Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa's Michael Kemerer granted sixth year from NCAA

Hawkeye 174-pounder ready to return and compete next season

Iowa's Michael Kemerer wrestles Ohio State's Kaleb Romero in their 174-pound match at an Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling dual wi
Iowa’s Michael Kemerer wrestles Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero in their 174-pound match at an Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling dual with the Ohio State Buckeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Kemerer won by decision, 7-1. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa’s Michael Kemerer said he was confident he would be back in an Iowa singlet next season.

Even when Kemerer suffered injuries that wiped out his junior season before it began, Hawkeyes Coach Tom Brands seemed optimistic that the three-time All-American would qualify for an extra year of eligibility based on medical hardship.

Both had those beliefs confirmed. Iowa announced Monday that the NCAA has granted Kemerer a sixth year of eligibility. According to a news release from Iowa’s Sports Information Department, Kemerer received an extension, resulting from a redshirt year during his first year of enrollment and a hardship waiver, citing the specific NCAA bylaw. Athletes are given a five-year window to compete four seasons.

“I am thankful and already ready to compete again,” Kemerer said in a news release. “We did so many things and met every challenge we faced last year. We had a great team and a lot of fun doing it. We are bringing a lot of guys back, but it is a new season now, so we are going to have to go out and earn it again. You don’t take your accomplishments from last year into the next year, so we have to be looking forward, but we have a good team and it is going to be a fun year.”

Kemerer injury defaulted in his final match as a sophomore, placing fourth at the NCAA tournament. He missed the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury.

He made an impressive return this season, bumping up to 174 pounds and going 15-1 with four major decisions, three pins and three technical falls, earning first-team All-America honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association. He was a Big Ten finalist and entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed, spending part of the season ranked first, nationally.

Kemerer is one of nine All-Americans expected to return from this year’s top-ranked and undefeated team. The Hawkeyes trounced the competition, posting a 13-0 dual mark and winning the Midlands and Big Ten Championships team titles. They were heavy favorites to win the national team title as well before it was canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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