Wrestling’s success evident in early-season numbers

An exciting start for Iowa wrestling has produced some remarkable numbers so far this season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's 125-pound Spencer Lee wrestles UTC's Fabian Gutierrez at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Lee won by major decision, 16-5.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

The early portion of Iowa wrestling’s 2019-20 campaign is dwindling down. The Hawkeyes’ dual against Princeton was their last until after winter break, their next appearance on the mat coming at the Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30.

During this downtime, Iowa wrestling has a chance to look back at its early-season success while preparing for the future.

0 – wrestling season tickets remaining

The 2019-20 Iowa wrestling team has undoubtedly excited its fans. A school-record 7,715 season tickets have been sold, leading the Iowa wrestling program to announce that season tickets had been sold out as of Dec. 6. Iowa’s Jan. 31 dual against Penn State has also been completely sold out.

While the attendance numbers will be justifiably high for the Hawkeyes this season, no attendance records will be set. Iowa obtained the NCAA wrestling attendance record at 42,287 in 2015 when they wrestled inside Kinnick Stadium for the “Grapple on the Gridiron.”

29 – bonus points scored

The mark of dominance on the wrestling mat is often indicated by the number of bonus points a team or individual wrestler score. Winning beyond a regular decision via major decision, tech fall, or pin has been Iowa’s specialty this season.

Iowa has had a wrestler win by a pin on three occasions this season. The Hawkeyes have also posted six wins by tech fall and eight via major decision.

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28 Iowa’s average margin of victory this season

Iowa is currently 4-0, boasting wins over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Iowa State, Wisconsin, and Princeton. The Hawkeyes won those matchups 39-0, 29-6, 32-3, and 30-9, respectively.

The Hawkeyes have extinguished three ranked opponents in the Cyclones, the Badgers, and the Tigers this season. Iowa State has remained in its 11th-ranked spot since its loss to Iowa. Wisconsin dropped to No. 8 from No. 6 following its encounter with the Hawkeyes.

10 – Ranked wrestlers

Currently, all 10 Hawkeye starters are ranked in their respective weight classes by InterMat. All-American Spencer Lee has spent the entire season ranked first at 125-pounds. Lee is 3-0 with two wins by tech fall.

Junior Austin DeSanto is also ranked first at 133-pounds. He defeated then No. 1 Seth Gross of Wisconsin to claim the top ranking.

Top-ranked wrestlers aside, six Hawkeyes are ranked inside the top five in their respective weight classes: No. 3 Pat Lugo, No. 4 Kaleb Young, No. 2 Alex Marinelli, No. 3 Michael Kemerer, No. 3 Jacob Warner, and No. 3 Tony Cassioppi.

Nelson Brands and Max Murin are also ranked inside the top ten at 184-pounds and 141-pounds, respectively.

9- dual meets remaining this season

Iowa’s strong start in 2019 has been impressive, but the Hawkeyes still have a long way to go before they can get to where they want to be.

NCAA and Big Ten Championships won’t begin for another four months. Between January and March, the Hawkeyes will face seven ranked teams in duals as their quest for the program’s first NCAA title since 2010 presses on.

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