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Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

Magic Time

It’s Magic Time.  My favorite part of Iowa Wrestling coaching.  I came up with the phrase Magic Time years ago to describe the specific type of Iowa Wrestling practices that you will see this time of year.  

To start with, the hard work is done by this time of year.  The base level of conditioning, strength training, mindset, everything is ready to go this time of year.  Now it is about getting into peak shape with some finishing touches to conditioning with short and intense goes, getting peaked mentally and physically, and feeling strong. Now it is also about tightening things up technically.

I want to go back to Sunday for the Oklahoma State meet.  For starters, I believe the results at Oklahoma State may have been a blessing in disguise.  Nothing improves the hearing of a wrestler like a loss. Sometimes it takes a loss to make adjustments, learn, and evolve.  Now is the time for that. It is better to learn, make adjustments and evolve now before it is to late.

I did not see a single thing in any of those matches Sunday that is not fixable.  Again everything I saw was fixable and yes, there is plenty of time for the “Fixable” part to be included in any of the Iowa wrestler’s arsenal.  It is during these one-on-one sessions that I call Magic Time that the technique and strategies are honed on the Iowa wrestler like putting a fine edge on a Samurai sword.

When you walk into the Iowa Wrestling room during these coaching sessions, you first realize how quiet it is.  The room is empty except for on the center mat there will be a varsity Iowa wrestler competing in hard wrestling with a teammate.  The Iowa Wrestling coaches will be nearby critiquing what the varsity wrestler is doing.

They will go through situations like :09 to go in a match and you need a takedown, how to score a takedown or escape on the edge of the mat or with time running out, or how to get quick back points.  This is where Iowa wrestlers make huge strides in their technique like finishing shots cleanly or getting out from underneath in a specific period of time. How to deal with an opponent that is stalling and/or playing the edge of the mat.  The coaches really break things down and I am always reminded of how little I really know about technique at that level. We are talking details to an impressive level.

Why do I call these coaching sessions Magic Time?  Because the improvement that I have seen Iowa wrestlers make over the years leading up to Big Tens and Nationals is so dramatic that it appears to be magic to me.  Even after seeing this process played out for over 30 years, I have no doubt that I will be shaking my head in amazement at the improvement in technique that I will see out of members of the Iowa Wrestling team at Big Tens and Nationals this year.

It has been a mainstay in Iowa Wrestling to avenge an earlier loss in the year at Nationals.  With so much of the competition in the country being right in the Big Ten, you can bet that these coaching sessions preparing for Big Tens and Nationals will lead to an Iowa wrestler avenging an earlier loss..

There will be one-on-one sessions leading up to Big Tens.  After Big Tens, there will be another round of these sessions where the staff will have evaluated what they saw at Big Tens and make additional adjustments to prepare for Nationals.

I have seen quite a few different combinations of coaching staffs at Iowa over the years at these one-on-one sessions, but they are all similar.  The attention to detail, knowing the competition, and knowing their own wrestler is at an elite level.

One of the best examples over the years of what I consider Magic Time,  Jesse Whitmer in 1997 comes to mind. From being the 6th seed at Nationals, fans like me really did not know what to expect.  Whitmer was paired up with Iowa Wrestling Assistant Coach Terry Brands in the one-on-one sessions, who had won a World title in 1993 and 1995.  Whitmer could not move Terry Brands and would get nothing in the form of scoring points. It must have worked because Whitmer won a national title that year.

I do not believe there was a wrestling fan out there that thought Iowa would lead the country in bonus points at the 2018 NCAA Championships, but they did.  The Hawks came out scoring pins and major decisions at Nationals like I had not seen them do all year long. That is because Iowa peaked at the right time last year.  I have to think these one-on-one sessions were a part of that formula.

As complex as wrestling is at the elite level of Division I, I like to keep it simple.  To me it comes down to who can finish a shot for a takedown, who can fight off a takedown for no points, and who can get out from underneath.  Those three things can sum up the winner of a wrestling match really at any level. You can bet that these three phases of the sport will be worked on.  It is also in these three areas that I have seen the biggest improvement in an Iowa wrestler in the few weeks leading up to Big Tens and Nationals.

