Six Iowa men’s wrestlers qualify for Big Ten Championship semifinals

Spencer Lee, Real Woods, Max Murin, Patrick Kennedy, Jacob Warner, and Tony Cassioppi will all wrestle for a spot in Sunday’s conference finals.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Mats rest on the floor before session one of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, March. 4, 2023.

Matt McGowan, Sports Reporter

ANN ARBOR — Six Iowa men’s wrestlers advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference Championships. Iowa and Penn State are tied for first place with 63.5 points apiece. The Nittany Lions feature seven wrestlers in the semifinals, two of whom will face off against their Hawkeye counterparts Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Consolation matchups will start at 4:30 p.m. 

Iowa had a wrestler at every weight class in the quarterfinals, but the Hawkeyes featured mixed results during the round. 

No. 1 seeds Spencer Lee and Real Woods received an automatic bye to the quarterfinals at 125 and 141 pounds, respectively. On his quest for a third individual conference title,  Lee dominated Michigan senior and No. 9 seed Jack Medley in a 17-0 technical fall for his seventh consecutive Big Ten Tournament victory.

Woods took no time in his Big Ten tournament debut, pinning Purdue’s eighth-seeded Parker Filius to the mat in 2:07. Woods has won 14 consecutive matches, tying the second-longest streak of his career. 

Hawkeye 197-pounder Jacob Warner and 285-pounder Tony Cassioppi both advanced to the semifinals, each earning two victories in Session I. This marks Warner’s second-career trip to the conference semifinals. 

After a 6-2 regular decision victory over Northwestern’s 12th-seeded Andrew Davison, No. 5 seed Warner delivered an upset win over Michigan State’s No. 4 seed Cam Caffrey in the quarterfinals. Down 2-0, Caffery scored a two-point reversal to tie the match in the closing seconds of the final period. But Warner’s riding time advantage clinched the match. 

No. 3 seed Cassioppi produced a major-decision victory over Nebraksa’s 14th-seeded Austin Emerson, then one-upped himself in the next round by pinning Rutger’s No. 6 seed Boone McDermott in 2:54. 

Other Hawkeyes who advanced to the semifinals include 165-pounder and No. 3 seed Patrick Kennedy and 149-pounder and No. 4 seed Max Murin. 

RELATED: Live results | Iowa men’s wrestling team competes in Session I of Big Ten Championships 

Here’s a full recap of Iowa’s quarterfinal matches: 

125 POUNDS: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) vs No. 19 Jack Medley (MICH) via 17-0 tech fall

133 POUNDS: No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) over No. 8 Brody Teske (IA) via 13-2 major decision

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods (IA) over No. 8 Parker Filius (PUR) via fall

149 POUNDS: No. 4 Max Murin over Shayne Van Ness (PSU) via 4-2 decision

157 POUNDS: No. 4 Chase Saldate (MSU) over No. 5 Cobe Siebrecht (IA) via 9-2 decision

165 POUNDS: No. 3 Patrick Kennedy (IA) over Maxx Mayfield (NU) via 11-3 major decision

174 POUNDS:  No. 2 Mikey Labriola (NEB) over No. 7 Nelson Brands (IA) via 5-2 decision

184 POUNDS: No. 4 Matt Finesilver (MICH) over No. 5 Abe Assad (IA)  via fall

197 POUNDS: No. 5  Jacob Warner (IA) over No. 4 Cam Caffey (MSU) via 3-2 decision

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) over No. 6 Boone McDermott (RUT) via fall

Session II Preview 

Consolation Matchups 

133 POUNDS: No. 8 Brody Teske vs. No. 10 Taylor Lamont (Wisconsin) 

  • Teske defeated Lamont, 4-0, earlier this season in Madison 

157 POUNDS: No. 5 Cobe Siebrecht vs. No. 14 Michael North (Maryland) 

  • The pair have not wrestled against each other 

174 POUNDS: No. 7 Nelson Brands vs. No. 9 Max Maylor (Michigan) 

  • Brands has not faced Maylor in his career 

184 POUNDS: No. 5 Abe Assad vs. No. 11 Evan Bates (Northwestern) 

  • Assad defeated Bates, 10-2, earlier this season

Semifinal Matchups (7:30)

125 POUNDS: No. 1 Spencer Lee vs. No. 5 Patrick McKee (Michigan) 

  • Lee won his previous matchup with McKee, 7-1 

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods vs. No. 4 Frankie Tal Shahar (Northwestern) 

  • Woods won his last bout with Tal Shahar, 17-2 

149 POUNDS: No. 4 Max Murin vs. No. 1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) 

  • Murin is 0-3 all-time against Sasso

165 POUNDS: No. 3 Patrick Kennedy vs. No. 2 Cameron Amine (Michigan) 

  • Amine did not wrestle against Kennedy in the Wolverines’ trip to Iowa City this season 

197 POUNDS: No. 5 Jacob Warner vs. No.1 Max Dean (Penn State) 

  • Warner lost to Dean in the NCCA finals last season and in the Hawkeyes’ trip to Happy Valley this season 

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi vs. No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) 

  • Cassioppi is 3-1 in his career against Kerkvliet, with his only loss coming in this year’s dual meet 

Team scores through Session I:

T1. Iowa, 63.5

T1. Penn State, 63.5 

3. Minnesota, 52

4. Ohio State, 45.5

5. Nebraska, 45

6. Michigan, 43

7. Northwestern, 25

8. Wisconsin, 23

9. Indiana, 18

10. Michigan State, 16

T11. Illinois, 15.5

T11. Purdue, 15.5

13. Maryland, 6.5

14. Rutgers, 4