Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands on Lee, Marinelli, Stoll and the situation at 184 pounds


Iowa wrestling Tom Brands. (The Gazette)
Iowa wrestling Tom Brands. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa Coach Tom Brands talked with media during the weekly media availability Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The fourth-ranked Hawkeyes (9-1, 4-1 Big Ten) suffered their first dual loss of the season, falling 22-12 to No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Iowa won four matches, receiving decisions from Spencer Lee (125), Brandon Sorensen (149), 157-pounder Michael Kemerer and Alex Marinelli at 165.

Brands said Lee wrestled with a lot of composure, despite leaving points on the mat in a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Nathan Tomasello, who is a three-time All-American and 2015 NCAA champion. Brands called the performance gutsy and said Lee was already moving forward after the match. In the last week, Lee has beaten two returning All-Americans, topping Oklahoma State’s then-No. 6 Nick Piccininni, 10-5, the previous Sunday.


Lee’s effort earned him Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors, according to the conference’s announcement on Tuesday. Lee has jumped to third in the national rankings. Lee is 9-1 overall and 3-0 since removing his redshirt on Jan. 5 against Michigan State. he has three wins over top-10 foes and has three wins over returning All-Americans. Kemerer and Marinelli have also earned the conference’s weekly accolade this season.

Brands also discussed the team’s performance, including a tough 4-1 victory for Marinelli against No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell. Marinelli used a takedown in the first and third periods, improving to 17-0 at the Schottenstein Center, where he won four Ohio state titles for St. Paris Graham High School.

It’s not a shocker that Brands didn’t give much credence to the idea of “moral victories” but did praise the resilience and toughness of 174-pounnder Kaleb Young and Mitch Bowman. The pair lost to highly-ranked foes. They were outmanned for most of their bouts, but continued to battle and scored takedowns in the final period. Young, who has been asked to serve as a backup at 165 and 174, did not allow bonus points to third-ranked senior Bo Jordan. Bowman gave up a major to No. 2 Myles Martin, scoring the final takedown and even locking up a cradle as time expired.

Speaking of Bowman, Brands was asked about the situation at 184. Specifically, whether or not Pat Downey will join the team in the near future. The plane still is circling the landing strip when it comes to Downey’s addition to the Hawkeyes. At the moment, Brands seemed fixed on Bowman at 184. He is currently the only Hawkeye listed on the probable lineup at the weight.

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Brands also confirmed that third-ranked heavyweight Sam Stoll will compete against Michigan’s second-ranked Adam Coon when Iowa hosts Michigan on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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