IOWA CITY, Ia. – Wrestling history was rewritten Saturday underneath sunny mid-November skies and unseasonably warm temperatures at Kinnick Stadium.
And along with the record-smashing attendance of 42,287 -- more than doubling the previous NCAA dual mark of 15,996 set by Penn State on Dec. 8, 2013 -- the record will show the final score: No. 4 Iowa 18, No. 1 Oklahoma State 16.
“It was very important to beat Oklahoma State, regardless of what ranking they are,” Iowa second-ranked 133-pounder Cory Clark said. “We had to win in a situation with this many fans coming to watch us.”
The atmosphere (beyond temps in the high 50s) was incredible -- fans in unison hollering “Twoooooo” on Iowa takedowns and pleading with roars to referee Jeff Cook to call stalling on the visiting Cowboys. And with Oklahoma State leading the dual 13-10 with three weights to go, 184-pounder Sammy Brooks fed off the electric crowd.
Twelfth-ranked Brooks, a high-action junior from Chicago, recorded a technical fall over Jordan Rogers, 17-2, in 4 minutes, 9 seconds. That five-point win gave Iowa a 15-13 lead.
“It’s huge,” Brooks said. “You want to say you wrestle the same everywhere you are, but I don’t think you can wrestle the same in front of this many fans.”
Brooks flexed to the Hawkeye crowd after his win in 4 minutes, 9 seconds -- and even caught Nathan Burak by surprise. The 197-pounder was warming up in the tunnel when someone told him to get ready to wrestle.
Sammy Brooks' technical fall at 184 pounds broke a 10-10 tie against Oklahoma State.
“I was like, ‘It’s the second period, right?’” said Burak, whose 5-3 decision over Nolan Boyd meant heavyweight Sam Stoll just had to avoid getting pinned to preserve the Hawkeye win. “(Brooks) killed it. ... He’s a stud.”
Bonus points won this dual for the Hawkeyes. No. 4 Thomas Gilman got the crowd going from the starting, recording a four-point major decision over No. 7 Eddie Klimara, 9-1.
Gilman picked up a takedown with 2 seconds left in the first period to start the day’s scoring.
“That adds to the electricity,” Gilman said. “If I would’ve just gotten a close decision, then they’re kind of like, ‘Oh, yeah, good job.’ But those fans were going nuts.”
Oklahoma State and Iowa each won five duals, but the Cowboys’ lone bonus point came from national champion Alex Dieringer at 165.
“We just didn’t push the pace enough,” Oklahoma State coach John Smith said.
The Iowa coach says winning the dual, not just the attendance record, was important.
Wrestling coaches by nature are usually critical, always looking for something to improve. But even though Iowa’s Tom Brands would’ve liked to see more match wins -- Edwin Cooper at 157 and Alex Meyer at 174 lost high-scoring battles after furious rallies fell short -- he had no complaints about the 42,287 fans at the Grapple on the Gridiron.
“It was an incredible atmosphere. You can’t deny that,” Brands said. “Even I can’t deny that, and I’m one that likes to talk about the performance.”
There will be time to correct things. After all, this is the season opener. But the Hawkeyes had just this one chance to record a win in front of a football stadium nearly two-thirds full – and they got the job done.
“That 'W' is important," Brands said. "And we didn’t wrestle well.”
IOWA 18, OKLAHOMA STATE 16
125 – No. 4 Thomas Gilman (I) maj. dec. No. 7 Eddie Klimara, 9-1.
133 – No. 2 Cory Clark (I) dec. Gary Wayne Harding, 8-2.
141 – No. 1 Dean Heil (O) dec. Logan Ryan, 7-1.
149 – No. 3 Brandon Sorensen (I) dec. No. 8 Anthony Collica, 6-1.
157 – No. 15 Chance Marsteller (O) dec. Edwin Cooper, Jr., 14-11.
165 – No. 1 Alex Dieringer (O) maj. dec. Patrick Rhoads, 17-5.
174 – No. 4 Kyle Crutchmer (O) dec. No. 6 Alex Meyer, 11-10.
184 – No. 12 Sammy Brooks (I) tech. fall Jordan Rogers, 17-2 in 4:09.
197 – No. 4 Nathan Burak (I) dec. Nolan Boyd, 5-3.
Hwt. – No. 5 Austin Marsden (O) dec. Sam Stoll, 6-1.
Attendance: 42,287 (new NCAA dual match attendance record); Officials: Jeff Cook, Rick Stahl.
The No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes set a national attendance record and beat No. 1 Oklahoma State in Grapple on the Gridiron at Kinnick Stadium Saturday, Nov. 14 in Iowa City.