One more time, there isn’t a single thing that I saw Sunday that is not fixable in time for the Big Tens on March 9-10 and at the NCAA National Championships on March 21-23 .  This is the time of year to fix and fine tune the problems in the practice room and to then go out in competition at Big Tens and Nationals and kick some ass.

I am not being optimistic, just honest.  History from years of being around Iowa Wrestling has taught me that.  I really like what I am seeing out of Iowa Wrestling right now and I plan on being entertained by the Hawks performance at Big Tens and Nationals.

Let’s get ‘em in the middle.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa Wrestling recruits in action: Feb 28-March 2

Zach Glazier, Patrick Kennedy, and Ryan Sokol will be competing in the Minnesota High School State Tournament this weekend.  The individual state tournament is Friday and Saturday, March 1-2. Ryan Sokol will also be competing in State Duals on Thursday for Simley.

I will keep you up to date with results.

Recruiting Class of 2019

Abe Assad – Carol Stream, IL (Glenbard North HS) 182 lbs.

Season completed: State Champion

Zach Glazier – Albert Lea, MN (Albert Lea Area HS) 182 lbs.

Minnesota High School State Tournament on March 1-2

Cobe Siebrecht – Lisbon, IA 138 lbs.

Season completed: State Champion

Recruiting Class of 2020

Patrick Kennedy – Kasson-Mantorville, MN 170 lbs.

Minnesota High School State Tournament on March 1-2

Cullan Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 120 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 6th

Colby Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 138 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 2nd

Jesse Ybarra – Tucson, AZ (Sunnyside HS) 126 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 2nd

Recruiting Class of 2021

Ryan Sokol – Grover Heights, MN (Simley HS) 132 lbs.

Minnesota State Duals on Feb 28

Minnesota High School State Tournament on March 1-2  

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Peaks and Valleys

I have had this blog in mind for about two months for this time between the last dual and Big Tens.  The timing could not be any better. I got the title of this blog from what Royce Alger has been telling me for years:  

“You have to have peaks and valleys.  Flatlining is hell. You never want to flatline.  Without the valleys, there are no peaks.”

Royce is talking about the ups and downs of a wrestling career and season for the individual and the team.  He told me many times that to flatline with no peaks and valleys would make you stagnant and get worse. The rough times were needed to make you better.  

In my book: “Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling” I had a chapter called: Darkest before dawn.  I go through how Iowa Wrestling legends went through hell to become champions and legends. I talked about the lowest time of champion wrestler’s career and how it propelled them to the championship status that they eventually achieved.

The same can be said about a team as well.  There were always down times for a team at some point during the season. Iowa has had some very dominate teams and individuals that may not have seemed to struggle from the outside, but I assure you there was plenty of struggle.  Ask any Iowa wrestler that was a national champion as an individual or as a team member if there was ever struggle in their career. Good luck finding one that did not struggle at some time in their career.

I got some great stories from Dan Gable when I interviewed him for my book Domination.  We were sitting in his office on the 3rd floor of Carver when he worked in Athletic Administration.  I flat out asked Gable is he ever liked losing because it was motivation. Gable smirked, finished off a can of Mountain Dew, and told me some great stories.

“Conner, you never want to lose.  However, there are times when you can use a loss to really motivate and propel not only an individual, but an entire program.”

I have heard the story about the Iowa State dual meet in 1986.  Iowa was the clear #1 team in the country with an absolutely loaded team. That was back in the day when Iowa and Iowa State would have a dual meet in December and then two weeks before Big Tens to end the regular season.  Iowa won the first dual meet over Iowa State in Carver in December, 25-9. The second meeting was the last meet of the season again in late February two weeks before Big Tens and on a Sunday in Ames. Iowa State won the dual meet, 19-16.

As you can imagine, Dan Gable was not happy.  The story that I heard was indeed true. Gable had the driver pull the bus over west of Tiffin and made the team run to Carver, in the dark, and I believe it was raining.  I have heard it was anywhere from 6-10 miles. Gable would not give me a specific answer when I asked how far the run was. His response was:

“Far enough to make a point.”

Gable went on to tell me how even if a wrestle won in a dual meet but the team lost, that could be enough of a grind to dig in and make that individual wrestler better even if they were ranked #1 in the country.

I thought of that after the Oklahoma State dual meet.  Patricio Lugo, Kaleb Young, and Alex Marinelli all looked very good in the dual meet, but the team lost.  That team loss will be an added grind to them even those three won.

