Ready in the wings, ready on the mat

Although he isn’t a usual starter, Paul Glynn is always set to go — he showed that in the match against Maryland.


David Harmantas

Iowa Wrestler Paul Glynn grapples with Maryland Wrestler Orion Anderson in the 133lb weight class match during a wrestling dual meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Glynn won via pin at 1:46 and the Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 48-0.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

On every sports team, there are athletes who must fight for the same position, the same spot in the starting lineup. On the Iowa wrestling team, Austin DeSanto and Paul Glynn both compete to be the Hawkeye 133-pound starter.

Rather than letting this competition hinder their relationship, the two Hawkeyes motivate and cheer for one another while keeping their eyes on the starting spot.

“[DeSanto and Glynn have a] very rare relationship where you have two guys who really root for each other,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “DeSanto was really rooting for Paul Glynn at Illinois and tonight. I think Paul Glynn reciprocates that really well. I’m not saying that they’re best buddies. I’m not saying that they’re not fighting for the same real estate. What I’m saying is that there’s a mature response there and it makes our team better.”

Last season, Glynn was Iowa’s 133-pound guy and finished with a record of 8-11.

Enter DeSanto.

With the addition of the Drexel transfer to the Iowa wrestling squad, Glynn faced uncertainty.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but at the beginning of the season, I was really struggling deciding on where my role exactly was here,” he said. “I kind of went through a phase where I didn’t really know where I belonged and I was almost trying to take a short cut, trying to go up a weight class, [to 141].”

Lily Smith
Glynn and teammates spectate during the Iowa/Rutgers wrestling meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, January 18, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights, 30-6.

But, after a long conversation with Brands, the two decided staying at 133 was in Glynn’s best interest.

“[We talked about how] I’m going to have to be more dedicated at 133,” he said. “I’m going to have to be more focused with my social life, with wrestling, coming in and getting in more workouts, and that’s going to make you a better person even when you’re done wrestling.”

Although DeSanto is Iowa’s regular starter, Glynn has gotten in the varsity lineup twice this season — once against Illinois and then in Iowa’s latest matchup with Maryland.

When Glynn wrestled Illinois’ Dylan Duncan in the Big Ten Championships last season, he fell, 9-1.

But when the Hawkeyes traveled to Illinois on Jan. 25, Glynn turned the match into a 3-1 victory against the No. 17 opponent.

“The pundits might say that, ‘Well, he’s got so much better,’ and really it’s about the mindset and the things that emotionally control you either negatively or positively,” Brands said. “He switched some negative emotions into positive ones where he actually, truly got on board with what’s going on with the team.”

On Feb. 8 against Maryland, Glynn easily handled the competition, pinning his opponent in the first period, adding to Iowa’s dominant 48-0 win over the Terrapins.

Although it is likely DeSanto will be back next week, Glynn is always ready for his opportunity to get back on the mat for Iowa.

“The challenge [with not knowing the next chance you’ll get] is just staying focused — always being ready, even when I’m weighing in and I’m not wrestling, I’m still always ready,” Glynn said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”