Live results | Iowa men’s wrestling competes in Session IV of 2023 Big Ten Championships

Hawkeyes Spencer Lee, Real Woods, and Patrick Kennedy will battle for an individual conference title in their respective weight classes.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

No. 3 seeded 285-pound Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi wins a match Northwestern No.4 Zach Davison during session three of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, March. 4, 2023.

Matt McGowan, Sports Reporter

ANN ARBOR— Three Iowa men’s wrestlers will vie for a Big Ten individual title at their weight classes, while two others will battle for third place in Session IV of the 2023 Big Ten Championships at Crisler Arena starting at 3:30 Sunday. Iowa is in second place to start the session, trailing Penn State, 129 to 122.5.

After dropping their matches in the semifinals of the consolation bracket, two Hawkeyes will also compete in fifth-place bouts.

Iowa 125-pounder Spencer Lee, 141-pounder Real Woods, and 165-pounder Patrick Kennedy are each in the title match for their respective weight classes. Lee is searching for his third individual conference title while Woods is on a quest for his first Big Ten individual title after claiming two titles in Pac 12 as a Stanford Cardinal. Kennedy is wrestling in his first full attached season with the Hawkeyes and is looking for his first-ever conference title.

Two other Hawkeye grapplers, 149-pounder Max Murin, and heavyweight Tony Cassioppi won their semifinal matches of the consolation bracket in Session III and find themselves in the third-place match.

Hawkeye 174-pounder Nelson Brands and 197-pounder Jacob Warner still have a chance at earning fifth place in their matches this session.

Championship Round

125 POUNDS: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) over No. 2 Liam Cronin (NEB) via decision 

Lee pinned Cronin in this season’s dual meet against the Cornhuskers and is undefeated against Cronin.

Period 1: Lee wastes no time, scoring a takedown with Cronin wrapped around his body. The Hawkeye and three-time NCAA individual champion scored another takedown in response to Cronin’s escape. Lee leads, 4-1, with 2:07 of riding time.

Period 2: Lee adds on to his lead with an escape, but that concluded his scoring for the period. The score remains 5-1.

Period 3: In what was a rare low-scoring match for Lee, the four-time All-American received a stall warning with about a minute to go in the period. Lee then recovered with another takedown to put the match away and win his third-career Big Ten title at 125 pounds. He is the first Hawkeye to win three conference titles at 125 pounds.

Lee’s next match will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the NCAA championships on March 16-18.

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods (IA) over No. 3 Brock Hardy (NEB) via decision 

Woods defeated Hardy in a 6-4 affair during the regular season. Hardy was ranked fourth in the nation at the time of the bout. Woods, a New Mexico native, finished his debut season for Hawkeyes with a 13-0 record and picked up a pin in his first match of the conference championships.

Period 1: Woods was aggressive from the whistle, scoring a takedown within the first minute. Woods titled Hardy on the edge of the mat. Head coach Tom Brands threw the challenge brick for back points, but the review was unsuccessful.

Period 2: Woods started on the bottom and rode the whole period. Hardy was rewarded a stalling point.

Period 3: Hardy was in on Woods’ leg for the last 30 seconds of the match. But Woods’ held on to Hardy’s ankle to avoid the takedown and win, 2-1, for his first Big Ten title. Woods is the second Hawkeye in the last three seasons to take home the 141-pound crown.

165 POUNDS:  No. 1 Dean Hamiti (WI) over No. 3 Patrick Kennedy (IA) via decision 

Kennedy fell to Hamiti, 4-3, in Iowa’s dual meet at Madison this season for his second loss of the season. After this loss, the Kasson Mantorville, Minnesota, native never looked back and hasn’t lost since. 

Period 1: Hamiti opened the scoring with a takedown. Kennedy countered with an escape.

Period 2: Hamiti escaped and then mustered another takedown. Kennedy closed the gap with a takedown, but Hamiti escaped again.

Period 3: Kennedy took a shot, down, 6-5, but Hamiti dodged it for a takedown of his own. Hamiti sealed the match, 9-6, with riding time.

Third-Place Matches

149 POUNDS: No. 6 Max Murin (IA) over No. 5 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) via decision

Period 1: Murin opened the scoring halfway through the period with a takedown, but Van Ness responded with an escape.

Period 2: Van Ness knotted it up with a takedown.

Period 3: Murin regained the lead with a quick escape. Murin was called for a stalling warning with 13 seconds left but holds on to win, 3-2, and finish in third place.

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) vs. No. 7 Tate Orndorff (OSU) 

Period 1: With about a minute remaining in the period, Cassoppi opens the scoring by getting on top of Orndorff for a two-point takedown and leads, 2-0.

Period 2: With Orndorff lying across Cassioppi’s shoulders, the Hawkeye big man slipped out for an escape to extend the lead, then pushed on with another takedown. The Buckeye prevents a shutout with an escape of his own, but Cassioppi answers promptly with a takedown and an escape to lead, 8-1, at the end of the period.

Period 3: Cassioppi now has more than three minutes of riding time, and has lived on Orndorff’s back for the las. minute of the bout. The Hawkeye takes the match, 10-1, for a third-place title in the heavyweight class.

Fifth-Place Matches

174 POUNDS:  No. 7 Nelson Brands (IA) over No. 5 Edmond Ruth (ILL) via decision

Period 1: The first three minutes were scoreless

Period 2: Ruth opened up the scoring with an escape. Brands responded by picking up Ruth and throwing him to the mat for a takedown.

Period 3: Brands escaped to start the period and tallied 1:30 of riding time to win, 5-1, and take fifth place in his weight class.

197 POUNDS: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IA) over No. 4 Cameron Caffey (MSU) via medical forfeit 

Iowa is awarded more team points as a result of this forfeiture, but still the Hawkeyes trail Penn State, 147 to 132.5. Iowa’s final match of the night is from heavyweight Tony Cassioppi in the third-place match. Meanwhile, Cassioppi’s Penn State counterpart, Gerg Kerkvliet, wrestles in the title match against crowd favorite and Michigan Wolverine Mason Parris. Parris ended by defeating Kerkvliet, but the Nittany Lions have also claimed the 184-pound title with No. 1 seed Aaron Brooks reaching the first-place podium.

Iowa finished second in the team standings with 134.5 points behind Penn State’s 147. 

Spencer Lee was announced as Big Ten Wrestler of the Year in the post-tournament events.  

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.