I had the same reaction watching both Austin DeSanto and Patricio Lugo on Sunday. Now that’s what I have been telling everyone on my blog and podcast about. It was only a matter of time before we saw the potential of DeSanto and Lugo in competition. That time was against Minnesota.
Austin Desanto was lights out in defeating #7 ranked Ethan Lizak 6-1 at 133. DeSanto was basically all over Lizak from the opening whistle. The best part of the match was the third period. DeSanto chose down with his choice. Lizak is known as arguably the best wrestler in the country at riding and turning. DeSanto scored a quick reversal and the Iowa bench went crazy. I will keep saying that I have never seen a better conditioned Iowa wrestler than DeSanto. Folks, that is saying…a lot. Not only did we see the aggression and attacking, but very solid technique and strategy from DeSanto.
DeSanto is currently ranked #10 at maybe the toughest weight in the country. 133 has the best top four wrestlers of any weight. That is one stacked weight class. With what we saw out of DeSanto against Lizak, I cannot wait for the NCAA Championships.
Patricio Lugo came out and dominated #20 ranked Tommy Thorn, 14-0. To pitch a shutout while scoring that many points is great to see. Lugo had the energy, pop, and strength that I have been waiting to see in competition. Lugo has faced the toughest competition of anyone on the Iowa team so far this year. With the win, Lugo is now 8-5 on the season and ranked #16 in the country. With what we saw Sunday, I am excited about what the rest of the season will be like for Lugo.
Give this guy another seven weeks before the Big Tens and nine weeks until the NCAA’s and I believe Lugo has the potential to be real force at 149. Far above his current ranking of #16 by Flo.
The competition goes up another real big notch this weekend for both DeSanto and Lugo against Rutgers. DeSanto will face #3 ranked Nick Suriano and Lugo has #2 Anthony Ashnault. These are big matches for a lot of reasons including seeds at Big Ten’s and the NCAA’s. DeSanto and Lugo also have some real tough matches left in the regular season before heading to the stacked Big Ten Championships. The tough schedule should have them prepared for the NCAA’s.
In their first year in the lineup after transferring to Iowa, DeSanto and Lugo have been a big boost to the program. DeSanto was an NCAA Qualifier last year at Drexel and Lugo was an NCAA Qualifier as a true freshman and sophomore at Edinboro in 2016 and 2017. That experience at the Big Show should pay off as they prepare for their first tournament run as an Iowa Hawkeye. I am looking forward to seeing them both peak at nationals.
Ranked wrestlers remaining on the schedule:
133 – Austin DeSanto
#3 – Nick Suriano (Rutgers)
#19 – Dylan Duncan (Illinois)
#2 – Daton Fix (Okie State)
149 – Patricio Lugo
#2 – Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)
#9 – Cole Martin (Wisconsin)
#4 – Kaden Gfeller (Okie State)
It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.