Kemerer, Eierman seeking first individual national titles
Hawkeye wrestlers begin quest for team title March 18 in St. Louis
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Nearly three years have passed since Michael Kemerer last competed at the NCAA Championships.
The senior 174-pounder missed the 2018-19 season due to injury and the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Murrysville, Pennsylvania, native with get another chance March 18-20 in St. Louis, Missouri when the top-ranked Hawkeyes seek their first national team title since 2010.
Kemerer, who won his first career Big Ten championship this season, enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed at 174 pounds and is looking to win his first national title.
“I think it’s more excitement than anything,” Kemerer said. “The national tournament is the pinnacle. It’s what everyone talks about at the end of the year in March. It’s been three years now since I’ve gotten to compete in it. I had to have that year where I sat and watched. Obviously, last year I didn’t get the opportunity at all.
“Just to be able to finally be out there and wrestling in that arena, in that atmosphere that you dream about when you’re a kid, it’s huge, it’s awesome. The biggest thing is I just want to savor every moment of it and live in the moment because it’s such a unique experience and a unique tournament – it’s really special to be able to experience.”
Senior 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman also is seeking his first national title.
Like Kemerer, who won the Big Ten title in his home state, Eierman will get the opportunity to achieve a career milestone in his home state.
Eierman, a native of Columbia, Missouri, is a four-time conference champion, but has never placed better then third in the national tournament.
Eierman, also a No. 1 seed, won three Mid-American Conference titles at Missouri before transferring to Iowa in 2020.
“I’m thrilled to go back to Missouri,” Eierman said. “Back to where I started my career. My first national tournament was in St. Louis and I had a great run my freshman year there. To go back there and do what I meant to do four years ago, and that was to win a national title, right now I’m in the perfect place to do that.”
Iowa also has two-time national champion 125-pounder Spencer Lee and 165-pounder Alex Marinelli as No. 1 seeds.
133-pounder Austin DeSanto is a No. 4 seed, while Kaleb Young, Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi are No. 5 seeds at 157, 197 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Junior 149-pounder Max Murin and sophomore 184-pounder Nelson Brands are No. 12 seeds.
Iowa is one of three schools to send all 10 wrestlers to this year’s national tournament.
“We feel like we have tough 10 guys who are ready to wrestle when we step on the mat,” Kemerer said. “That’s the biggest thing is maybe fine tune a couple things, but just being ready to compete. We’re six days out, so six days from now we’ve got to be feeling good, ready to compete, ready to go out and wrestle hard and score points like we know how. It all starts in the preparation here and once it’s time to get out there we’re ready to rock.”