The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa men’s wrestling set to square off with top-ranked Penn State

The Hawkeyes will try and bounce back on Friday after suffering their first loss of the season against Michigan.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa’s No. 6 165-pound Mikey Caliendo flexes after wrestling Purdue’s Stoney Buell during a wrestling dual between No. 3 Iowa and Purdue at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 34-6. Caliendo defeated Buell by decision, 9-4.

On Friday, the Iowa men’s wrestling team will take on top-ranked Penn State inside a sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The match starts at 8 p.m. and will be televised on Big Ten Network.

The Hawkeyes are coming off their first loss of the season against the Michigan Wolverines on Feb 2. 

“We have to perform better. We know that,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said Tuesday at media availability. 

Brands added his squad will try to “right the wrong”’ from the ugly loss against the Wolverines, and he wants to ensure his wrestlers are ready for Friday’s dual.

“The level of competition is rising,” Brands said. “We have to be ready.”

Brands credited Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson for his success with the Nittany Lions over the past decade.

One name not listed on the probable lineup is standout true freshman Gabe Arnold. Under new NCAA guidelines, freshmen can wrestle in five dates of competition during the student athlete’s first year of collegiate enrollment without using a season of eligibility. 

“We will see Gabe Arnold in the future,” Brands said. “I don’t know when that will be.”

Probable lineups

All rankings via InterMat. 

125 pounds No. 7 Drake Ayala (UI) vs No. 2 Braeden Davis (PSU)

133 pounds No. 20 Cullan Schriever (UI) vs No. 6 Aaron Nagao (PSU)

141 pounds No. 2 Real Woods (UI) vs No. 1 Beau Bartlett (PSU)

Woods lost his first match of the season last week during Iowa’s dual against Michigan. Brands said a match against the top guy in the country could be an excellent way to measure Woods’ response to the loss, but Brands just wants the Hawkeye to go out and wrestle his match.

149 pounds No. 12 Caleb Rathjen (UI) vs No. 10 Tyler Kasak (PSU)

Rathjen is back in the lineup after Victor Voinovich wrestled at 149 against the Wolverines. 

“We have two guys there that are sorting it out,” Brands said on the lineup changes at 149. “I don’t really know who is leading. I know Rathjen had a Soldier Salute that was strong and solid, and that’s probably the difference. I think both guys have had and will have opportunities, and this is an opportunity, and it’s going Rathjen’s way this weekend.”

157 pounds No. 5 Jared Franek (UI) vs No. 1 Levi Haines (PSU)

165 pounds No. 6 Michael Caliendo (UI) vs No. 7 Mitchell Mesenbrink (PSU)

Caliendo has just one loss this year and is on a 12-match win streak. He is tied with 197-pounder Zach Glazier for most overall wins on the team this year with 19. His lone loss came during Iowa’s dual against Iowa State, where he lost to No. 2 David Carr. 

175 pounds No. 7 Patrick Kennedy (UI) vs No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU)

184 pounds Aiden Riggins (UI) vs No. 6 Bernie Truax (PSU)

197 pounds Zach Glazier (UI) vs No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU)

Glazier has an undefeated record this season and has an opportunity to make his mark at 197 pounds against top-ranked Brooks. Glazier said he’s not approaching this match any differently. He wants to go out and have fun and enjoy the experience of going against the best.

Heavyweight Ben Kueter OR No. 29 Bradley Hill (UI) vs No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet

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About the Contributors
Isaac Elzinga
Isaac Elzinga, Sports Reporter
Isaac Elzinga is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass communication. This is his first year working at The Daily Iowan; he also works as a producer for 1600 ESPN a sports radio station in Cedar Rapids.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.