There was a lot of wrestling at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV this weekend.  We had wrestlers from the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, University of Iowa, an incoming recruit, and a target recruit competing.  There was so much that I thought a wrap-up was needed.

The Iowa Wrestling room produced four champions with Alli Ragan, Kayla Miracle, and Forrest Molinari of the HWC winning a U.S. Open title and Anthony Cassioppi winning a UWW Junior National Championship title.  All were favored to win their bracket and wrestled at a high level.  Ragan, Miracle, and Cassioppi did not wrestle a complete match. They won all of their matches by either a fall or tech fall.  

Ragan is the heavy favorite to make her seventh straight U.S. World Team at 59 kg and now advances to Final X in Lincoln, NE on June 15.  Miracle won her third U.S. Open title and will now compete in the 62 kg bracket at the World Team Trials in Raleigh, NC on May 17-18. The winner of that tournament will face Mallory Velte at Final X in Lincoln, NE on June 15. Molinari advances to the 65 kg Final X in Piscataway, NJ on June 8. The winner of Final X will represent Team USA at the 2019 Women’s World Freestyle Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan on September 14-22.  

Lauren Louive placed fourth at 59 kg.  Lauren has now qualified for the World Team Trials in Raleigh, NC on May 18-19.

Cassioppi crushed his opponents in winning the UWW Junior National Championship title at 125 kg. Cassioppi pinned his first two opponents in :31, :58 and followed up with a tech fall in :16. After receiving a forfeit in the semifinals, Cassioppi defeated Seth Nevills by a 13-0 tech fall for the title. Cassioppi will face the winner of the Junior World Team Trial Tournament in a best of 3 format in Raleigh, NC on May 18.  The winner will represent team USA at the 2019 UWW Junior World Freestyle Championships in Tallinn, Estonia on August 12-18.

Nelson Brands had a strong tournament with a 7-1 record to place third at 74 kg.  After a loss in the quarterfinals, Brands won four straight matches over some very good competition.  Brands has now qualified for the World Team Trials Tournament on May 17. The winner advances to a best of 3 series against David Carr with a UWW Junior World Team birth on the line.  

Connor Corbin went 4-2 for the tournament to place seventh at 92 kg and Aaron Cashman was 2-2 at 57 kg.  Cassioppi, Brands, and Cashman will be redshirt freshman next season and are in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018 and Corbin is in the Recruiting Class of 2017.

At the Men’s Senior U.S. Open, Thomas Gilman dropped his 57 kg finals match to Daton Fix.  Gilman will now go to the World Team Trials in Raleigh, NC on May 18-19. The winner of that tournament will face Fix at Final X in Lincoln, NE on June 15. Sammy Brooks (3rd at 86 kg), and Cory Clark (5th at 61 kg), and Brandon Sorensen (5th at 70 kg) will also be competing at the World Team Trials in Raleigh, NC on May 18-19.

Paul Glynn (61 kg) and Jeren Glosser (70 kg) of the University of Iowa program also competed in the U.S. Open,   Glenn was 2-2 and Glosser was 3-2 for the tournament.

Incoming recruit Abe Assad placed third at 86 kg/189 lbs. at the UWW Junior National Championships.  This was a very good showing for Assad as a high school senior competing in a division for 18-20 year olds where many are in college.  I liked the way that Assad battled back after a quarterfinals loss to win four straight to place third. Assad has now qualified for the Junior World Team Trials.

Elite recruit Jesse Vasquez of Corona, CA (Excelsior HS) competed in the Senior U.S. Open at 65 kg (143 lbs.).  That is very impressive for a high school junior to step on the mat with the best wrestlers in the country regardless of age.  Vasquez dropped two matches including an exciting 18-17 match. When you see that type of offense, that makes you want to see Vasquez as a Hawk even more.  I was impressed. I have Vasquez at #2 overall on my Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Wish List. Vasquez is in the Recruiting Class of 2020 and is projected to compete at 149/157 in college. Vasquez will be a huge get to the program he calls home for his college career.

I have not heard if any additional Iowa wrestlers will be competing in Raleigh, NC at the World Team Trials in the Senior or UWW Junior division.  I am hoping not. As a fan I would prefer to see the Iowa wrestlers heal up from the long season they just finished and get ready for next year.  Iowa should be right in the team title hunt next year. 2020 is an Olympic year as well. I would rather see the Iowa Wrestling program focus on 2020 and not 2019.  I would like to see Iowa use the off-season to get stronger and flat out better. Just my opinion.  


