UNI Panthers

Wrestling Weekend That Was: UNI, Iowa State leave Las Vegas with 6 medalists apiece

Iowa's Warner beats second-ranked foe; Russia banned; Prep heavyweights come up big

Northern Iowa Panthers' Bryce Steiert (right) takes Iowa State Cyclones' Logan Schumacher to the mat for a takedown duri
Northern Iowa Panthers’ Bryce Steiert (right) takes Iowa State Cyclones’ Logan Schumacher to the mat for a takedown during the 165-pound bout of their Big Twelve Conference wrestling dual in the West Gymnasium on the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Steiert won with a technical fall 16-1 in 7:00. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but UNI and Iowa State were bringing some hardware home. Meanwhile, Jacob Warner’s victory highlighted Iowa’s dual at Princeton and Iowa high school wrestlers competed in their first weekend tournaments. This is the Wrestling Weekend That Was:

UNI, ISU earn 6 medals at CKLV

Northern Iowa placed fourth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in a team race littered with teams that are potentially top-five teams in March’s NCAA Championships. The Panthers scored 94 points, finishing behind champion Nebraska, Ohio State and Arizona State.

UNI Coach Doug Schwab considered it a good performance, but not great.

“Whole lot to build off of,” Schwab said during his weekly news conference. “Like I told the guys, there’s still a lot of meat left on that bone. We’ve got to pick every little piece off (and) that’s what we’re going to go back to work and do.”

Senior Bryce Steiert had the highest finish of any of the state's wrestlers, reaching the 174-pound finals and finishing second to Purdue’s third-seeded Dylan Lydy, who also knocked off second-seeded Mikey Labriola in the semifinal.

Lydy, who was ranked fourth nationally and one spot ahead of Steiert, scored a takedown 25 seconds into sudden victory for 3-1 decision.

“Good performance,” Schwab said, “but obviously would like to be the champ there.”

Taylor Lujan was fourth at 184, while Max Thomsen (149) and heavyweight Carter Isley placed fifth. Michael Blockhus finished sixth at 141. He won five straight consolation matches after losing his opener, posting wins over North Carolina State All-American and fifth-seeded Tariq Wilson and Michigan No. 8-seed Cole Mattin.

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Jay Schwarm placed seventh at 125, going 5-2 and earning the award for most pins in the shortest amount of time. He had four in 4:23.

“Everyone scoring points is a huge step,” Schwab said. “Obviously, you need 10 guys scoring points. I think everyone who won scored bonus points. I think we had nine pins.”

Iowa State also had six placewinners, getting sixth as a team with 82 1/2 points. Freshman David Carr led the way with a third-place finish at 157. Todd Small (133), Ian Parker at 141 and heavyweight Gannon Gremmel were fourth. Small was unseeded, while Parker and Gremmel were seeded sixth and seventh, respectively. Alex Mackal was fifth at 125.

Unfortunately for the Cyclones, Jarrett Degen medically forfeited his final match to UNI’s Thomsen to get sixth. Degen is a key contributor to the lineup at 149.

Big win for Iowa's Jacob Warner

Iowa’s Jacob Warner notched a strong victory Sunday, earning one of the top-ranked Hawkeyes’ seven wins in a 30-9 romp of No. 12 Princeton.

Warner scored a takedown in the final seconds to defeat then-second-ranked Pat Brucki, 5-4. Warner moved up one spot and is now ranked second nationally by trackwrestling.com.

The Hawkeyes tallied bonus points in five matches. Alex Marinelli had a pin, Michael Kemerer and Austin DeSanto won by technical falls and Max Murin and Tony Cassioppi had majors. Kemerer, in his first season at 174, is 4-0 with two techs, a pin and a major decision.

Deakin peakin'

Among the top performers at the CKLV was Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin.

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Deakin ascended to first in some national rankings with his title, beating NCSU’s previous No. 1-ranked Hayden Hidlay, 6-2, in the finals.

He also beat ISU’s Carr, 9-3, in the semifinals and recorded an 8-5 decision over Arizona State’s Jacori Teemer in the quarters.

Russia banned

World wrestling power Russia has been banned from the next two Olympic Games and the World Championships for the next four years as part of sanctions approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The ban is fallout from a scandal that involved tampering of Moscow laboratory database.

According to trackwrestling.com, Russia has 21 days to appeal the ruling and is expected to do so.

Russian athletes not implicated in positive or manipulated drug tests could still participate in the Olympics and World Championships. They would not represent Russia and be consider “neutral” competitors.

Terrific Taven Rich at Independence

The Cliff Keen Independence Invitational has become one of the toughest early-season tournaments on the schedule. Maquoketa’s Taven Rich made it seem like an exhibition.

The returning state medalist and second-ranked Class 2A heavyweight pinned his way through the bracket. He decked Fort Madison’s 3A fifth-ranked Danen Settles in 39 seconds. Rich had just one match last more than 1:14.

He finished the two-day event with six pins in just 4:17 combined.

Josh Vis wins Keith Young crown

Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Josh Vis won the heavyweight title at Cedar Falls’ Keith Young Invitational on Saturday. The second-ranked heavyweight in 3A had a pin and major decision before beating Norwalk’s Maddux Borcherding-Johnson, 6-1, in the final. He was one of seven Cougars to place.

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Also among the Keith Young medalists were Belle Plaine’s Ethan Allie (fourth at 220) and Dyersville Beckman’s Evan Wulfekuhle, who was fifth at 182.

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

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