Hawkeyes rough up field at Iowa City Duals

Andy Hamilton

Iowa's Cory Clark wrestles Cornell's Phillip Opelt at 133 pounds during the Iowa City Duals at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Nov. 21.

IOWA CITY, Ia. – The first wrestler to tangle Friday with Sam Brooks hobbled off the mat midway through the bout.

His second foe absorbed a persistent two-minute pounding.

And the Iowa sophomore locked up a cradle so tight that Brooks nearly made his third opponent eat his own knee.

Welcome to the Iowa City Duals.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes roughed up three more overmatched opponents Friday, belting Baker University, Iowa Central and Cornell College by a combined 159-3 count in what essentially serves as Iowa's annual opportunity to kick the tires inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes won 29-of-30 bouts, scored bonus points in 26 and registered 19 pins, including a pair by Brooks, who was frustrated afterward that his match of the day at 184 pounds ended with an injury default after he built a 14-0 lead against Baker's Bryant Guillen.

"It doesn't count as a fall for me," Brooks said. "The ultimate goal is to dominate your opponent the best way possible and that's to get a fall."

Brooks pinned Iowa Central's Armani Robinson and Cornell's James Garrett and still couldn't gain ground on 133-pounder Cory Clark and heavyweight Bobby Telford in the race for Iowa's team lead in falls.

Telford decked all three of his opponents in the first two minutes and Clark notched two pins and a technical fall. They're tied for the team lead with six pins.

"It's good for our confidence, but we've got to keep it going and we've got to be able to do it against the best guys in the country, not only these guys," Clark said. "It's got to happen at every tournament, every weekend."

In the seven-year history of the Iowa City Duals, Iowa has outscored its 22 opponents 1,072-24. The Hawkeyes have lost eight matches in 220 tries.

"You just go out there and wrestle hard and if you wrestle somebody who might not be up to the competition, you end it," Brooks said.

Iowa's lone setback Friday came when Iowa Central's Pat Downey, a 2012 FILA Junior World silver medalist, won an 11-6 decision at 197 pounds against Kris Klapprodt, who filled in for All-American Nathan Burak.

The Hawkeyes also wrestled without the three leading contenders for their 149-pound job while sophomore Topher Carton bumped up from 141 and went 3-0 Friday with a pair of technical falls.

Brody Grothus, Brandon Sorensen and Edwin Cooper are scheduled to compete Saturday at the Joe Parisi Open in St. Charles, Mo.

Grothus grabbed the upper-hand in the competition last weekend when he defeated Sorensen and Cooper on his way to the title at the Luther Open.

"We're looking to find out really who the guy is, who's going to emerge from there, and that's what it's about," Iowa coach Tom Brands said. "It's not that we don't believe. No matter what happened in Decorah, three guys (were) going to Missouri, unless one guy came out and just pinned everybody.

"We're looking for separation and we're looking to continue to be consistent and stamp yourself as the guy that's the guy. That's what we want. We want separation."