Iowa Hawkeyes

Cash Wilcke secures marquee win in Iowa's victory over Nebraska

Wilcke beats No. 4 Taylor Venz; Hawkeyes win 20-13

Iowa’s Cash Wilcke, left, wrestles Purdue’s Max Lyon in a dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in November. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette
Iowa’s Cash Wilcke, left, wrestles Purdue’s Max Lyon in a dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in November. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette

LINCOLN, Neb. — Iowa junior Cash Wilcke put his fingers just a couple of inches apart after Sunday’s dual match against Nebraska’s Taylor Venz.

The “little things” Wilcke has been working on, particularly takedowns, translated into a big result.

Wilcke, ranked 15th, used a second-period takedown and a late third-period takedown to earn his first win over a top-10 opponent, topping fourth-ranked Venz 5-2 at Bob Devaney Sports Center, part of Iowa’s 20-13 win over Nebraska. Iowa improved to 11-0 in duals, 6-0 in the Big Ten.

“It’s these little things,” Wilcke said, with his fingers close together. “I put in this much work and it pays off.”

Wilcke has confidence he can wrestle with anyone in the country. Sunday, the Battle Creek native showed he can.

“I tell myself I’m a contender. I can beat every guy that’s on the line with me,” Wilcke said. “Today I proved that.”

Wilcke had been close to a big win all season.

“We’ve always known what he’s capable of,” Iowa Coach Tom Brands said. “He’s capable of putting it together and today he did that.”

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Wilcke score the first takedown in the second period after Venz escaped. Venz kept Wilcke down through the first half of the third period before Wilcke escaped. Wilcke then went in on a shot late and scored the winning takedown.

“That second-period takedown was huge,” Brands said. “Then to get that takedown last, that was big. That was what we needed.”

Iowa needed its star to come through with a big match after the tables turned in Nebraska’s favor.

Lee gave the fans what they wanted, and more importantly he gave the Hawkeyes what they needed as a team in demolishing Zeke Moisey, 18-4.

Lee picked up a takedown and four nearfall points in the first period, added a reversal and two nearfall points in the second, then capped it with a takedown and four nearfall points in the third.

Lee’s win quieted the boisterous Husker faithful who were at full cacophony after 14th-ranked David Jensen upset third-ranked Sam Stoll 3-0 at 285 pounds and gave Nebraska (10-4, 4-3) a 13-12 lead.

“Heavyweight we’re favored and get ridden for two straight periods and it’s really loud,” Brands said. “Spencer Lee walks out like it’s high noon.”

Moisey scored the first takedown 15 seconds into the match before Lee recovered and took control and fired up the large number of Iowa fans in attendance.

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“We live for environments like this,” Lee said. “The fans were awesome. They did a great job. They made it loud. They made it a lot of fun.”

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