Iowa wrestling looks to Shaw at 174

After a season-ending surgery and a few injuries, the Hawkeyes had to utilize their fourth-string 174-pounder last weekend, and he got the job done.

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Iowa wrestling looks to Shaw at 174

Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

David Harmantas

Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

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After All-American Michael Kemerer was unable to compete in his junior season because of season-ending knee surgery, Myles Wilson stepped up to fill the vacancy at 174 pounds.

About a month into the season, Wilson lost his matchup in the Cy-Hawk Series meet on an injury default. The Hawkeyes then turned to Mitch Bowman, but he also faced an injury after Iowa’s meet with No. 20 Rutgers on Jan. 18.

Iowa fans knew what Kemerer was capable of and Wilson showed potential, making the injuries even tougher to bear.

“We could be at fourth-string at 174 this week,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said before the squad took on Illinois and Northwestern.

And the Hawkeyes did exactly that, showing their fourth-string 174-pounder in their two victories over the Illini and Wildcats — Keegan Shaw.

Shaw, who had wrestled in smaller meets at 157 pounds this season and had a 12-4 record, stepped onto the mat for his dual début on Jan. 25.

He beat Illinois’ Nick Gasbarro, 6-2, to help the Hawkeyes to a 31-8 victory.

RELATED: Iowa wrestling wins without Lee, Young on Sunday

On Sunday, Shaw took the mat for a second time and again won, topping Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian, 11-6, as the Hawkeyes beat the Wildcats, 32-7.

“We’re certainly pleased with his results and effort,” Brands said. “[He] seems to be relaxed out there, and we love it.”

Shaw is an Altoona, Iowa, native and graduated from wrestling powerhouse Southeast Polk in 2015. He redshirted his first year as a Hawkeye, 2015-16. The next season, he went 12-6, wrestling as a 149-pounder. He then finished 10-3 at 157 pounds after moving up a weight.

“[Shaw brings] quiet perspective [to the team],” Brands said. “He’s a funny guy. He’s ornery. He’s got that grin on his face that you wonder what he’s up to sometimes. No complaints with him.”

In his first three years at Iowa, Shaw received an undergraduate degree in economics.

This season has been different for the Hawkeye, though. Shaw is pursuing a master’s degree in macroeconomics, working as a teaching assistant, and competing for the Hawkeyes.

“He’s a TA, and he’s a professional,” Brands said. “He’s a TA for a reason, you know. That’s the next step in the development of his career for his education. He’s a very talented fellow that way. We’ve got some good students on this team, and he’s one of them.”

The new 174-pounder showed this past weekend that he doesn’t plan to take this opportunity for granted.

“We needed him in the lineup, and he showed up,” Brands said. “When you have the opportunity to make a difference — I love it. I love it when you make it go your way.”

The Hawkeyes will travel to Lincoln to take on No. 9 Nebraska on Feb. 3, and it is possible Shaw will get a chance to continue his undefeated dual-meet record.

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