Iowa wrestling posts solid numbers as regular season ends

As the regular season comes to a close, the Hawkeyes posted some impressive numbers ahead of tournament time.


Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

7-1 — record against ranked opponents

After Sunday’s 27-12 loss to No. 2 Oklahoma State, the third-ranked Iowa wrestlers are 7-1 against top-25 opponents. Iowa has tallied wins over No. 8, No. 9, No. 14, two No. 16 teams, and two No. 20 teams.

The Hawkeyes definitely haven’t seen the last of talented opponents with the Big Tens and NCAAs coming up.

Individually, the Hawkeyes have won 67.5 percent of matches against the top-ranked teams, going 54-26 in 80 matches.

0 — Spencer Lee Midlands titles

During his freshman season, Spencer Lee placed sixth at the Midlands Championships, suffering two losses before going on to become the 2018 NCAA 125-pound champion.

This year, Lee placed second at Midlands but has also had two losses — one coming at that tournament against top-seeded Sebastian Rivera and the other coming from No. 4 Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State.

RELATED: Oklahoma State downs Iowa wrestling to end undefeated season

On Sunday, Piccininni led by 1 point while Lee had more than a minute of riding time on the clock, but with six seconds left in the second period, Piccininni got himself in position to pin Lee.

Although fans have been shocked by Lee’s defeats this season, he has actually statistically had a similar season to last year and could still be on track to defend his NCAA title.

Shivansh Ahuja
Iowa’s No. 2 Spencer Lee wrestles Indiana’s Elijah Oliver at 125lb 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.

Lee is 16-2, with wins over No. 6 Sean Russell, No. 14 Travis Piotrowski, No. 16 Zeke Moisey, and two wins over No. 14/15 Patrick Glory. In his 16 wins, Lee has recorded bonus points in 14 of them and has registered 6 pins.

Last season, Lee placed third at Big Tens, and this year, he will likely get a redemption shot at Rivera.

20-0 — Alex Marinelli’s record

No. 2 Alex Marinelli finished his regular season undefeated, with a record of 20-0. The All-American is only three wins away from beating Iowa’s longest winning streak, 22 by Michael Kemerer last season.

Against No. 2 Oklahoma State, Marinelli tallied his ninth pin of the season, this one over Jonce Blaylock — more falls than any other Hawkeye this season. Out of 90 possible team dual points the Ohio native could have scored so far, he has put up a team-best 77 points.

In his 20 victories, the 165-pounder has garnered 5 decision wins over ranked opponents. Marinelli defeated No. 19 Jonathan Viruet, No. 5 Joshua Shields, and No. 2 Evan Wick during his journey to claim the 2018 Midlands title. Since then, Marinelli has topped No. 6 Isaiah White and Wick for a second time.

7 — Pat Lugo’s winning streak

Heading into the Big Ten Tournament, No. 12 Pat Lugo is 14-7 and peaking at the right time.

Lugo had a tough start to his season, posting a 2-3 record after the first month of dual meets. But since his sudden-victory loss to No. 2 Anthony Ashnault, Lugo has been on a seven-match winning streak.

In the last two victories of the streak, he has picked up a ranked win over No. 19 Cole Martin of Wisconsin, and most recently, he upset Oklahoma State’s No. 6 Kaden Gfeller, 7-4.

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