Iowa men’s wrestling downs Ohio State, 21-12

The Buckeyes pulled off two upsets in the dual, but it still wasn’t enough to knock off the Hawkeyes.


Jenna Galligan/The Daily Iowan

Iowa’s 133-pound No. 3 Austin DeSanto gets his hand raised after wrestling Ohio State’s Dylan Koontz during a wrestling dual between No. 2 Iowa and No. 6 Ohio State at the Covelli Center in Columbus, OH on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 21-12. DeSanto defeated Kuntz by technical fall 19-4.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The No. 2 Iowa men’s wrestling team escaped Columbus Friday night with a 21-12 victory over the ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Both 125-pounder Drake Ayala and 165-pounder Alex Marinelli were upset during the dual.

Ayala, who is ranked 10th in the nation at his weight, was defeated by No. 18 Malik Heinselman in sudden victory. Ayala battled back from a 5-3 deficit, earning a late takedown to force overtime. Just seconds into the sudden victory period, Heinslelman earned a takedown, clinching a 7-5 win.

Marinelli dropped his bout to No. 7 Carson Kharchla, 3-2. Kharchla earned the winning takedown with 17 seconds left in the match. 

While the Hawkeyes did win the dual, their head coach Tom Brands wasn’t satisfied with their performance.

Iowa won six matches. Though, the Hawkeyes only earned bonus points on two occasions.

“A little frustration,” Brands said after the dual. “Here’s the thing, tough sport. Can’t have surprises though. You can’t have surprises on issues that guys are having or whatever. The other thing is, surprises when you’re out there.

“You can’t come off the mat and say, ‘I know the guy does this,’ and you got burned with it,” Brands added. “And that’s just more holding, waiting, those types of things. We were not sharp.”

DeSanto returns to mat 

Senior 133-pounder Austin DeSanto, who missed the Hawkeyes’ last three duals, returned to the mat Friday evening. The three-time All-American defeated Ohio State’s Dylan Koontz via 19-4 technical fall.

“Good for him and good for us,” Brands said of DeSanto. “Feels good to have him back in there. We gotta keep him going. I think he went back to the basics in a couple different things and we’ve got a big match coming up a week from tonight.”

DeSanto is now 12-0 on the season. He’s registered eight victories via technical fall this year.

Big picture

Iowa improved to 11-0 with a win over Ohio State. The Hawkeyes have won 28 consecutive Big Ten Conference duals.

Penn State and Iowa are the only two undefeated teams left in the Big Ten. 

Up next

Iowa will host No. 1 Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena next Friday at 7 p.m. The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions both boast starting lineups with ranked wrestlers at all 10 weights.

Action between Iowa and Penn State will air live on the Big Ten Network. Tickets to the dual are sold out.

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