Alex Marinelli has been a leader in the Iowa Wrestling program since he arrived on campus in the Recruiting Class of 2016 from Miamisburg, OH (St. Paris Graham HS).  I have stated in blogs in each of the last three seasons that Marinelli sets the tone for the practice room at Iowa. I do not believe I have ever seen this guy have a bad workout.  He is always working hard and with the Iowa style grind and intensity.

In competition, Marinelli is always attacking with hand fighting and shots.  A big improvement from his freshman to sophomore season was the amount of time it took for Marinelli to finish a shot once he got into the legs.  His finishes were quick, powerful, and decisive. Improved technique, experience, and strength added to those quick finishes last season.  

In his first two years of competition as a freshman and sophomore, Marinelli is undefeated in the regular season,  That is a record for Iowa Wrestling. As a freshman, Marinelli entered the Big Tens with an undefeated record before placing sixth at the Big Tens and Nationals.  Last season he once again entered Big Tens undefeated and won his first Big Ten title in dramatic fashion when he defeated two-time defending NCAA champion Vincenzo Joseph, 9-3. At Nationals Marinelli was seeded #1 and finished seventh at 165.

Marinelli has one more step to make in his career.  He made it through the regular season undefeated the last two years and improved by winning Big Tens last season.  The final step is to have another great regular season, win Big Tens, and more importantly finish strong at Nationals for his title.

The main thing that I have noticed about Marinelli is that he is much closer to weight now than he was a year ago.  At Media Day Wednesday, Marinelli said he is 10-15 pounds lighter than he was a year ago heading into the season. I believe that will pay big dividends for Marinelli in March.  The grind of making weight throughout the season will not be there like it was last year and it should leave him with more energy to end the season strong. Just my opinion. 

With a nickname like Bull and what he has done the last two seasons, Marinelli is not going to sneak up on anyone this season.  At Media Day, head coach Tom Brands said that if he had to pick out wrestlers that stood out in the room right now it would be Lee, Marinelli, and Kemerer.  Having the Marinelli-Kemerer one-two punch in the lineup is going to be a big boost to the team, the entire program, and to those two individually.

I look for Bull to learn, adapt, and improve from the last two seasons and end the 2020 season strong and on top of the college wrestling world at 165 lbs.    


2019 NCAA National Tournament

Alex Marinelli (27-2) placed 7th and scored 7.5 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by decision over Joseph Smith (Oklahoma State) (Dec 7-4)
  • Champ. Round 2 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by major decision over Thomas Bullard (NC State) (MD 12-4)
  • Quarterfinal – Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech) won by decision over Alex Marinelli (Iowa) (Dec 3-1)
  • Cons. Round 4 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by decision over Logan Massa (Michigan) (Dec 5-3)
  • Cons. Round 5 – Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) won by decision over Alex Marinelli (Iowa) (Dec 9-6)
  • 7th Place Match – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by decision over Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) (Dec 9-3)


2019 Big Ten Championships

  • Champ. Round 1 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 23-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 23-0 won by decision over Te`Shan Campbell (Ohio State) (Dec 6-3)
  • Semifinal – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 23-0 won by decision over Evan Wick (Wisconsin) (Dec 2-1)
  • 1st Place Match – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 23-0 won by decision over Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) (Dec 9-3)


165 lbs. Ratings by TrackWrestling on October 15

  1. Vincenzo Joseph – Penn State, Sr
  2. Evan Wick – Wisconsin, Jr
  3. David McFadden – Virginia Tech, Sr
  4. Isaiah White – Nebraska, Sr
  5. Joshua Shields – Arizona State, Sr
  6. Alex Marinelli – Iowa, Jr
  7. Demetrius Romero – Utah Valley, Sr
  8. Andrew Fogarty – North Dakota State, Sr


It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!