College wrestling competition has started heating up. From Des Moines to Kent, Ohio, there was plenty of action, involving local athletes.
Hawkeyes win 1,000
In what seemed to be in anticlimactic and not very trumpeted fashion, Iowa recorded its 1,000th dual victory, opening with a 36-3 drubbing of Cal State-Bakersfield. The Hawkeyes are now the fourth program in the country to reach the 1,000-win plateau, joining Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Oregon State.
“Those thousand wins go way back to E.G. Schroeder, the first coach, and come all the way through (Iowa four-time All-American and two-time national finalist) Mike DeAnna, who was here tonight, to Dan Gable, and here we are,” Iowa Coach Tom Brands said after Iowa completed the evening with a 45-0 victory over host Kent State. “The most important thing is getting win No. 1,002. That’s coming up next; Princeton on Friday night.”
Brands increased his record at Iowa to 204-22-1 in his 12th season as head coach. His total is second to only Gable, whose teams included Brands and his twin brother, Terry, a current associate head coach for Iowa. Gable’s squads went 355-21-5 in his 21 seasons, leading Iowa.
Dave McCuskey is third all-time with 160 dual victories. Former Iowa three-time NCAA champion and Cedar Rapids Prairie two-time state titlist Jimmy Zalesky, who bridged the gap between Gable and Brands, had a 127-34 mark in nine seasons.
Mike Howard tallied 90 victories as coach from 1922-52. Other coaches included Schroeder (1911-15, 1921), Pat Wright 1916-18, 1920) and Gary Kurdelmeier, who famously enticed Gable to leave his alma mater Iowa State for Iowa. Kurdelmeier was 51-7-5 in four years leading the Hawkeyes.
Reserves/new faces roll
On that opening night, Iowa won 39 of 40 matches. The Hawkeyes won convincingly, despite a handful of reserves or fresh faces in the lineup.
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Heavyweight Sam Stoll and Vince Turk (141) were suspended, stemming from offseason situations. Michael Kemerer, who bumped up to 174, didn’t make the trip. Freshman Jacob Warner, who wrestled in the Junior World Championships in September, received a break and started practice late and didn’t travel.
Iowa didn’t miss a beat. Redshirt freshman heavyweight Aaron Costello, Myles Martin (174) and Max Murin, a redshirt freshman who won the wrestle-off and is considered the front-runner for the 141 spot, all went 2-0.
Murin had a major decision and pin, while Martin had one major. Costello, a former Western Dubuque prep, notched two decisions. At 197, Mitch Bowman and Connor Corbin added wins.
Austin DeSanto made his debut with an impressive 22-6 tech of Cal State-Bakersfield’s 18th-ranked Sean Nickell. He survived a one-point match against Kent State.
Big man on campus
Iowa true freshman heavyweight Tony Cassioppi brings some high expectations to a deep division for Iowa, which has top-ranked All-American Stoll and Costello, who is 2-0.
Cassioppi rolled his way through the Open division of the Grand View Open with four first-period falls.
Fellow Iowa freshman Nelson Brands won the 165-pound bracket, posting a pin, technical fall and a major decision before receiving a medical forfeit in the final.
Iowa State top prospect David Carr earned his first college tournament title for the Cyclones. Carr won the 157 Open bracket at Grand View.
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Carr majored Iowa’s Jeremiah Moody, 9-0, in the final. He improved on his third-place finish at ISU’s Harold Nichols Open the previous weekend.
The Cyclones’ Danny Bush also won at 184, beating teammate Hank Swalla for the championship.
Locals at Luther
Coe’s Josh Gerke and Wartburg’s Brock Rathbun captured titles in the Elite Division of the Luther Open on Saturday. Gerke had two pins en route to the 149 crown. Rathbun, a returning NCAA champion, had two pins and two technical falls, including a 17-2 win over Coe’s Brock Henderson in the final.
The Knights had five finalists, including 165 champ Mike Ross and former Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep Kyle Briggs, who was second at 174.
Upper Iowa’s Dalton Hahn (184) and Nick Baumler (197) also won titles.
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