I also had heard the story about Gable putting the team through a workout outside on the lawn in front of the dorms at Oklahoma State following a 24-6 dual meet loss in February of 1984.  Iowa had breezed through the season up until that dual meet when they only won two of ten matches. I believe Jimmy Zalesky and Duane Golman are the only wrestlers that won.

Looking back, the only thing you remember about the 1984 and 1986 edition of Iowa Wrestling is that they won a team national title.  The 1986 team responded to the loss at Iowa State by breaking the all-time mark for points scored in an NCAA National Tournament with 158 and margin of victory at 73.5 points. The 1984 Iowa team responded by winning another team title.  

I am not saying that Iowa is going to roll into Pittsburgh and win a  national team title. What I am saying is that we will see a much better Iowa team at Big Tens and Nationals because of what happened in Stillwater Sunday afternoon.

A quick and simple question:

Is Iowa Wrestling better as a team and individuals now than they were before the Oklahoma State dual meet?

Answer:  Hell yes.

I have a theory in life that I have come up with that I refer to all of the time. Maybe daily.

Pain…is the most effective educator.

If something hurts, you will learn and hopefully get better from it.  There is no doubt in my mind at all that the Iowa Wrestling program is better now than they were before the Oklahoma State dual meet because of the pain of not winning  No doubt at all.

In closing to all of the Iowa Wrestling fans that are flipping out because Iowa lost a dual meet, relax and have some faith.  

To those of you out there online cutting Iowa wrestlers down by making it personal as well as calling for the firing of Tom Brands, two things. Number one is thank you for the criticism that strengthened the Us vs Them mentality that has already made Iowa a stronger wrestling team. And my second point, in closing, piss off.

As a fan, the Big Tens can not get here fast enough

Let’s get ‘em in the middle.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

HWC to compete in Bulgaria

Thomas Gilman, Forrest Molinari, and Kayla Miracle of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club will be competing in the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov in Ruse, Bulgaria on February 28-March 2.  This tournament is in the UWW Ranking Series where results will factor into seeds at the 2019 World Freestyle Championships in Kazakhstan in September.

With the Ranking Series event, you can count on competition from some of the best freestyle wrestlers from around the world.  The Kolov-Nikola will be held in the Arena Monbat Ruse.

Hawkeye Wrestling Club head coach Mark Perry will corner the HWC wrestlers.

Gilman is currently ranked #2 in the world at 57 kg, Molinari is ranked #2 in the world at 65 kg, and Miracle is ranked #2 at 62 kg on Team USA.  

FloWrestling will have live coverage available on their premium service.

Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov

Sofia, Bulgaria

Feb 28 – March 2


Thomas Gilman – 57 kg

Forrest Molinari – 65 kg

Kayla Miracle – 62 kg

Schedule:

Thursday, February 28

2 AM – WW 65 kg Elimination Rounds     (Molinari)

9 AM – WW 65 kg Semifinals     (Molinari)

Friday, March 1

2 AM – 57 kg/WW 62 kg Elimination Rounds     (Gilman and Miracle)

9 AM – 57 kg/WW 62 kg Semifinals     (Gilman and Miracle)

10 AM – WW 65 kg Finals     (Molinari)

Saturday, March 2

10 AM – 57 kg/WW 62 kg Finals     (Gilman and Miracle)

*****All times listed are CST

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa Wrestling recruits in action Feb 22-23: Results

Zach Glazier, Patrick Kennedy, and Ryan Sokol all won titles at Sections today in Rochester, MN.  After winning his first two matches by a first period fall, Glazier defeated #2 ranked Cade King of Owatonna in the finals, 1-0.  Kenedy and Sokol both recorded three first period falls.

Glazier, Kennedy, and Sokol will now compete in the Minnesota High School State Tournament on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2.

Recruiting Class of 2019

Abe Assad – Carol Stream, IL (Glenbard North HS) 182 lbs.

