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College wrestling competition is heating up. Programs from all levels took the mat Saturday. Notable events grabbed the attention of wrestling fans during the Wrestling Weekend That Was.
Iowa Hawkeyes crown 8 at Luther Open
Iowa sent 21 wrestlers to the Luther Open and captured eight titles, beginning its national title defense. More than just adding the event the Hawkeyes have competed in in the past and weren’t on the original schedule, sent six All-Americans to compete.
All-Americans Austin DeSanto (133), Jayden Eierman (141), Kaleb Young (157) and 165-pounder Alex Marinelli each won titles. They were atop the awards stand in the elite division with Jesse Ybarra at 125, Cobe Siebrecht (149) and 197-pounder Zach Glazier.
Siebrecht won a bracket that consisted of Hawkeyes in the top three spots. He defeated Wartburg All-Americans Brady Fritz and Kris Rumph, 16-1 and 5-4, respectively. Siebrecht won by medical forfeit in the finals over teammate Bretli Reyna.
Reyna defeated Iowa national qualifier Vince Turk, 6-5, in tiebreaker-1 in the semifinals.
Another sign of Iowa’s tremendous depth and an eye-opening result came in the 165 final. Redshirt freshman Patrick Kennedy was runner-up to Marinelli, who needed a takedown in the late seconds for a 3-2 decision.
Competition in the room could be at an all-time high this season.
Coe Kohawks soar
Speaking of the Luther Open, Division III fourth-ranked Coe had wrestlers in the field. Fourth-ranked heavyweight Kaleb Reeves led the way with four pins and a title in the elite division.
Reeves was one of seven Coe wrestlers to finish in the top eight of their bracket. National Wrestling Coaches Association national champion Alex Friddle (125) and 157-pounder A.J. Patterson placed third. Former West Liberty prep Will Esmoil (157) and former Iowa City West prep Guy Snow (285) also placed. Brock Henderson was sixth at 141 and Logan Andeway, a former Cedar Rapids Prairie prep, was eighth at 184.
In the silver division, 174-pounder L.J. Richardson and Jared Voss (197) won titles for Coe, which hosts its own invitational Saturday.
Isaac Judge rules
Isaac Judge earned one of three Iowa State titles at the Grand View Open on Saturday at Southeast Polk High School at Pleasant Hill.
South Tama’s two-time 2A 152-pound state champion was dominant. He produced two major decisions, two shutout victories and a pin. He also defeated two opponents who beat Cyclone teammates.
Judge blanked Marty Margolis, 5-0, in the final. Margolis is ranked fifth in the NAIA. Kysen Terukina (125) and 149-pounder Cam Robinson also won titles for Iowa State.
Stanford lost the first dual of the season to OKlahoma State, 29-7, Saturday at home. Normally, it wouldn’t be cause to celebrate, but this was different.
Remember when the Cardinal wrestlers’ fate seemed sealed, along with about 10 other sports getting dropped from the school’s athletics program? The wrestling program appeared to end with Shane Griffith’s 165-pound national title run at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. A performance that caused the crowd to chant, “Bring back Stanford.”
Griffith and other Cardinal wrestlers even wore black singlets without showing any school insignia in protest.
The program survived and lives on with Rob Koll leaving Cornell University to take over at Stanford. Top-ranked Griffith wrestled in one of the marquee matches Saturday, beating No. 6 Travis Wittlake, 4-0. Seventh-ranked 149-pounder Jaden Abas added a major decision for the Cardinal, handling Kaden Gfeller, 15-6.
Young UNI Panthers perform
Northern Iowa sent seven wrestlers to compete in the freshman/sophomore division of the Grand View Open. Connor Thorpe (125), R.J. Weston at 157, Jared Simma (174) and John Gunderson at 197 each won titles.
Former Union prep and two-time state champion Adam Ahrendsen (197) and former Don Bosco prep Cael Rhanavardi (149) placed third.
Kayle Parco wins for Arizona State
Kyle Parco was the last All-American for Fresno State and Bulldogs Coach Troy Steiner. He placed sixth at 149 pounds in the program’s final season, getting dropped four years after its resurrection.
Parco transferred to Arizona State and claimed one of eight Sun Devils titles at the Appalachian State Invitational. According to flowrestling.com, Parco pinned Appalachian State’s ninth-ranked and returning All-American John Millner in the 149 finals.