Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa wrestling sets tempo, hands Ohio State first Big Ten loss

Hawkeyes improve to 8-0 with 24-10 win

IOWA CITY — Iowa’s Michael Kemerer has faced a run of highly-ranked foes.

Each of his last three opponents have been ranked in the top eight of various national polls. The senior 174-pounder responded with three straight victories.

Kemerer scored two takedowns and amassed more than two minutes of riding time to drop Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero, helping top-ranked Iowa defeat No. 4 Ohio State, 24-10, in a Big Ten wrestling dual Friday night in front 13,405 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

Kemerer didn’t waste time getting on the board, needing just 19 seconds for a takedown and riding Romero out the rest of the period. He expanded his lead to 4-0 with an escape and penalty point for hands to the face by Romero.

In the third, Kemerer added another takedown, releasing Romero with 14 seconds in an attempt for the major. The point for 2:50 of riding time made it 7-1 and improved his record to 8-0. The challenges continue next week with an expected matchup with Penn State’s top-ranked Mark Hall.

Last week, Nebraska was able to slow down the pace but the Hawkeyes dictated the tempo against the Buckeyes. They produced a 26-11 takedown advantage and 91-52 edge in match points.

Alex Marinelli set the tone early. He tallied six takedowns, including three in less than two minutes into the first period. He added two more in the third for a 14-10 victory over Ethan Smith in the opening match at 165.

Freshman Abe Assad followed his exciting Carver debut last week with another victory. Assad defeated Rocky Jordan 3-1 at 184. The pair was locked in a 1-1 tie in the final minute when Assad shot a single, limped-arm out of a Jordan whizzer and circled behind for the decisive takedown.

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Heavyweight Tony Cassioppi wowed the crowd before the midway intermission. His power and explosiveness was on display in a 9-3 decision over Gary Traub. Cassioppi (13-0) scored three takedowns, including a bear hug that took Traub to his back for two nearfall to seal the deal in the final period.

Spencer Lee (125) and 133-pounder Austin DeSanto showed why they are considered the most potent 1-2 punch in college wrestling.

Lee (10-0) throttled Hunter Lucas in typical dominant fashion. The two-time NCAA champion posted the only takedown early before turning Lucas for four sets of four nearfalls and an 18-0 technical fall in the first period.

DeSanto rebounded from surrendering an early takedown with a dozen of his own. He played catch-and-release with Jordan Decatur, recording a 27-12 technical fall and increasing the Hawkeyes’ lead to 21-7 with two matches remaining.

Kaleb Young (157) capped the dual with a victory over Elijah Cleary. Young scored a takedown and finished with more than two minutes of riding time for a 4-1 decision.

Iowa wrestlers are a combined 44-6 in Big Ten duals this season.

Ohio State fell to 7-2 overall and suffered its first loss in four Big Ten duals this season. The Buckeyes’ wins from top-ranked duo Luke Pletcher (141) and 197-pounder Kollin Moore and Sammy Sasso at 149.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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