcke's upset bid against #5 Max Dean looked good for much of the match -- after a scoreless first period, Wilcke got a quick escape and a nice takedown off a blast double to go up 3-0, but that ended up being the high point of the bout. Dean got an escape to make it 3-1, then another escape to start the third and make it 3-2. Wilcke got dinged for stalling a few times (and probably deserved to, unfortunately), while Dean did as well, which left the match tied at 4-4 at the end of the third. Wilcke was able to get in on a few shots in the third and sudden victory, but just wasn't able to finish; unfortunately, when Dean got to Wilcke's legs in overtime, he was able to finish, getting his hands around to secure the two points and the win. 

Like Wilcke, Warner started out well in his second round match -- he got an early takedown and then put on a tough ride on Lane for the duration of the period. Everything went pear-shaped after that. Lane chose top (his best position) and rode Warner for the entire second period. Lane got in on Warner's legs fairly early in the third and after a very lengthy and laborious scramble, was able to finish for two points and then ride Warner out for the rest of the period, leaving the match tied at 2-2 after three periods. Warner looked visibly exhausted and while he had a chance to circle around for a takedown in sudden victory, he was unable to finish it. A few moments later, Lane got to his legs and was finally able to finish a takedown of his own with only a few seconds left in overtime. Warner's inability to do more damage from top position in the first and, more crucially, his inability to get an escape in the second or third periods was critical. Hopefully he (and Wilcke) can rebound from this disappointment and come out ready to go tomorrow morning; Iowa needs both guys to do work in the consolation bracket now. 

The night ended on a happier note as Sam Stoll's shaved bear Cinderella story continued with another win and a spot in the quarterfinals. Stoll beat longtime foe Conan Jennings of Northwestern 1-0 on an escape point in the second period. The rest of the match featured a lot of tying up and pushing. So much tying up and pushing. Let's just focus on the fact that our man Sam won. 


125 #3 Spencer Lee vs #6 Sean Russell (Minnesota)
133 #7 Austin DeSanto vs #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan)
141 #22 Max Murin vs #3 Nick Lee (Penn State)
149 #10 Pat Lugo vs #2 Micah Jordan (Ohio State)
157 #6 Kaleb Young vs #3 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern)
165 #1 Alex Marinelli vs #8 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)
285 #28 Sam Stoll vs #4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)

That... is a daunting set of quarterfinals. Iowa will be underdogs in five of those seven matches. DeSanto had two wild matches with Micic last year, beating him by major decision early in the season and losing to him by major decision at the NCAA Tournament (that was also the match where DeSanto very controversially attempted a flying kimura on Micic, which was... very bad). Murin lost to Lee at Big Tens a few weeks ago and Young lost to Deakin in the Midlands final in December. Marinelli and Lewis have never matched up in college, but Lewis did beat him in freestyle competition last summer. Stoll and Wood have never met up, but Stoll figures to be the underdog against the very solid Wood. Hopefully Stoll's fairy godmother continues to bestow her magic upon him. In happier news, Lee is 3-0 lifetime against Russell, with their most recent match being an 8-0 Lee win at Big Tens. Still, for Iowa's successful NCAA Tournament to continue, they're going to need to pull an upset or three in this round. Tomorrow morning is going to be a big, big round for Iowa. 


184 #12 Cash Wilcke vs #22 Mason Reinhardt (Wisconsin)
197 #5 Jacob Warner vs #27 Joshua Roetman (Navy)

As of this writing, the opponents that Wilcke and Warner will face in their first consolation matches are set yet. EDIT: Updated with the actual opponents for Wilcke and Warner. Both guys need to win three matches tomorrow (two in Session III and another to start Session IV, in the Round of 12, or "blood round," as it's often called) in order to secure a spot on the podium and All-America honors. 

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