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Iowa wrestling dominates Wisconsin
But there is a lot of work left to be done before the Big Ten and NCAA meets
IOWA CITY — It was a dominating performance on an emotional senior day.
But after it was all over, the second-ranked Iowa wrestling team was ready to move on, move forward. There are bigger things down the road.
“We’ve got a big project in front of us,” Iowa Coach Tom Brands said after his Hawkeyes won eight of 10 bouts and whipped No. 9 Wisconsin, 29-6, in front of 14,905 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It was the final home dual for Austin DeSanto, Jaydin Eierman, Vince Turk, Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli and Michael Kemerer. All but Turk won.
“Great memories,” Brands said, “but a lot of work to do.”
College wrestling isn’t defined by dominating dual wins. The big prize is March 17-19 at the NCAA Championships, and before that the Big Ten Championships.
These seniors have been doing this long enough to know a good, solid performance is important, but it’s not the finish line.
“We have a lot of wrestling left,” Kemerer said after whipping Andrew McNally, 11-2, after 174 pounds.
But he and Marinelli did take time to reflect a little, about how “special” it is to wrestle at the arena.
“Iowa wrestling at Carver. It’s iconic,” Marinelli said.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Kemerer said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Marinelli called Kemerer his best friend.
“I don’t think you’d rather have anybody back you up rather than Michael Kemerer,” he said after a tough, 8-5, win over sixth-ranked Dean Hamiti at 165. “He is the epitome of class.”
The Marinelli-Hamiti bout was the marquee matchup. The fifth-ranked Marinelli (16-1) scored a pair of takedowns in the first two periods and a reversal in the third to hand Hamiti his first loss.
“Got a little sloppy here and there,” Marinelli said. “I know I’m capable of dominating him.
“I let him roll a bit and that’s when that guy is good.”
Brands said he wasn’t sure how good Marinelli was feeling during the match.
“In wrestling, it can be a grind or it can be spurty or you can fall into it or you can work really hard,” he said. “We’re going to have to be ready to do it again and at a higher level.”
He was talking about Marinelli, but also the entire team.
The Hawkeyes got a technical fall from DeSanto at 133 — 13 takedowns in a 26-11 win — and got majors from Eierman at 141, Kemerer and Tony Cassioppi at heavyweight. Kaleb Young at 157, Abe Assad at 184 and Jacob Warner at 197 scored solid decisions.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Brands said. “We’ve got to work harder in matches, we’ve got to work harder to finish, we’ve got to work hard to wrestle the full seven minutes.
“It’s not going to come easy, so you’ve got to work hard.”
Jesse Ybarra, wrestling again in place of Drake Ayala at 125, lost a tough, 4-0, decision to seventh-ranked Eric Barnett, and Turk battled No. 7 Austin Gomez to the end in a 3-2 loss at 149.
“I can tell you he’s very capable,” Brands said of Ybarra. “He’s explosive, he’s very exciting. But there’s a block there and we have to get rid of that block. You just have to find a switch for him and then maybe the floodgates will open.”
Iowa takes on Oklahoma State on Saturday in Dallas.
IOWA 29, WISCONSIN 6
(Takedowns in parentheses)
125 pounds — Eric Barnett (W) dec. Jesse Ybarra, 4-0 (1,0); 133 — Austin DeSanto (I) tech. fall over Kyle Burwick, 26-11 (13,0); 141 — Jaydin Eierman (I) dec. Joe Zargo, 13-5 (5,1); 149 — Austin Gomez (W) dec. Vince Turk, 3-2 (1,0); 157 — Kaleb Young (I) dec. Garrett Model, 8-3 (3,0); 165 — Alex Marinelli (I) dec. Dean Hamiti, 8-5 (2,0); 174 — Michael Kemerer (I) dec. Andrew McNally, 11-2 (2,0); 184 — Abe Assad (I) dec. Chris Weiler, 4-2 (2,0); 197 — Jacob Warner (I) dec. Braxton Amos, 4-1 (1,0); Hwt. — Tony Cassioppi (I) dec. Trent Hillger, 10-0
Takedowns — Wisconsin 3, Iowa 30; Reverals — Wisconsin 1, Iowa 1; Escapes — Wisconsin 27, Iowa 9; Nearfall points — Wisconsin 0, Iowa 4; Penalty points awarded — Wisconsin 0, Iowa 5; Riding time points — Wisconsin 1, Iowa 6; Total match points — Wisconsin 36, Iowa 86
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