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 wrestlers Jared Franek, Real Woods reflect on collegiate careers

Franek finished in fourth place at 157, while Woods placed fourth at 141 at the NCAA Championships.
Cody Blissett
Iowa 157-pound Jared Franek prepares to get up after wrestling Nebraska Peyton Robb during the fifth session of the NCAA men’s wrestling championships at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Robb won by major decision, 11-2 and placed seventh.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Iowa wrestlers’ careers came to an end on Saturday afternoon.

Jared Franek placed eighth nationally at 157 pounds, and Real Woods finished fourth at 141, both securing All-American status for the second and fourth time, respectively.

This is Franek’s first year in a Hawkeye singlet. He transferred from North Dakota State after a fourth-place finish at nationals in 2023.

Franek started his Iowa campaign 15-0 with seven bonus point victories. He finished the regular season 20-3 and ended up placing fourth at the Big Ten Tournament after medically forfeiting from the third-place bout.

“What I ultimately came here for is what I got out of it, so I’m super happy,” Franek said after placing seventh. “It’s a few losses that were tough in the middle of the year, and, you know, we wrestled eight weeks in a row of super tough competition, and you saw anything can happen here. So I’m proud of how I handled the season and was able to bounce back.”

The 157-pounder said it’s been “super cool” to “pick the brains” of those in the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, including three-time national champion Spencer Lee and four-time Big Ten champion Alex Marinelli.

He transferred to Iowa with 165-pounder Michael Caliendo, who placed fourth at the national tournament and earned All-American honors. They both said having each other made the transition to Iowa City easier. Caliendo added his and Franek’s parents hang out a lot.

“He’s a brother for life, and I’m excited to watch him next few years here,” Franek said of Caliendo.

As for Franek’s future, he is going to take some time to reflect before making any decisions.

“There’s a lot of different paths I can go, but I don’t know if it’ll be competing anymore,” Franek said.

Woods, who fell to Nebraska’s Brock Hardy in Saturday’s third-place match, will remember all the life lessons he’s learned throughout his collegiate career and is thankful for the ups and downs that have “helped [him] develop as a man.” Woods started his career at Stanford and transferred to Iowa last season when he finished as the NCAA runner-up.

Woods said he loves performing on the mat and plans to compete “for a lot longer” but also thinks he would be a good coach one day.

“Throughout my journey, I’ve been exposed to so many different diverse people and places,” Woods said. “It’s taught me a lot about people, and it’s taught me and helped me connect with people from all walks of life. And I think that that’s one of the main keys in coaching young men because to be able to know or to be able to help them develop, you have to be personable and be able to know a young athlete well enough to help them develop in their own way. This is an individual sport. Everyone’s different.”

Zach Glazier and Brody Teske’s seasons came to an end on Friday. Teske, in his final year of eligibility, fell to No. 4 Rutgers’ Dylan Shawver in the consolation bracket to end his collegiate career.

“I mean, that definitely hurts. There’s not anything you can say in those situations,” head coach Tom Brands said of Teske. “Tell him you love him and support him. This won’t define him. The biggest thing is at the end of the road, he will be a better man. Doesn’t seem like it right now, but at the end of the road, he is going to be a good man for the rest of his life. So it won’t define him, it can’t define him. Gotta move on.”

Glazier told Flowrestling’s Andy Hamilton on Wednesday he will return to the Hawkeyes for a fifth season. The 197-pounder placed second in the Big Ten Tournament in his postseason debut but had a rough stretch at nationals, losing in the first round and again in the consolations. Brands said after Glazier’s season ended, he was at the T-Mobile Center supporting his teammates and even warmed up Patrick Kennedy.

“I think as you see guys go through situations like this, you learn more and more about them. This is his first year in the lineup, and I learned a lot about him after the after Big Tens,” Brands said of Glazier. “You know, here’s the thing. It’s not like one of these things where ‘Oh, it’s time to learn from this.’ It’s not that time. This is a kick in the gut. So he’s wrestled well all year, and that’s where the pain starts … It’s time to reflect, take a deep breath, and support him.”

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About the Contributors
Kenna Roering
Kenna Roering, Sports Editor
Kenna Roering is The Daily Iowan's sports editor. She is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism with a minor in sports and recreation management. Kenna previously worked as a sports reporter for men's wrestling and volleyball and was the summer sports editor in 2023. This is her second year with the DI.
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.