Rapid Recap | No. 1 Iowa men’s wrestling claws by No. 5 North Carolina State, 19-15

The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolfpack to claim the Journeymen Wrestling Collegiate Duals’ red pool title.


Ryan Adams

Members of the Iowa Wrestling team pose with the championship trophy after the red pool championship match-up of the National Collegiate Duals between Iowa and North Carolina State at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolfpack 19-15.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

NICEVILLE, Fla. — The top-ranked University of Iowa men’s wrestling team defeated No. 5 North Carolina State, 19-15, in the Journeymen Wrestling Collegiate Duals’ red pool championship Tuesday evening. The Hawkeyes took on the Wolfpack at Raider Arena on the Campus of Northwest Florida State University.

Senior 125-pounder Spencer Lee kicked off the dual with 6-1 win over North Carolina State’s Jake Camacho. Camacho is the fifth-best 125-pound wrestler in the country, per Intermat.

“I think it’s good to just know that guys want to win too, and we gotta be ready to go,” Lee said of Iowa’s win Tuesday evening. “We’ve got a target on our back. That was like the Super Bowl for [the Wolfpack].”

The Journeymen Wrestling Collegiate Duals was Lee’s first event of the season. He’s now 3-0 on the year with two wins over ranked opponents. He beat No. 17 Lehigh’s 11th-ranked 125-pounder Jaret Lane on Monday evening.

Austin DeSanto — a 133-pound senior and All-American — followed Lee’s performance with 16-7 win over the Wolfpack’s Kai Orine. DeSanto’s win gave Iowa a 7-0 team lead.

Counting the major decision he recorded against Orine, DeSanto earned bonus points in each of the three matches he wrestled in Florida. DeSanto beat both Central Michigan’s Vince Perez and Lehigh’s Satohsi Abe via technical fall on Monday.

Iowa trotted out sophomore Cobe Siebrecht to take on North Carolina State’s Tariq Wilson at 149 pounds Tuesday. Wilson is ranked third in the nation at 149 pounds by Intermat.

Siebrecht fell to Wilson via 7-3 decision, changing the contest’s momentum. The loss sparked a mid-dual run that saw Iowa drop four out of five bouts. Senior Kaleb Young and juniors Nelson Brands and Abe Assad all lost during that stretch.

Senior Max Murin had been competing at 149 pounds for Iowa in each of its last three meets. He showed up to the Hawkeyes’ dual with the Wolfpack in street clothes.

With wins at 149, 157, 174, and 184 pounds, North Carolina State actually captured a 15-13 lead with two bouts remaining.

Senior Jacob Warner and junior Tony Cassioppi pushed the Hawkeyes to a win over the Wolfpack Tuesday with back-to-back victories at 197 and 285 pounds, respectively.

“I believe in myself,” Warner said after his 3-2 win over North Carolina State’s Isaac Trumble. “It’s easy to let yourself down. It’s hard to let your teammates down. So, when I’m in that situation, I’m not really doing it for myself. I’m doing it for my team, and that makes it a lot easier. It relieves a lot of stress.”

With the victory against North Carolina State, Iowa claimed the Journeymen Collegiate Wrestling Duals’ red pool championship. The Hawkeyes went 3-0 in Florida, picking up 44-0 and 28-7 wins over the Chippewas and Mountain Hawks Monday.

“Anytime you compete, you’re gonna get tested,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said Tuesday evening. “I mean, even in shutouts or lopsided [duals] on paper, you still gotta be ready to go.

“We talked about entitlement at the beginning of the year,” Brands added. “So, no one’s laying down for us. We see that every time out . . .  You’re not going to get calls in this sport. You’re going to have to earn them. You’re not going to be given calls. You have to earn the calls. You have to earn the points. You’re going to have to earn everything on that mat.”

Big Picture

The Hawkeyes’ four-point win over the Wolfpack is their narrowest of the year. The last time Iowa won by fewer than five points in a dual was against Penn State on Jan. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes downed the Nittany Lions in that match, 19-17.

North Carolina State is the highest-ranked team Iowa has defeated this year. The Hawkeyes are now 6-0 in duals in 2021-22.


125 POUNDS: SPENCER LEE (IA) over Jake Camacho (NCST) via 6-1 decision

133 POUNDS: AUSTIN DeSANTO (IA) over Kai Orine (NCST) via 16-7 major decision

141 POUNDS: JAYDIN EIERMAN (IA) over Ryan Jack (NCST) via 7-6 decision

149 POUNDS: Tariq Wilson (NCST) over COBE SIEBRECHT (IA) via 7-3 decision

157 POUNDS: Ed Scott (NCST) over KALEB YOUNG (IA) via fall

165 POUNDS: ALEX MARINELLI (IA) over Donald Cates (NCST) via 7-2 decision

174 POUNDS: Hayden Hidlay (NCST) over NELSON BRANDS (IA) via 4-2 decision

184 POUNDS: Trent Hidlay (NCST) over ABE ASSAD (IA) via 6-0 decision

197 POUNDS: JACOB WARNER (IA) over Isaac Trumble (NCST) via 3-2 decision

HEAVYWEIGHT: TONY CASSIOPPI (IA) over Tyrie Houghton (NCST) via 6-2 decision

FINAL: Iowa 19, North Carolina State 15

Up next

The next event on the Hawkeyes’ calendar is the 2021 Midlands Championships. Iowa will travel to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, for the tournament.

The event hasn’t been held since 2019 because of COVID-19. The Hawkeyes won the 2019 Midlands Championships, scoring a record-breaking 196.5 team points in the process.

The 2021 Midlands Championships will stream live on BTN+ on Dec. 29 and 30.