DeSanto puts on takedown clinic against the Buckeyes

The 133-pounder recorded 12 takedowns against Ohio State in a performance that earned high praise from his head coach.

Iowa%E2%80%99s+133-pound+Austin+DeSanto+wrestles+Ohio+State%E2%80%99s+Jordan+Decatur+during+a+wrestling+dual+meet+between+No.+1+Iowa+and+No.+4+Ohio+State+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+24%2C+2020.+No.+2+DeSanto+defeated+No.+18+Decatur+by+technical+fall+in+5%3A59%2C+and+the+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Buckeyes%2C+24-10.+%28Shivansh+Ahuja%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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DeSanto puts on takedown clinic against the Buckeyes

Iowa’s 133-pound Austin DeSanto wrestles Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 2 DeSanto defeated No. 18 Decatur by technical fall in 5:59, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa’s 133-pound Austin DeSanto wrestles Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 2 DeSanto defeated No. 18 Decatur by technical fall in 5:59, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 133-pound Austin DeSanto wrestles Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 2 DeSanto defeated No. 18 Decatur by technical fall in 5:59, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 133-pound Austin DeSanto wrestles Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 4 Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. No. 2 DeSanto defeated No. 18 Decatur by technical fall in 5:59, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 24-10. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Robert Read, Sports Editor

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There’s domination, and then there’s whatever Austin DeSanto did to his opponent on Friday night.

DeSanto matched up with Ohio State’s No. 18 Jordan Decatur for a bout at 133 pounds. Decatur secured a takedown right out of the gate, taking the early advantage.

DeSanto escaped, and then he took over.

Over the remainder of the match, DeSanto recorded 12 unanswered takedowns. He scored 27 points, and had his head coach in awe.

“He was awesome,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “I said [to DeSanto], ‘That’s how it’s done.’ You want a definition of how to wrestle a dominating wrestling match, that is how it’s done. 27 points.”

DeSanto scored three takedowns in the first period, five in the second, and four in the third in his tech. fall, 27-12 victory.

After being taken down himself only seven seconds into the match, DeSanto could have lost his focus over the rest of the match.

He did not.

“I just kept wrestling,” DeSanto said. “I’m good when I’m not worried about anything. So he takes me down, I just get back on my feet and keep on going.”

“Wild Thing” may be DeSanto’s song of choice before he wrestles on his home mat, but staying focused is a theme that has helped the Exeter, Pennsylvania, native improve over the course of this season.

DeSanto’s teammates have taken notice.

“His focus is doing everything right now,” Spencer Lee said. “Every week in the practice room he’s calmer. He’s becoming more of a leader. And we need that. We need that from all our guys, every single one of them.”

Last week against Nebraska, DeSanto secured a 7-4 victory over his opponent, but walked away from the mat wanting more out of himself.

He kept that in mind in the practice room this week, and came into the Ohio State dual with a different attitude.

“I was more focused,” DeSanto said. “Meaner, leaner, hungry like a wolf. Just ready to go.”

Iowa was already in command with a team lead of 16-3 over the Buckeyes through six matches when it was DeSanto’s turn to take the mat.

That lead took a little pressure off of the 133-pounder. Wrestling with a team lead is nothing new to DeSanto this season, though.

After all, he does wrestle behind Lee.

“Usually I have Spencer Lee starting off a dual, so it’s kinda like the same thing,” DeSanto said. “I know my teammates are going to do their job, and when they’re doing their jobs right, it makes my job a little bit easier.”

By the time DeSanto recorded his 12th and final takedown of the match, the packed home crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was beside itself. Even the most dedicated fans could be forgiven for forgetting how many times they had yelled out, “Two” in celebration of a takedown.

All eyes were locked on DeSanto. Like Brands, the crowd was mesmerized by the performance taking place.

That’s just how DeSanto wants it.

“It’s something different,” DeSanto said. “We wrestled with 14,000 people here today. That’s insane. And they are all watching you. [The fans] come for everybody, but when you’re out there, you’re the one they are watching. It’s an unreal experience.”

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