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Meet Report: Top-Ranked Hawkeyes Crush No. 6 Wisconsin

December 1, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – At this stage of the season, we are still learning a lot about the college wrestling landscape. We now have another piece of the puzzle after Sunday’s dual here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Top-ranked Iowa showed us that it’s serious about being in the national championship conversation. The Hawkeyes illustrated the difference between themselves and the No. 6 team in the country with a 32-3 victory against Big Ten foe Wisconsin. They won nine of 10 bouts.

The meet featured a pair of matches pitting Top 3 wrestlers against each other. At 133 pounds, No. 1 Seth Gross from Wisconsin faced off against second-ranked Austin DeSanto. No. 2 Alex Marinelli of Iowa took on third-rated Evan Wick at 165.

The Hawkeyes claimed victory in both. DeSanto decisioned Gross, 6-2. Marinelli took a 4-2 decision.

“Scoring points is good, that’s what you plan to do,” DeSanto said when asked about his aggression. “The big thing is with Terry (Brands) telling me to stay on my attack be ready for anything and just go out there let loose and be calm. That’s what I did, and it worked.”

Marinelli tried keeping the dominating victory in perspective, while also acknowledging its significance.

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“It doesn’t matter if its December 1st or if it is March 1st. You go out there and you compete the same way. You have got all these competition and dual meets but every match counts, every match matters. It makes the season fun when you have got No. 6 ranked Wisconsin coming in, that was a good crowd out there.”

Top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Spencer Lee created momentum for Iowa with a 16-0 technical fall against Michael Cullen at 125 pounds to open the meet. No. 9 Max Murin followed DeSanto with 3-2 decision against 10th-ranked Tristan Moran at 141.

Iowa’s Pat Lugo and Kaleb Young closed out the first half of the meet with decisions. The Hawkeyes led 17-0 at the break.

Marinelli kept it rolling out of the intermission. Michael Kemerer followed with a fall against Jared Krattinger at 174, pushing Iowa’s lead to 26-0. Kemerer led 17-6 by virtue of five takedowns before issuing the pin.

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Hawkeye Jacob Warner decisioned Taylor Watkins, 5-2, at 197, and teammate Tony Cassioppi edged Trent Hillger, 3-2, at heavyweight to complete the scoring.

BONUS POINTS

-DeSanto handed Gross his first NCAA loss at 133 pounds since Cory Clark beat him, 4-3, in the 2017 NCAA finals.

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-The win was the 100th Big Ten Conference win of Tom Brands’ career (100-10).

-Iowa has won 22 straight conference openers, including 14 in a row under Tom Brands.

-Spencer Lee (13-0), Alex Marinelli (14-0), and Jacob Warner (6-0) remain undefeated at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

-The Hawkeyes improved to 3-0, while Wisconsin fell to 6-1.

-The announced attendance was 10,603.

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