Iowa men’s wrestling scores bonus points in five matches, downs Purdue, 36-4

Iowa only scored one bonus point against Minnesota Friday night.


Grace Smith

Iowa’s No. 1 165-pound Alex Marinelli grabs Purdue’s Hayden Lohrey during a wrestling meet between No. 1 Iowa and No. 15 Purdue in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Marinelli won by technical fall, 22-7. Marinelli was in the lead for all three periods. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 36-4.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

University of Iowa men’s wrestling head coach Tom Brand told reporters he was “agitated” Friday night. The Hawkeyes had just defeated the No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 22-10.

Despite the victory, Brands said his team lacked energy. Iowa only scored one bonus point against Minnesota.

“You gotta be more ready, probably,” Brands said Friday. “. . . So, we were not ready enough from the very beginning. I am certain that we’ll do something about that.”

Whatever the Hawkeyes did between Friday night and Sunday afternoon resolved their energy deficiency and Brands’ agitation.

Iowa downed Purdue, 36-4, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday. The Hawkeyes earned bonus points in five of their 10 bouts with the Boilermakers.

“I think [associate head coach Terry Brands’] message to the team today was, ‘If you didn’t get what you wanted Friday, improve on it,’” senior 165-pounder Alex Marinelli said. “So, I think all of us had room to improve, and they wanted to be better today . . .  How we wrestled Friday wasn’t Iowa style. Today, it was more like that.”

Marinelli won his match against Hayden Lohrey via 22-7 technical fall Sunday. He preceded his Sunday win with a narrow, 6-5 decision over Minnesota’s Cael Carlson Friday night.

“I ate my Wheaties,” Marinelli said Sunday. “I think I just did something a little different with my weight. Weight cut was a little different today. You know, just doing the things I know how to do and going out there and letting it fly. I just held up a little bit and got stagnant [Friday]. You can’t let that happen in wrestling. You always look to score, and when I’m doing that, I think good things will happen.”

Marinelli’s fellow senior, Michael Kemerer also won via technical fall. The nation’s second-best 174-pound wrestler, per Intermat, beat Purdue’s Gerrit Nijenhuis, 17-1, in five minutes and 42 seconds. Nijenhuis is ranked 21st in the country at 174 pounds.

The match was Kemerer’s second of the year. He made his season debut Friday night, picking up a 9-2 win over Minnesota’s Bailee O’Reilly, who is rated 23rd in the nation.

The Hawkeyes earned bonus points in four consecutive bouts, counting Kemerer and Marinelli’s technical falls.

Seniors Max Murin and Kaleb Young won via major decision at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively.

Junior heavyweight Tony Cassioppi also scored bonus points Sunday. The 6-foot Illinoisan pinned Michael Woulfe in just one minute and 14 seconds.

Cassioppi lost to No. 1 Gable Steveson via 17-7 major decision Friday.

“We just know what we can do,” Marinelli said. “We know what we’re capable of. We always know that good things happen when we wrestle our best. I think it was kind of known Friday that we’re better than that.

“We were lucky we had a quick turnaround,” Marinelli added. “We didn’t have to wait another week to get another chance.”

Iowa’s next two duals will come on the road in Illinois. The Hawkeyes will take on the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston Jan. 14 and the Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign Jan. 16.

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