Hawkeye wrestling takes share of Big Ten title with win over Wisconsin

With a 35-2 win over Wisconsin, Iowa has a chance to bring home the conference championship.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s No. 3 Austin DeSanto wrestles Indiana’s Paul Konrath at 133lb during a wrestling match between Iowa and Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, February 15, 2019. The Hawkeyes, celebrating senior night, defeated the Hoosiers 37-9.

Anna Kayser, Assistant Sports Editor

Iowa wrestling continues to prove that a top-25 matchup is no challenge, leaving the weekend with a share of the Big Ten title after a dominant 35-2 win over No. 16 Wisconsin on Sunday.

Spencer Lee set the tone with a first-period pin, his sixth of the season and his third in under a minute. This one came in at 56 seconds.

With a 6-point lead, Austin DeSanto, Vince Turk, and Kaleb Young tacked on more bonus points before intermission, giving Iowa a 21-0 lead with five matches remaining.

The victory marked DeSanto’s fourth match in a row in which he scored bonus points. He has scored 82 points in those matches, racking up two technical falls and two major decisions.

At 141 pounds, Turk picked up his first Big Ten win of the season, topping Michael Cullen, 11-1, for a major decision.

Pat Lugo’s 149-pound match highlighted the first half of the meet — he won in sudden victory against No. 19 Cole Martin. With the win, Lugo improved to 3-4 against ranked opponents.

Iowa’s recent success and steamrolling of the Big Ten can be credited to the mantra head coach Tom Brands repeated in the early season.

Wrestling for seven full minutes has been key for the Hawkeyes, and Lugo’s match wasn’t the only case.

Coming out of the tunnel following intermission, No. 2 Alex Marinelli and No. 3 Evan Wick faced off for the headline matchup of the night. A Marinelli takedown in sudden victory kept Iowa’s perfect streak alive.

At 184, Cash Wilcke came back for a 6-5 win after 2 takedowns in the third period.

Mitch Bowman and Jacob Warner secured more bonus points for Iowa with a technical fall and a major decision, respectively.

Iowa’s only wrinkle in the dual came at 285, with No. 6 Sam Stoll facing off against No. 8 Trent Hillger. Hillger took the match 1-0 with riding time in the third period. Following the match, both teams were deducted a point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Iowa’s 14-0 overall record and 9-0 Big Ten record are impressive; it’s the eighth time under Brands that the Hawkeyes finished a conference slate without a blemish. But it’s the last thing on the wrestlers’ minds.

In one week, the Hawkeyes will travel to Oklahoma State to take on the No. 2 Cowboys — the ultimate regular-season finale.

“We’re getting ready for Oklahoma State, we’re getting ready for the postseason, whether we get a trophy for this or not,” Brands said in a release. “We have to keep getting better, and that’s the bottom line. Our best wrestling is in front of us, but our best wrestling is coming out of us.”

Following Iowa’s dual against Oklahoma State, it will gear up for the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10 in Minneapolis. Then it’s on to Pittsburgh for Iowa, where the Hawkeyes will have another chance at the NCAA title.

Facebook Comments