Iowa wrestling’s Young and Marinelli take reins after undefeated starts

The dominance of Alex Marinelli and Kaleb Young has led the Hawkeyes to an undefeated start to the season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Alex Marinelli wrestles Lehigh's Cole Walter during a wrestling dual-meet between Iowa and Lehigh at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Marinelli, who is ranked fourth at 165, defeated Walter 20-5, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Mountain Hawks, 28-14.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

As the No. 4 Iowa wrestlers extended their so-far undefeated record to 6-0 after beating Lehigh, two Hawkeyes have won every match they have competed in so far — 157-pounder Kaleb Young and 165-pounder Alex Marinelli have made their presence felt by starting 6-0.

Including wins over two top-15 opponents, Young has tallied 2 pins, 1 major decision, and 3 decisions. One of the pins was over No. 14 Griffin Parriott in 3:37 in Iowa’s dual win over Purdue.

Young spent time in the lineup at 165 and 174 last season, going 9-7, and he has dominated at 157 this season. Head coach Tom Brands considered Young a “new face” this year after moving down a weight and believes with a few adjustments, Young will thrive.

“We need more of a seven-minute match out of him, probably,” Brands said. “That’s the knock. Blow those matches open, blow those matches open by wrestling hard for seven minutes. If he does that, then he’s going to have a successful career.”

Young agreed that his focus this season would be like that of the team’s major goal — wrestle for seven minutes and get bonus points.

In the six matches on the season, Marinelli has scored 13 bonus points, 31 points total. Young has added 25 points of his own. Between the two, they have combined to score approximately 32 percent of Iowa’s total points — 56 of 177.

RELATED: Iowa wrestling shifts from late losses to bonus points

Marinelli has commanded the mat this season, registering 3 pins, a technical fall, and 2 major decisions.

Marinelli posted his first pin of the season over Kent State’s Isaac Bast in 2:16. The All-American helped the Hawkeyes big time in their 19-18 win over Iowa State when he pinned his opponent in 4:45, adding a key 6 points to the team score.

“Every single dual meet, I try to get bonus points for my team, whether it’s a major, a tech, or a pin,” Marinelli said. “I knew this dual meet would be electric and that I had to have bonus points. Every week, I try to pin my guy, and last week it didn’t happen. This week it did, and I’m pretty pumped about it.”

Marinelli is a Hawkeye wrestler who always puts up a fight until the third-period buzzer goes off, and that is noticed by his teammates. He plays a major leadership role for the Hawkeyes.

“We all have to wrestle like [Marinelli] does, a full seven minutes,” 141-pounder Max Murin said. 

Although he didn’t wrestle against Purdue, Spencer Lee is also undefeated this season. Lee has a record of 5-0, including a win over Princeton’s No. 14 Patrick Glory, and he has racked up 4 technical falls, and a major decision while outscoring opponents 82-6.

The three will travel to Northwestern and compete at the Midland Championships, where Marinelli will try to defend his title. Lee and Young will attempt to improve on their respective sixth and fifth-place finishes.

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