Season completed: State Champion

Zach Glazier – Albert Lea, MN (Albert Lea Area HS) 182 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

  • Champ. Round 1 – Zach Glazier (Albert Lea Area) 43-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal – Zach Glazier (Albert Lea Area) 43-0 won by fall over Logan Carter (Rochester Century) 5-12 (Fall 0:55)
  • Semifinal – Zach Glazier (Albert Lea Area) 43-0 won by fall over Dylan Lippert (Faribault) 12-10 (Fall 1:22)
  • 1st Place Match – Zach Glazier (Albert Lea Area) 43-0 won by decision over Cade King (Owatonna) 40-4 (Dec 1-0)

Cobe Siebrecht – Lisbon, IA 138 lbs.

Season completed: State Champion

Recruiting Class of 2020

Patrick Kennedy – Kasson-Mantorville, MN 182 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

  • Champ. Round 1 – Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville) 42-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal – Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville) 42-0 won by fall over Tanner Simon (Pine Island) 13-13 (Fall 0:51)
  • Semifinal – Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville) 42-0 won by fall over Martin Prieto (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) 28-18 (Fall 0:54)
  • 1st Place Match – Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville) 42-0 won by fall over Quayin Short (Simley) 29-3 (Fall 1:33)

Cullan Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 120 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 6th

Colby Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 138 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 2nd

Jesse Ybarra – Tucson, AZ (Sunnyside HS) 126 lbs.

Season completed: Placed 2nd

Recruiting Class of 2021

Ryan Sokol – Grover Heights, MN (Simley HS) 132 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

  • Champ. Round 1 – Ryan Sokol (Simley) 44-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal – Ryan Sokol (Simley) 44-0 won by fall over Parker Kline (Byron) 12-16 (Fall 1:30)
  • Semifinal – Ryan Sokol (Simley) 44-0 won by fall over Ty Smidt (Stewartville) 19-9 (Fall 1:20)
  • 1st Place Match – Ryan Sokol (Simley) 44-0 won by fall over Matthew Harfmann (Kasson-Mantorville) 27-8 (Fall 1:33)

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Sorensen wins title in Cuba

Brandon Sorensen of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club captured the Gold at 70 kg/154 lbs. at the Granma Cerro Pelado in Havana, Cuba. Sorensen defeated Lavion Mayes of Missouri in the finals.  In the semifinals, Sorensen defeated Franklin Maren of Cuba. Maren was the 2018 world bronze medalist at 70 kg.

Cory Clark placed second at 61 kg./134 lbs.

Match scores are not available at this time.

HWC Head Coach Mark Perry cornered Sorensen and Clark at the tournament. The next competition for Sorensen and Clark will be the U.S. Open in Las Vegas in April.


70 kg/154 lbs. – Brandon Sorensen (Iowa City, Iowa/TMWC/Hawkeye WC)

WIN Anthony Collica (USA)

WIN Justin DeAngelis (USA)

WIN David Carr (USA)

WIN Franklin Maren (Cuba)

WIN Gold Medal Match  Lavion Mays (USA)

61 kg/134 lbs. – Cory Clark (Iowa City, Iowa/TMWC/Hawkeye WC)

WIN Yowlys Bonne (Cuba)

LOSS Ben Whitford (UCA)

WIN Aleyner Hernandez (Cuba)

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa Wrestling recruits in action: Feb 22-23

The quest to become an individual state champion begins this weekend for Zach Glazier, Patrick Kennedy, and Ryan Sokol.  All three of our incoming recruits from Minnesota will be competing at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN on Friday and Saturday (Feb 22-23) at Sections.  

The competition begins at Noon on Friday and 9 AM on Saturday.

Abe Assad, Cobe Siebrecht, Cullan and Colby Schriever, and Jesse Ybarra have completed their season.

I will keep you posted with results.

Recruiting Class of 2019

Abe Assad – Carol Stream, IL (Glenbard North HS) 182 lbs.

Season completed.

Zach Glazier – Albert Lea, MN (Albert Lea Area HS) 182 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

Cobe Siebrecht – Lisbon, IA 138 lbs.

Season completed.

Recruiting Class of 2020

Patrick Kennedy – Kasson-Mantorville, MN 170 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

Cullan Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 120 lbs.

Colby Schriever – Mason City, Iowa 138 lbs.

Season completed.

Jesse Ybarra – Tucson, AZ (Sunnyside HS) 126 lbs.

Season completed.

Recruiting Class of 2021

Ryan Sokol – Grover Heights, MN (Simley HS) 132 lbs.

