By the numbers | No. 1 Iowa wrestling’s dominant start to season

The Hawkeyes have had 11 pins in the 2021 season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 125-pound Spencer Lee grapples with Nebraska’s Liam Cronin during a wrestling dual meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 6 Nebraska at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. No. 1 Lee defeated No. 11 Cronin by tech fall in 1:21, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 31-6.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Through five duals, the No. 1 Iowa wrestling team has kept its top ranking for the entire 2021 season.

The 5-0 Hawkeyes have outscored opponents, 166-48. Iowa’s biggest margin of victory in the season was 31 points when it defeated Minnesota, 35-4, on Jan. 22.

The program paused all in-person team related activities on Monday because of positive COVID-19 tests within the program, and Iowa’s dual at Penn State originally scheduled for Friday has been postponed.

With the unexpected break in the season, here are some significant numbers the team has produced so far.

11 — Pins

Unsurprisingly with the number of points Iowa has scored, the Hawkeyes have had many pins in 2021.

The 2020 Dan Hodge Trophy winner and 125-pounder Spencer Lee has had four pins in as many matches. His fastest pin was in 1:21 against Nebraska’s Liam Cronin on Jan. 15.

After transferring from Missouri, 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman has shown Hawkeye fans what he is about. The three-time All-American got his first pin of the season against Illinois’s Dylan Duncan on Jan. 31 in 6:08. He proceeded to get a pin at Purdue and against Ohio State Sunday.

Tony Cassioppi, a 285-pounder, lost his second match of his sophomore season to Minnesota’s Gable Steveson in a major decision. But like Eierman, he has had three pins in a row starting with the Illinois dual. Cassioppi’s fastest pin came against Purdue’s Dorian Keys in 2:15.

A 174-pounder, three-time All-American Michael Kemerer got his only pin at Purdue when he earned a fall against Emil Soehnlen in 3:59.

102 — Points scored by Austin DeSanto

Though the 133-pounder hasn’t gotten any pins so far, DeSanto has been a machine when it comes to scoring points in 2021.

In DeSanto’s first match against Nebraska’s Alex Thomsen, he won in a 21-6 technical fall. He got another technical fall a week later against Boo Dryden of Minnesota, 21-2.

After a major decision against Illinois’ Lucas Byrd, DeSanto got technical falls against Purdue and Ohio State. In his Purdue match, DeSanto scored 24 points.

The Exeter, Pennsylvania, native has been good defensively, as he’s given up 26 points.

RELATED: Iowa wrestling pauses in-person activities

10 — Wrestlers ranked on Intermat

The top-ranked wrestling team has wrestlers ranked in the top-15 across all weight classes on Intermat.

Lee, Eierman, and Kemerer are all ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes.

Ranked No. 2 at 197-pounds, Jacob Warner lost his first match to Eric Schultz, who’s ranked No. 1 currently. But after that match, Warner has been on a tear as he’s gotten two major decisions and two decisions in his favor.

Alex Marinelli, a 165-pounder, also missed Sunday’s duals as well as the Illinois dual because of COVID-19 protocols. He won his first two matches by decsion and is ranked No. 2.

Cassioppi is ranked No. 3, with Steveson at No. 1.

Kaleb Young is ranked No. 5 at 157-pounds. He participated in three matches this season and won two by major decision. He missed Sunday’s duals because of COVID-19 protocols.

DeSanto is ranked at No. 5.

At 149-pounds, Max Murin is ranked at No. 8. The Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, native started the season with three consecutive victories by decision and his fourth win was by technical fall at Purdue.

But in his fifth match of the season, Murin went against Sammy Sasso of Ohio State and was pinned in the third period. Sasso is ranked No. 2.

At 184-pounds, Nelson Brands is ranked at No. 14. He won his first match by major decision over Nebraska’s Taylor Venz after getting the nod over Abe Assad. Brands is 3-2 on the year.

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