Iowa’s DeSanto outlasts Wisconsin’s Gross

Iowa’s wrestling No. 2 Austin DeSanto won his matchup with Wisconsin's No. 1 Seth Gross.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 133-pound Austin DeSanto wrestles Wisconsin’s Seth Gross during a wrestling match between No.1 Iowa and No. 6 Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. DeSanto won by decision, 6-2, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers, 32-3.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

No. 1 Iowa’s dual meet against No. 6 Wisconsin featured two of the nation’s best 133-pounders.

No. 2 Austin DeSanto, who placed fifth at the NCAA Championships last season and took home the title of the 2018 Midlands Championships, faced off against No. 1 Seth Gross, who entered Carver-Hawkeye Arena 6-0.

He left 6-1.

Early on in the match, it appeared as if Gross was in control. For nearly the entire first minute, Gross and DeSanto were draped all over each other. The savvy DeSanto did not give up any points and earned a hard-fought stalemate at the two-minute mark. Swiftly following the stalemate, DeSanto took him down to put the first two points on the board.

During the closing seconds of the first period, Gross found his first point of the match with an escape. The match sat at 2-1 at the end of the first.

As the second period began, DeSanto crafted another quick takedown. Gross again whirled into a fast escape following the takedown.

With 50 seconds remaining in the second period, DeSanto took him down again to solidify the 6-2 win.

The decision gave Iowa three points and an 8-0 lead in the dual. The Hawkeyes went on to win, 32-3.

“We know Seth Gross,” head coach Tom Brands said. “He’s on the national landscape very prominently, so we’ve got to move our feet. When that guy gets free shots at your ankles, that’s where he likes to make a living. We did a good job making an adjustment after those first one or two times he was in on us. One time we stood there and looked at him, and kind of kicked out. Another time we stood there and looked at him and draped over. After that, he didn’t really sniff us. We got to get off the bottom there too.”

DeSanto is always focused on what’s next. Iowa travels to No. 12 Princeton for its final dual meet of the season.

Multiple undefeated 133 pounders trail DeSanto in the rankings. Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young is 5-0 and ranked fourth at 133. Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera is 2-0 and ranked 3rd.

“It’s a long season,” DeSanto said. “What’re we in, December? We’ve got Midlands, I’ll see [Goss] again at Midlands. We’ll see a lot of those other guys too during the season. I’m not looking ahead, just the next best thing. I don’t really look at rankings, I could care less.”

Should DeSanto move into the No. 1 slot, Iowa may house the first ranked wrestlers at both 125 pounds and 133 pounds. No. 1 Spencer Lee won via technical fall on Sunday, defeating Wisconsin’s Michael Cullen.

Currently, the Hawkeyes are slated to have top-10 wrestlers at nine of their 10 weight classes.

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