Sections at Rochester, MN on Feb 22-23

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Glazier and Kennedy named to All-State Academic Team

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits Zach Glazier and Patrick Kennedy have been named to the 2019 MWCA All-State Academic Wrestling Team.  The MWCA (Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association) selects the team.

Glazier, from Albert Lea, MN (Albert Lea Area HS), is a defending state champion and is ranked #1 in AAA at 182 lbs. Glazier is a member of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2019.

Kennedy is a two-time defending state champion from Kasson-Mantorville, MN and is ranked #1 at 182 lbs. in AA. Kennedy is a member of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2020.

Two wrestlers were chosen for each weight class for the All-State Academic Team for a total of twenty-eight wrestlers. Glazier was chosen for 182 lbs. and Kennedy at 170 lbs. Glazier and Kennedy were two of the four state champions chosen for the All-State Academic Team.

Congratulations to our incoming recruits on their impressive academic awards.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Warner is putting the pieces together

The best way that I can describe Jacob Warner coming out of Midlands at the end of December is dumping a 500 piece puzzle on the table.  Just a mound of random pieces that that did not look like the full color picture of the completed puzzle that was on the top cover of the puzzle box.

For anyone that has been reading my blog, I have wrote quite a bit about Jacob Warner.  As a prized recruit in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2017, I felt as though Warner was destined for greatness at Iowa.  You just do not see that many elite recruits in the 197 lbs. weight class. Warner had the aggression, technique, strength, attitude, work ethic. Everything. His Carver Hawkeye debut was very impressive. Warner won an a last second scramble to defeat #5 ranked Willie Miklus of Iowa State. Warner had sprained his ankle in the first period and showed a lot of guts and heart fighting off that injury to win a very tough match.  

The ankle injury kept Warner out of competition until Midlands. I am still not sure what happened at Midlands where Warner went 5-2 and placed 5th. His shape and focus was just not there to the point that I really did not recognize his wrestling.  It was bad. After seeing Warner in the room after Midlands, I was even more concerned. My confidence was shook on what type of career Warner was going to have because I really thought he was at the crossroads and could go either way.

That is also when I thought of Warner as a puzzle that was in a pile in the middle of the table.  One by one, we see Warner add to his arsenal every week. The Iowa Wrestling coaching staff would start to put the pieces back together, one by one.  I believe priority #1 had to be conditioning. With what I have been seeing of Warner in competition, I would say his conditioning is right where you want it.  Priority #2 had to be getting out from underneath. I would say that part has been accomplished as well.

Warner has been winning matches with mat wrestling and not giving up takedowns.  His ability to ride and control his opponent has been the difference in several matches.  In the down position Warner is getting quick escapes. A majority of his takedowns have been go-behinds from the front headlock position.  I am here to tell you, Warner has a heck of a freight train double, head to inside single, sweep single, carry, and takedowns from various bodylock positions.  Jacob Warner has a lot of offensive firepower. We are seeing more of his shots in competition. Warner is also deceptively quick with his single leg shots from open space.  I will stay with my example to keep putting pieces of the puzzle together.

Throughout this process of putting together an effective game plan to win matches, Warner is 8-0 since Midlands and he looks better every match.  On Sunday Warner looked very good in defeating Beau Breske of Wisconsin by a 9-0 major decision. Warner defeated Breske, a highly ranked recruit in high school and a solid wrestler, 5-3 at Midlands.  Going from 5-3 to 9-0 in less than two months is marked improvement.

I am still shaking my head at the opening takedown that Warner had in that match.  Breske looked like he was going to score a takedown off of a shot and Warner grabbed an ankle and after a flurry came out on top.  That was a great flurry. Warner is consistently winning the flurries for takedowns. I am sure we will see more leg attacks as he continues to incorporate more and more of his offensive arsenal.  Warner is also looking more confident like I saw him in Las Vegas last April as he rolled through to win a UWW Junior national title. Self confidence is unlimited in what it can do for a wrestler.  

Warner will have a big test on the road at Oklahoma State on Sunday when he faces #6 Preston Weigel.  That will be a great test and help prepare Warner for the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA Tournament.

The Iowa Wrestling coaching staff has done a great job bringing Warner along this season.  It was a slow but steady process to get Jacob Warner to where he is right now. Warner is getting closer to wrestling at the pace and level that fans like me were expecting to see.  