Men’s Senior U.S. Open

57 kg

Rd of 64: Bye

Rd of 32: Thomas Gilman (HWC) over Joshua Portillo (NGWC) VSU1 12-2 2:05

Rd of 16: Thomas Gilman (HWC) over Gunnar Woodburn (Unattached) VSU 11-0 1:17

Quarters: Thomas Gilman (HWC) over Zane Richards (TMWC) VSU1 12-2 5:52

Semifinals: Thomas Gilman (HWC) over Nathan Tomasello (TMWC) VCA

Finals: Thomas Gilman (HWC) vs. Daton Fix (TMWC)


61 kg

Rd of 32: Bye

Rd of 16: Cory Clark (HWC) over Conrad Cole (Tiger WC) VSU 10-0 1:484

Quarters: Cory Clark (HWC) over Anthony Ramos (Sunkist) VPO1 6-3

Semifinals: Nico Megaludis (TMWC) over Cory Clark (HWC) VPO1 10-1

Consi Semis: Tyler Graff (TMWC) over Cory Clark (HWC) VPO1 17-8

5th Place Match: Cory Clark (HWC) over Anthony Ramos (Sunkist) VPO1 7-4


61 kg

Rd of 32: Paul Glynn (HWC) over Devan Turner (OCWC) VPO1 9-2

Rd of 16: Nico Megaludis (TMWC) over Paul Glynn (HWC) VSU 10-0

Consi 16 #2: Paul Glynn (HWC) over Keegan Hessler (TAWA) VSU1 20-10 5:13

Consi 8 #1:  Johnni DiJulius (TMWC) over Paul Glynn (HWC) VSU1 12-1


70 kg

Rd of 64: Bye

Rd of 32: Brandon Sorensen (HWC) over Daniel Van Hoose (CM) VSU 10-0 1:50

Rd of 16: Brandon Sorensen (HWC) over Elroy Perkin (MN Storm)

