Iowa Hawkeyes

This Weekend In Wrestling: Iowa, Iowa State, UNI open dual competition

Hawkeyes roll, UNI suffers more than a loss, Coe's Mehmen wins title, 5 Gazette-area state champs return as prep practice begins

Iowa's Michael Kemerer. (The Gazette)
Iowa's Michael Kemerer. (The Gazette)

College wrestling programs in the state hit the mat last weekend. In Division I duals, one state school rolled, one survived and another suffered a loss within a loss. Grand View and Luther held open tournaments. Practice officially started for prep wrestlers. This was the Weekend In Wrestling:

Behind Iowa's victory over Chattanooga

Second-ranked Iowa opened with a dominant 39-0 victory over Chattanooga on Sunday. The Hawkeyes welcomed back Michael Kemerer, who returned after being sidelined by injury for nearly 19 months. Fans finally witnessed what he could do at 174 pounds. Tony Cassioppi made his debut and started his move on Ed Banach’s pin record as one of five bonus-point victories.

Iowa Coach Tom Brands said he has plenty of options at 133 and it showed. Paul Glynn stepped in to earn a victory and All-American Austin DeSanto bumped up to 141, recording a technical fall. Gavin Teasdale, who beat Glynn in a wrestle-off, was third at the Luther Open. Add in the fact that Nelson Brands wrestled 184 instead of three-time national qualifier Cash Wilcke and won his Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut. More impressive, Brands weighed about 176 pounds and wrestled up to strengthened the lineup.

Word of increased season ticket sales was confirmed. The announced crowd Sunday was 10,466, which is a large showing for a season-opener against an unranked opponent.

More than one loss for UNI

No. 14 Northern Iowa suffered a surprising upset at the hands of No. 21 Northwestern at Evanston, Ill., on Sunday. The teams split the 10 bouts, but the loss at 197 stood out. Jacob Holschlag, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, defaulted his match to Lucas Davison in the first period.

In his weekly news conference. UNI Coach Doug Schwab noted how great it was to have the 2018 All-American back in the lineup, commenting on Holschlag’s smile before taking the mat in his return. Schwab said he has no update on the exact injury Holschlag suffered to the knee not previously hurt. More information could come as early as Tuesday. Schwab said Holschlag will wrestle again, but he just wasn’t sure when that will be and Holschlag will be ready.

That wasn’t the only upset. Michael DeAugustino posted a decision over No. 9 Jay Schwarm at 125.

Freshman Michael Blockhus posted a major decision in his dual debut for UNI.


Luther Open results

Iowa crowned four champions in the elite division of the Luther Open on Saturday. Aaron Cashman, who is expected to see action in duals to fill in for two-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee this season, won at 125. Former Lisbon prep Carter Happel (141), Vince Turk (149) and Wilcke added titles. Wilcke posted two technical falls and two pins, including a fall over Coe’s Josh Edel in the final.

Wartburg crowned three champions in the elite division, including former Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep Kyle Briggs at 174. The Knights had two runners-up, including Kris Rumph at 133. Rumph reached the finals with a 6-3 semifinal win over Teasdale.

Upper Iowa’s Justin Folley won that loaded 133 bracket. He beat Rumph 10-7 for the championship.

Coe’s Taylor Mehmen joined Edel in the finals, upending Folley’s Peacock teammate and former North Fayette Valley prep Nick Baumler 12-3 in the final. Second-ranked Mehmen reached the final with a 12-7 victory over Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Riley Kauzlaric, who is ranked No. 1 and placed third at the 2019 NCAA tournament. Mehmen finished with two pins and a major.

Luther heavyweight Keenan Feldpausch gave the home crowd something to cheer for Saturday. He earned a title, beating Iowa’s Aaron Costello, 9-5, in the finals.

Grand View Open results

Iowa crowned two champions in the open division of the Grand View Open on Saturday. Justin Stickley (141) and former English Valleys prep Zach Axmear (149) earned gold. Freshman Abe Assad was second at 184.

UNI’s Drew Bennett captured the 133 title, topping Wisconsin’s Kyle Burwick, 3-1, in sudden victory.

Mac Southard gave Iowa State a champ, defeating Loras’ Jacob Krakow, a former Iowa Valley prep, 4-1, at 174.


Iowa high school wrestling practice begins

Wrestling programs across the state of Iowa began practice on Monday.

The Gazette area returns five state champions in Lisbon duo Cael Happel and Robert Avila Jr., Solon sophomore Hayden Taylor, Union’s three-time state medalist Jack Thomsen and Cascade’s first state champ Aidan Noonan.

Happel is looking to become the 28th four-time state champion, joining his brother, Carter, who won four for Lisbon from 2013-16.

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