DeSanto looks to be third Hawkeye to top Rutgers’ Suriano

No. 8 Austin DeSanto will look to tally back-to-back top-10 upsets in his match at Carver-Hawkeye Friday.

Iowa%27s+Austin+DeSanto+reacts+to+his+victory+during+Iowa%27s+dual+meet+against+Purdue+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+November+24%2C+2018.+DeSanto+defeated+Thornton+5-2.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Boilermakers+26-9.
Back to Article
Back to Article

DeSanto looks to be third Hawkeye to top Rutgers’ Suriano

Iowa's Austin DeSanto reacts to his victory during Iowa's dual meet against Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, November 24, 2018. DeSanto defeated Thornton 5-2. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers 26-9.

Iowa's Austin DeSanto reacts to his victory during Iowa's dual meet against Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, November 24, 2018. DeSanto defeated Thornton 5-2. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers 26-9.

Nick Rohlman

Iowa's Austin DeSanto reacts to his victory during Iowa's dual meet against Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, November 24, 2018. DeSanto defeated Thornton 5-2. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers 26-9.

Nick Rohlman

Nick Rohlman

Iowa's Austin DeSanto reacts to his victory during Iowa's dual meet against Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, November 24, 2018. DeSanto defeated Thornton 5-2. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers 26-9.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Austin DeSanto has been a key pickup for Hawkeye wrestling, and he proved it in Iowa’s 24-10 win over Minnesota when he upset No. 6 Ethan Lizak, 6-1.

RELATED: Iowa wrestling dominates Minnesota, 24-10

“DeSanto showed me [in his match against Lizak] that he’s doing what he needs to do to keep getting better and wrestling a high level,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “He’s getting more relaxed out there to where he’s managing his matches better. We need to keep getting better there.”

DeSanto has an even greater challenge this week — he will face No. 3 Nick Suriano when Iowa hosts a dual meet against Rutgers at 8 p.m. Friday in Carver-Hawkeye.

Unsurprisingly, DeSanto looks forward to the chance to wrestle another top-10 opponent.

“I mean, he’s been the guy since we were little,” DeSanto said. “He’s always been good. I’ve never wrestled him before, so it’s going to be pretty cool just to wrestle him.”

DeSanto is currently 11-1, and he heads into the match after winning a Midlands title and a match against another top-10 opponent.

“DeSanto is growing up in the sport a bit more — he’s only a true sophomore,” Brands said. “He’s become more savvy, more position-oriented. I’ll tell you one thing, he’s going to wrestle seven minutes, and he’s a handful.”

Suriano has only suffered five losses in his career, and two of those have come from Hawkeyes. Thomas Gilman defeated him, 3-2, two seasons ago, and last season, Spencer Lee battled Suriano in the 125-pound national title match and beat him, 5-1.

As DeSanto tries to be the third Hawkeye to defeat Suriano, he will go to Lee for advice.

“Spencer has wrestled him many, many times, so of course I’m going to go to him, who has the experience with wrestling him,” DeSanto said. “We have Gilman up there who has wrestled him before. We’re going to be trying to wrestle hard and do what I do. I’m just going to go out there and have fun — that’s most important.”

Lee and DeSanto met on the mat to wrestle for a championship title twice in high school but now work every day to make each other better.

In fact, after DeSanto beat Lee, Lee said he told him he should be a Hawkeye, but DeSanto just laughed it off because he was already committed to Drexel. But, once DeSanto decided he would transfer, Lee helped recruit him to Iowa.

“That doesn’t happen every day,” Brands said. “That shows the unselfishness of both of them. It shows Spencer Lee’s leadership in our program. It shows DeSanto doesn’t have to be the big man on campus, except he’s going to be the big man on campus if he keeps wrestling the way he’s wrestling.”

DeSanto will have another chance to show he can be the big man on campus against Suriano. As DeSanto heads into his big match, he plans to use his lungs to his advantage and push the pace.

“That should be a pay-per-view match,” Brands said. “The Big Ten Network should sell the 133-pound match pay-per-view. The Big Ten Network’s running, stop at 133, pay-per-view DeSanto-Suriano, and then get the free TV going again.”