Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa wrestling beats Northwestern with Spencer Lee sidelined

No Lee vs. Rivera rematch in 32-7 win for Hawkeyes

Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

The biggest matchups didn’t materialize but Iowa wrestling still produced a lopsided victory.

Without NCAA champion Spencer Lee and Kaleb Young in the lineup, the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes throttled Northwestern, 32-7, Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. Iowa won eight bouts, including four bonus-point wins, and dominated with five riding-time points from about 18 minutes on top.

Iowa Coach Tom Brands said a “coach’s decision” prevented second-ranked Lee’s rematch against top-ranked Sebastian Rivera, who won 7-3 in the Midlands 125-pound final.

“There’s no explanation,” Brands told media after the dual. “It’s just a decision we made. It was in the plans.

“This is an important time of year to build and get momentum and to put yourself in the best possible place for rankings and those types of things, but it’s also, especially with our wrestling room depth, we have a luxury that maybe some teams don’t have as much and it’s very, very important that we do the right thing for our individuals.”

Fourth-ranked Young did not face Northwestern’s No. 3 Ryan Deakin at 157, which also would have been a reamatch of a Midlands final that Deakin won.

The Hawkeyes tamed the Wildcats in the rest of the weight classes. Iowa heavyweight Sam Stoll made his second appearance of the weekend, building an 8-0 lead before winning by injury default over Conan Jennings and improving to 6-0 this season.

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“I feel like I wrestled pretty good,” Stoll said. “A lot of time on top. Got a takedown to his back so I think it went pretty well.”

Junior Keegan Shaw bumped up two weight classes this season and went 2-0 at 174. Shaw made his starting debut Friday at Illinois and used four takedowns to defeat Johnny Sebastian, 11-6.

Cash Wilcke (184) needed just 1:20 to pin Brendan Devine. Austin DeSanto (133) and 165-pounder Alex Marinelli added major decisions for Iowa (10-0, 5-0 Big Ten).

DeSanto and Marinelli both reached four minutes of riding time, while Stoll and Max Murin (141) surpassed three minutes. Jacob Warner (197) and Shaw also had riding-time points, which doesn’t count Pat Lugo’s overtime win at 149.

“Lugo’s rideout in (tiebreaker-1) is the emphasis and the exclamation mark,” Brands said. “Good dominating performance on top and it made a difference in those matches.”

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