It will be entertaining as a fan to see how Warner finishes out his freshman season.  Even though Warner is 14-2, on an eight match winning streak and ranked #4 in the country as a freshman at 197, we ain’t seen nothing yet. Trust me, there are more pieces of the puzzle that will be added in.  The sky’s the limit for Jacob Warner.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Remaining match: – vs. #6 Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State)

Record: 14-2

#5 Willie Miklus (Iowa State)  W‐D 5‐4

Midlands Championships – 5th place      

Sam Schuler (Buffalo)  W‐MD 13‐3

Matt Wroblewski (Illinois)  W‐D 6‐1

Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State)  L‐TF 19‐3

Beau Breske (Wisconsin)  W‐D 5‐3

Josh Hokit (Fresno State)  W‐Pin 5:59

#6 Rocco Caywood (Army)  L‐D 5‐3

Thomas Lane (Cal Poly)  W‐MFF

Dylan Anderson (Minnesota)  W‐D 9‐4

Matthew Correnti (Rutgers)  W‐D 6‐0

Andre Lee (Illinois)  W‐D 5‐1

Zach Chankonis (Northwestern)  W‐D 4‐2

#11 Eric Schultz (Nebraska)  W‐D 4‐1

Niko Cappello (Maryland)  W‐TF 24‐9

Jake Kleimola (Indiana) W-MD 16-5

Beau Breske (Wisconsin)  W‐MD 9-0

Great takedown stat: 30-2

I had a blog last week about the time of the first takedown by an Iowa wrestler in the Maryland meet.  A missing part of the of Iowa Wrestling arsenal was takedowns, especially first period takedowns. The statistic for takedowns in the #16 Wisconsin dual meet was 30-2 in favor of Iowa.  That stat is actually close to the dual meet score of 35-2 Iowa. To add to that stat, the two takedowns that Wisconsin scored were in matches they lost (165,184).

I may come across as a little repetitive about takedowns, but the winner of the takedown battle usually wins the wrestling match. As far as the Iowa-style of wrestling, I would have to point the finger at the two overtime matches as the two best takedowns of the dual meet. Patricio Lugo was attacking all through regulation and got his takedown in overtime to win the match over #19 Cole Martin, 3-1.  The takedown in overtime was a result of Lugo pushing the pace in regulation.

Alex Marinelli had another tough battle with #3 ranked Evan Wick.  After scoring a takedown in regulation, Marinelli scored a match winning takedown real quick into the overtime period.  Marinelli is the leader of Iowa Wrestling in takedowns. His constant pressure and solid technique on double legs is impressive.

Cash Wilcke surrendered an early takedown but responded with two real good takedowns in the third period to win his match 5-4.  The one takedown reminded me of what I would refer to as a Mike Zadick takdown, was especially impressive. The best flurry of the dual meet was definitely at 197.  Beau Breske of Wisconsin was in deep on a shot on Jacob Warner and was close to scoring the two when Warner hit a flurry and came out on top. I am not sure how else to describe it other than to say that is was a real good flurry.

Iowa is scoring takedowns mainly off of their shots, which is of course what you want to see.  Iowa is also doing a good job of fighting off shots to the point of getting a stalemate called.  We are also seeing more takedowns scored off of go-behinds from the front headlock position. I am hoping we see more of that and I am sure we will.  

The whole key is to get the opening takedown in a match.  That opens up so many additional scoring opportunities for the Hawks.  We saw Iowa wrestlers keep the pressure on and score additional points once they got the opening takedown against Wisconsin.  The constant pressure even when not scoring a takedown is taking a toll on the Iowa opponents. That leads to more scoring opportunities that all Iowa fans love to see.  Regardless of the dual meet score, that was a packed house of I believe a record crowd and a well coached Wisconsin team that Iowa handled. I’ll sure take it.

The Hawks are now off to compete against Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Sunday.  As with all dual meets, the matches and dual will be won on takedowns. I like where Iowa is right now.  The Hawks have faced a lot of adversity with injuries and sickness this season. Now is the time of year that those hard times start to pay off. Iowa has made steady progress since the first of the year.

Oklahoma State has cruised along this season and is undefeated in duals as well.  Setting the tone of each match with the first takedown scored will be huge for Iowa.  I am looking for a real good showing by Iowa in a hostile environment and a Hawkeye victory.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!