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Iowa Wrestling Weekend That Was: UNI, Iowa State post big wins in the “Big Easy”
Iowa State, UNI go 2-0 at Collegiate Duals in New Orleans; Upper Iowa returned to the mat; Battles at Battle of Waterloo; IGHSAU announces super regional sites
Monday is getting a promotion and joining a big wrestling weekend. Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa recorded big wins in the “Big Easy.” High schools competed in the last big weekend before the holiday break and received big news. This is the Wrestling Weekend That Was.
UNI KNOCKS OFF NO. 3 OHIO STATE
UNI and Iowa State were rolling Monday in N’Orleans. Both went 2-0 during the opening day of the Rokfin Collegiate Duals at New Orleans Convention Center. The Panthers posted the biggest win of the first session.
UNI, ranked 22nd in the National Wrestling Coaches Association, upset No. 3 Ohio State, 19-13, in pool competition. The Panthers will move on to face North Carolina State, Lehigh or Cal Poly Tuesday.
“They were battling for everything,” UNI Coach Doug Schwab said in a phone interview with The Gazette. “You get 70 minutes in a dual. I thought we made the most out of a lot of those seconds.”
The Buckeyes won the first two matches, but former Lisbon prep Cael Happel’s takedown in sudden victory for a 7-5 decision over No. 18 Dylan D’Emilio sparked a four-match win streak that included Colin Realbuto’s upset of No. 3 Sammy Sasso. They propelled the Panthers to wins in six of the last eight bouts.
“If you look at the way 125 and 133 went, they had a lot of momentum,” Schwab said. “Happel dug deep to win that match and then Realbuto. We won four in a row.
“I’m proud of how our guys competed. To think where we were from a year ago at this tournament, as a group we’re in a lot better place. It is good.”
Realbuto garnered a lot of attention, topping the Buckeyes’ NCAA finalist, two-time All-American and Big Ten champion. Despite giving up the first takedown, he stormed back with four nearfall in the second period and riding time for a 9-7 decision, tying the team score at 6-6.
“Colin is one gritty, gritty competitor,” Schwab said. “He can wrestle through positions. He can scramble well. He has great awareness in those situations because he’s spent time there.
“For him to beat that guy is a reflection of all the work he has done and the preparation he has done the last couple years he’s been at UNI. He’s done a great job and only continues to get better. It should boost his confidence.”
Derek Holschlag (157) and 165-pounder Austin Yant followed with a decision and major decision, respectively. Two-time All-American Parker Keckeisen gave UNI a 16-9 lead with a win at 184. After Ohio State’s major decision at 197, the dual teetered on the heavyweight results.
UNI’s Tyrell Gordon responded with his second win over Ohio State’s ninth-ranked Tate Orndorff this month. Gordon used a takedown in the first and a second-period escape for a 3-2 decision, securing the win and avoiding criteria.
“Tyrell closed that match,” Schwab said. “I hadn’t looked at points but it probably would have come down to (match) points, if we had tied, and I think they would have had an advantage. He iced that meet for us.”
UNI was wrestling its first duals of the season, competing in open tournaments until Monday. The Panthers opened with a 36-3 win, taking nine of 10 weights.
IOWA STATE STOPS OREGON STATE, CORNELL U.
The sixth-ranked Cyclones were just as impressive. They kicked off the two-day dual competition with a 26-6 victory over Oregon State. Iowa State followed with a hard-fought 18-13 win over No. 12 Cornell University, winning the final three matches.
Against Cornell, Joel Devine stepped in at 184, while Marcus Coleman bumped up to 197 and Yonger Bastida moved from 197 to heavyweight. Each recorded decisions to erase a 13-9 deficit with their matches remaining. Bastida notched the dual with a takedown in the final seconds for a 4-2 win over No. 15 Lewis Fernandes.
"I thought we did a really good job today," Iowa State Coach Kevin Dresser said in a news release. “I've been coaching for a while and I'm not sure I have ever seen more of a team effort, considering the adversity we were facing. (Heavyweight Sam Schuyler) had a slight strain in his first match of the day so we had to improvise with the lineup because the guys wanted to win the dual. Top to bottom, everyone in the lineup contributed."
Corey Cabanban opened the dual with a win at 125 for the Cyclones. Jason Kraisser (157) had a comeback victory in overtime for Iowa State and NCAA champion David Carr added a decision at 165.
Even though it did not finish in the Cyclones’ favor, 149-pounder Paniro Johnson wrestled Cornell’s three-time NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis to a 1-1 tie through regulation. Diakomihalis managed a takedown in sudden victory for a 3-1 decision, but it was another strong performance by Johnson, who has ascended into the top-five of the national rankings.
Iowa State will face either Penn State, North Carolina or Central Michigan on Tuesday.
UPPER IOWA 6TH AT INDY
Upper Iowa placed sixth at the Midwest Classic hosted by University of Indianapolis Saturday and Sunday. The Peacocks tallied 76 ½ points with four medalists.
Former Monticello prep Chase Luensman led the way, reaching the finals and getting second at 165. Luensman posted a 4-1 record with a major decision. Tate Murty was fourth at 141 and heavyweight Zach Ryg was fifth for the Peacocks.
Upper Iowa’s Dalton Hahn competed for the first time in two years. He finished sixth at 197.
WILD FINISH AT BATTLE OF WATERLOO
The championship bracket at the Battle of Waterloo was as competitive as ever Saturday at Young Arena. Osage, Ankeny, Waverly-Shell Rock and Don Bosco wrestled in the championship pool after winning their respective brackets Friday.
Osage came away with the team title on criteria after tying Ankeny and Waverly-Shell Rock with a 2-1 mark. The Green Devils topped Don Bosco (40-20) and then closed with a 35-31 win over the Go-Hawks. Ankeny was the only team to beat Osage (37-36), but fell to WSR (36-28). The Go-Hawks finished second, while Ankeny was third.
The top Gazette-area finisher was Linn-Mar. The Lions fell to Ankeny in the finals of bracket competition Friday. They went 2-1 Saturday, placing sixth overall. West Delaware was seventh and Cedar Rapids Prairie came in eighth.
In the girls’ division, Cedar Falls cruised to the team title, winning its bracket Friday and downing WSR (48-36) and Osage (60-24) in the championship pool. Bettendorf, which placed second to the Tigers in bracket competition, was second overall.
East Buchanan placed fifth overall and Linn-Mar was sixth. East Buchanan topped the Lions, 48-30, Saturday. The Bucs also beat Charles City, 34-27.
GIRLS’ SUPER REGIONALS
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union announced the sites for the super regionals set for Friday, Jan. 27. The Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids, Luther College in Decorah, Tyson Event Center in Sioux City and Iowa Events Center in Des Moines will host the state qualifying tournaments.
Changes were also announced. Each super regional will consist of two regional tournaments. The top four in each regional will advance to the state tournament Feb. 2-3 at Xtream Arena in Coralville. Originally, the four sites would have one regional with the top-eight advancing but larger participation numbers caused the change.
The Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association released their first set of rankings, which are used to determined regional pairings, hosts and dual seedings. Bettendorf (Class 3A), Osage (2A) and Don Bosco (1A) are ranked No. 1. West Delaware is No. 2 in 2A. Tri-Rivers Conference foes Alburnett and Lisbon are ranked second and third, respectively, in 1A. Linn-Mar is the highest-ranked Gazette-area team in 3A, coming in fifth.