Top-ranked Iowa wrestlers take care of business against Nebraska
Hawkeyes demolish Huskers 31-6 in season opener
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – In typical fashion, Spencer Lee set the tone for the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team Friday in its 31-6 season-opening win over No. 6 Nebraska.
The top-ranked, 125-pound Lee pinned No. 11 Liam Cronin in 1:21 for his 17th career first period pin and Iowa went on to lose just two matches at 174 and 197 pounds.
Fifth-ranked 133-pounder Austin DeSanto eliminated his opponent by technical fall in the second period, and 157-pounder Kaleb Young won by major decision to give Iowa a 21-0 lead at the break.
“You talk about domination, domination is bonus points,” head coach Tom Brands said. “You see how guys wrestle to get bonus points, there were a lot of different ways they got them. Spencer Lee and Nelson Brands, those are two completely different ways to get bonus points. We were really sharp in some ways, and other ways, we were letting guys jump in on our legs and stuff.
“We’ve got to be ready. You answered a lot of questions. As a coach, you’re looking at your team, and feel good about that performance but what’s next? And that’s where we’ve got to keep going in our heads.”
Eight-ranked 184-pounder Nelson Brands made his Big Ten dual debut and beat No. 7 Taylor Venz 13-5 by major decision.
Nelson Brands made a big statement on the mat, but didn’t have much to say afterward.
“I was just enjoying wrestling,” Nelson Brands said. “And I just know that I enjoy wrestling.”
Jaydin Eierman trailed Nebraska’s Chad Red 2-1 after the first period but battled back to win by decision 5-3 in his Hawkeye debut in a contentious match that had both benches hot under the collar.
Eierman, a transfer from Missouri,
“It was just amazing,” Eierman said. “To finally get out there and just do what I came here to do, and that was to help us win and dominate. I think I could have been more dominant in my match. There were some little here and there things that I could have capitalized on better, but it’s the first match of the season and it’s just going to get better from here.”
Freshman Patrick Kennedy filled in for top-ranked Michael Kemerer at 174 pounds, but lost to fourth-ranked Mikey Labriola 7-4.
Tom Brands indicated that Kemerer was banged up but would be ready to go at Minnesota on Jan. 22.
Tom Brands also made it clear that Kemerer had not lost his spot in the lineup.
“It’s Kemerer’s spot,” Tom Brands said. “This isn’t a quarterback controversy. We have to understand that.”
Second-ranked 165-pounder Alex Marinelli also won a hotly contested 9-3 decision that involved some back-and-forth banter between the Iowa and Nebraska benches, particularly during a challenged takedown call in the first period.
But it wasn’t just during Marinelli’s match, there was chatter between the benches throughout the dual.
“It was a spirited dual,” Tom Brands said. “If there’s a full crowd in there it’s going to be a really fun dual. It got chippy right away. I mean, right away, here we go. We’re not going to stand for that, so we’re going to stand up and we’re going to bark. It was fun. It was fun. The competitive juices were really flowing.”
Wt. Match Team Score
125 #1 Spencer Lee (I) pinned #11 Liam Cronin (N) 1:21 6-0
133 #5 Austin DeSanto (I) tech. fall Alex Thomsen (N) 21-6 11-0
141 #1 Jaydin Eierman (I) dec. #7 Chad Red Jr. (N) 8-4 14-0
149 #8 Max Murin (I) dec. #20 Brock Hardy (N) 6-2 17-0
157 #6 Kaleb Young (I) major dec. Caleb Licking (N) 17-5 21-0
165 #2 Alex Marinelli (I) dec. #18 Peyton Robb (N) 9-3 24-0
174 #4 Mikey Labriola (N) dec. Patrick Kennedy (I) 7-4 24-3
184 Nelson Brands (I) major dec. #7 Taylor Venz (N) 13-5 28-3
197 #2 Eric Shultz (N) dec. #4 Jacob Warner (I) 3-2 28-6
285 #2 Tony Cassioppi (I) dec. #16 Christian Lance (N) 4-0 31-6