By the numbers: Hawkeye wrestling’s regular season success

Iowa wrestling has been dominant all season long. The Hawkeyes’ impressive statistics showcase precisely how good they were in 2019-20.


(Nichole Harris/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa’s 174-pound Michael Kemerer grapples with Oklahoma State’s Joe Smith during a wrestling dual meet between No 1. Iowa and No. 9 Oklahoma State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. No. 1 Kemerer defeated No. 13 Smith by major decision, 12-2, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Cowboys, 34-6.

Austin Hanson, Assistant Sports Editor

An undefeated 2019-20 regular season has officially ended for Iowa wrestling.

As the Hawkeyes push toward the postseason, it is worth looking back at their remarkable regular season achievements. Iowa is back on top of college wrestling and posted a number of impressive numbers that show why.

12,568 — Average Iowa home attendance

There are few indicators of a team’s success more telling than its attendance. Fans pay to see good teams, and the Hawkeyes were great at home this season.

Across seven home duals, a record 87,979 wrestling fans entered Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 12,568 fans per home dual average is good for an NCAA Division I wrestling single-season home attendance record.

Along with Iowa’s dominance, this was in large part due to its home schedule. The Hawkeyes competed against six ranked teams at Carver this season, including No. 2 Penn State in what was perhaps the best dual meet of the regular season.

The previous NCAA Division I wrestling record for average home attendance was set by Iowa in 2011-12 as the Hawkeyes averaged 12,166 fans per home dual. During the Tom Brands head coaching era, Iowa has led the nation in average home attendance each year.

0 — Losses in 2019-20

Iowa’s win over Oklahoma State Sunday secured the program’s first undefeated season since 2011-12.

The 13-0 Hawkeyes are the 20th team in program history to finish the regular season unbeaten. 10 of Iowa’s wins this year came against ranked foes.

Brands has now guided the Hawkeyes to four undefeated dual seasons in his tenure as head coach.

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2 — Undefeated wrestlers

Senior Michael Kemerer and junior Spencer Lee were a combined 28-0 in 2019-20. Lee was 15-0, while Kemerer posted a mark of 13-0.

Wrestling at 174-pounds for the first time in his career, Kemerer finished the regular season ranked first in his weight class. Kemerer vanquished eight ranked foes this season, highlighted by wins over No. 4 Dylan Lydy, No. 6 Mike Labriola, No. 7 Kaleb Romero, No. 8 Devin Skatzka, and former No. 1 Mark Hall.

Lee began the year ranked first at 125-pounds and did not surrender the ranking across 15 weeks of wrestling. The reigning national champion defeated four ranked opponents this season, including No. 4 Nick Picininni and No. 6 Devin Schroder.

25.7 — Average margin of victory this season

Iowa accrued 409 team points in 13 matches this season. The Hawkeyes defeated their opponents by an average of 25.7 points per dual.

The only dual Iowa did not win by double digits this season came on Jan. 31 against No. 2 Penn State. The Hawkeye narrowly edged the Nittany Lions, 19-17.

The Hawkeyes posted three shutouts during the regular season against Chattanooga, Indiana, and Purdue.

11– Days remaining until the Big Ten Wrestling Tournament begins

On Mar. 7, Iowa will compete in Piscataway, New Jersey, to in the Big Ten Tournament at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Iowa has not won the Big Ten Tournament since 2015.

Iowa will look to improve upon its performance in last year’s Big Ten Tournament. All-American Alex Marinelli was the only Hawkeye to place first at the 2019 Big Ten Tournament.