Hawkeye wrestling’s No. 11 Warner comes up clutch with upset of three-time All-American in début

Iowa wrestling’s tight dual against Iowa State was highlighted by a last-second win by redshirt freshman Jacob Warner in his Hawkeye début.


Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa’s Jacob Warner wrestles Iowa State’s Willie Miklus during Iowa’s dual meet against Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Warner defeated Miklus 5-4. Iowa defeated the Cyclones 19-18.

Anna Kayser, Assistant Sports Editor

Down 15-9 through six matches against Iowa State, Iowa wrestling needed a momentum shift with No. 11 Jacob Warner on the mat for his first career match.

Up until that point, Iowa State had taken the advantage of numerous upsets thanks to late takedowns. Warner’s 197 match against No. 5 Willie Miklus — a three-time All-American — turned Iowa’s luck around.

Warner started the match with a takedown 31 seconds in, but a tweak of either his knee or ankle during the first period had him favoring one leg, a sore sight for Hawkeye fans after Myles Wilson lost by injury default at 174.

Warner managed to keep his lead through the second period, but his emotions started to take over.

In the third period, Miklus had an escape and a takedown to take the lead, 4-3, with 1:09 left.

“I kind of let my emotions get away from me a little bit, but when I found myself down, I realized I’m not hurt, I’m fine,” Warner said. “This is what I trained for — I train when I’m sick, I train when I’m hurt, I train when I feel my best. Like Terry [Brands] always says, when it’s your time you’re ready to go, and I was ready to go.”

With five seconds left, Warner scored a reversal for the win, Iowa’s only late-match victory of the night.

The intensity of Carver-Hawkeye was felt on the mat in the final 10 seconds where Warner held on for his team.

“I remember he had a leg in, locked up a cradle, and I just thought to myself, ‘Screw it, I’ve got to do something,’ ” Warner said. “I kind of found myself on top then he rolled again, found myself on my back, and I remember thinking in my head [to] keep my left arm straight because he had his legs turned or something, and if I would have dropped my arm, he would have gotten a reversal for sure. It was intense for me, but I came out of it.”

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The reversal call was looked at on film, adding to the tension of the match, but ultimately the call went Warner’s way for the win.

After competing in the World Junior Championships in September, Warner has been resting and waiting to get back into competition.

With the loss of Michael Kemerer for the season at 174, Iowa needs to make up bonus points to stay in contention for a national title. With Warner on the mat for an upset in his début, he proved that he’s a critical member of the lineup.

“The call went our way, and we go forward,” head coach Tom Brands said. “When I think about him, it was his début as a freshman, and he’s someone that’s aching to get on the mat.”

Moving ahead is the theme for Iowa wrestling, and everyone — including Warner — has to do that after the performance against Iowa State.

All-American No. 4 Alex Marinelli said after the meet that everyone on the team needs to wrestle for a full seven minutes, and Warner was one of the few who did.

“I thought I wrestled all right; I think there’s more I could have done especially late in that match, but at the end of the day I got it done,” Warner said. “It was a little too close for comfort, but now I’m just moving forward.”

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