Quarters: Alec Pantaleo (MI) over Brandon Sorensen (HWC) VPO1 5-3

Consi 8 #2: Brandon Sorensen (HWC) over Jake Keating (CWC) VPO1 8-1

Consi 4: Brandon Sorensen (HWC) over Jason Chamberlain (TMWC) VPO 3-0

Consi Semis: Jason Nolf (NLWC) over Brandon Sorensen (HWC) VFA 3-0

5th Place: Brandon Sorensen (HWC) over Nazar Kulchyskyy (TMWC) VFO


70 kg

Rd of 64: Jeren Glosser (Iowa) over Jacob Wright (TMWC) VPO 9-0

Rd of 32: Jeren Glosser (Iowa) over Sam Martino (CWC) VPO1 6-2

Rd of 16: James Green (Sunkist) over Jeren Glosser (Iowa) VPO 7-0

Consi 16 #2: Jeren Glosser (Iowa) over AJ Jaffe (Boston RTC) VPO1 12-8

Consi 8 #1: Kevin Jack (TMWC) over Jeren Glosser (Iowa) VSU 10-0


86 kg

Rd of 64: Bye

Rd of 32: Sammy Brooks (HWC) over Jake Lanning (Bulls WC) VSU 10-0 1:15

Rd of 16: Sammy Brooks (HWC) over Nathan Jackson (NYAC) VSU 11-0 5:31

Quarters: Sammy Brooks (HWC) over Maxwell Dean (TMWC) VSU 10-0 1:17

Semifinals: Nick Heflin (TMWC) over Sammy Brooks (HWC) VPO1 5-3

Consi Semis:  Sammy Brooks (HWC) over Nathan Jackson (NYAC) VSU1 21-10

3rd Place Bout: Sammy Brooks (HWC) over Brett Pfarr (MN) VPO1 7-3


Women’s Senior U.S. Open

59 kg

Rd of 16 Alli Ragan (HWC) over Daishea Jaime (Aries WC) 10-0 0:42

Quarters: Alli Ragan HWC) over Maya Porter (Journeyman WC) VFA 0:20 3-0

Semifinals: Alli Ragan (HWC) over Lauren Mason (MWC) VSU1 12-2 1:43

Finals: Alli Ragan (HWC) over Abby Nette (LWC) VSU 10-0


59 kg

Rd of 16: Lauren Louive HWC) – Bye

Quarterfinals: Lauren Louive HWC) over Jen Pitassi (U.S. Army) VSU 10-0 1:28

Semifinals: Abby Nette (LWC) over Lauren Louive (HWC) VSU 10-0

Cons Semis: Lauren Louive (HWC) over Megan Black (TMWC) VSU1 14-4

3rd Place: Lauren Mason over Lauren Louive (HWC) VPO1 2-2


62 kg

Rd of 16: Kayla Miracle (HWC) over Amber Strong (CMUWW) VSU 10-0 1:01

Quarters: Kayla Miracle (HWC) over Eve Berrington (Unattached) VFA 0:38 4-0

Semifinals: Kayla Miracle (HWC) over Alexandria Liles (Army/WCAP) VSU 10-0 2:00

Finals: Kayla Miracle (HWC) over Desiree Zavala (TT) VSU 10-0



Quarters: Forrest Molinari (HWC) over Melissa Jacobs (MN Storm) VFA 1:47 6-0

Semifinals: Forrest Molinari (HWC) over Macey Kitty (Sunkist) VPO1 7-3

Finals: Forrest Molinari (HWC) over Maya Nelson (Sunkist) VPO1 5-1


UWW Junior National Championships

57 kg

Rd of 64: Aaron Cashman (Iowa) over Zurich Storm (WCC) VSU1 15-4

Rd of 32: Aaron Cashman (Iowa) over VSU over Matt Vinci (Nwestern) 10-0

Rd of 16: Sam Latona (TMWC) over Aaron Cashman (Iowa) VPO1 6-4

Consi 16 #2: Julian Tagg (Elite AP) over Aaron Cashman (Iowa) VPO1 10-4


74 kg

Rd of 64: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Kasper McIntosh (MN Storm) VPO1 5-2

Rd of 32: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Vincent Dolce (Air Force) VSU 11-0

Rd of 16: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Michael Petite (Bulls WC) VSU :21

Quarters: David Carr (Cyclone RTC) over Nelson Brands (Iowa) Iowa VPO1 4-2

Consi 8 #2: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Owen Brown (WPRTC) VSU1 15-4

Consi 4: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Philip Conigliaro (Unattached) VSU1 12-1

Consi Semis: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Travis Wittlake (Cowboy WC) VPO1 3-1

3rd Place: Nelson Brands (Iowa) over Julian Ramirez (Blairstown WC) FVA 8-0 2:06  


92 kg

Rd of 32: Dakota Howard (SERTC-VT) over Connor Corbin (Iowa) VPO1 7-3

Consi 16 #2: Connor Corbin (Iowa) over Franco Pedro (Idaho) VSU 10-0

Consi 8 #1: Connor Corbin (Iowa) over Noah Cressel (Bison WC) VSU 11-0

Consi 8 #2: Connor Corbin (Iowa) over Brad Wilton (Mich St) VPO1 8-6

Cons 4: Dakota Howard (SERTC) over Connor Corbin (Iowa) VPO 6-0

7th Place: Connor Corbin (Iowa) over  Tyrell Gordon (Panther WC) VPO1 6-2


125 kg

Rd of 32: Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa) over Trevor Pigott (OWC) VFA :31

Rd of 16: Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa)i over.Cole Rickert (Pitt) VFA :58

Quarters: Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa) over Samuel Aguilar (CCRTC) VSU 10-0 :16

Semifinals: Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa) over Kayne Hutchison (AF) VFO

Finals: Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa) over Seth Nevills (Unattached) VPO1 11-4


86 kg

Rd of 64: Bye

Rd of 32: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Jared Florell (Boilermaker RTC) VSU 10-0 1:44

Rd of 16: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Jonathan Loew (FLWC) VPO1 12-6

Quarters: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack WC) over Abe Assad (Izzy Style) VPO 8-0

Consi 8 #2: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Jack Jensen NWU FVA 3:24

Consi 4: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Peter Acciardi (Bulls WC)

Consi Semis: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Victor Marcelli (Cavalier WC) VFA 5-1 2:38

3rd Place: Abe Assad (Izzy Style) over Gavin Hoffman (Ohio St) VPO 3-0


It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!