Hawkeye wrestlers complete weekend sweep with big win over Northwestern
IOWA CITY, Ia. — The scene inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena was kind of funny Sunday morning. An announced crowd of 7,551 piled inside and ate ice cream while they watched the Iowa wrestling team pound Northwestern.
The Hawkeyes needed approximately 80 minutes to dispatch the Wildcats, 33-2, taking nine of 10 bouts and scoring bonus points in four of them. Iowa, ranked No. 3 in Trackwrestling’s Division I poll, is now 11-2 on the season and 6-2 against the Big Ten. Northwestern, ranked 18th, drops to 8-4 overall and 3-4 in league play.
Iowa entered the weekend on a two-dual losing skid, and took all of three days to flip that into a winning streak — the Hawkeyes pummeled Minnesota on Friday. They will travel to Penn State next Saturday before wrapping up the regular season against Iowa State on Feb. 18.
Against Northwestern, the Hawkeyes employed uniform dominance, scoring far more takedowns (27-6) and match points (88-36). Michael Kemerer and Alex Marinelli combined to 40 of Iowa’s total match points during their back-to-back technical falls at 157 and 165 pounds.
A handful of other takeaways highlighted Sunday’s action. Brandon Sorensen won the dual’s marquee bout, a 5-4 overtime decision over third-ranked Ryan Deakin. Sorensen, who’s ranked No. 2 at 149 pounds, won after Deakin grabbed the headgear in sudden victory, a technical violation that awarded Sorensen the winning point.
“He pulled on the headgear, and I guess that’s what led to the match win,” said Sorensen, who is now 18-0 this season. “If that doesn’t happen, doesn’t matter. You have to get the first takedown.”
Spencer Lee registered yet another win over another top-10 opponent. Lee, ranked 3rd at 125 pounds, used a takedown and four back points to anchor a 7-4 decision over 9th-ranked Sebastian Rivera to open the dual. Lee led 6-0 after the first, but Rivera rode him all of the second and added two takedowns in the third.
“I just didn’t focus on scoring,” Lee said. “The coaching staff and me, we have a lot to work on. We have Penn State on Saturday.”
Paul Glynn continued his progress at 133 pounds, registering a 3-2 win over Colin Valdiviez, who’s ranked 24th. Valdiviez scored a reversal in the third, but Glynn responded with an escape and a takedown off an arm-spin with less than 10 seconds left to snap a three-match losing streak.
“He was real clingy in that over-under, really the whole match,” Glynn said. “There was short time left and I had to make something happen. The arm spin was there. It’s not really something I hit, but you have to do what you have to do to get the job done.”
Mitch Bowman also found his way into the win column with a 9-1 major decision over Mitch Sliga at 184 pounds. Bowman totaled three takedowns and added a reversal in the second, after which Iowa coach Tom Brands turned to the Iowa bench and shouted, “progress,” after Bowman had previously struggled to get out from bottom in his previous two matches (both losses).
“I liked that he was calm,” Brands said of Bowman’s victory. “I liked that the guy came out and tried to get that quick score … and Bowman shut him down twice. Similar to Sorensen, I guess. Solid win. It was 6-0, cut him, then won 9-1 on riding time. Major decision. Good job.”
The rest of the dual more or less went chalk. Vince Turk got the nod at 141 and scored two third-period takedowns en route to a 10-2 major over Alec McKenna. Cash Wilcke piled up two takedowns in the third as well in a 9-4 win over Zack Chakonis at 197.
A first-period takedown was the difference for Sam Stoll, who beat Conan Jennings 2-0 at heavyweight to close the dual. Jennings rode Stoll out in the third period, which erased a potential riding-time point.
Iowa’s only loss came from Kaleb Young, who wrestled at 174 pounds instead of Joey Gunther. Young, facing a size disadvantage, dropped a 9-4 decision to Johnny Sebastian, though he only trailed 4-3 entering the third period.
Sunday was also Senior Day for the Iowa wrestling program, and Sorensen, Phillip Laux and Logan McQuillen were all honored afterward. With still a month left in the season, Sorensen wasn’t quite ready to discuss the fact that Sunday's was his final match inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, if only because bigger goals are still in front of him.
“It’s not like this is the end-all,” said Sorensen, who finished 35-3 overall inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “Right now, we’ve got bigger things coming in March. That’s my goal. It’s always fun to come out and perform in front of these fans, so that was awesome one last time.
“But we have bigger things ahead of us.”
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.
No. 3 Iowa 33, No. 18 Northwestern 2
125: Spencer Lee (IA) over Sebastian Rivera (NW), 7-4
133: Paul Glynn (IA) over Colin Valdiviez (NW), 3-2
141: Vince Turk (IA) over Alec McKenna (NW) by major, 10-2
149: Brandon Sorensen (IA) over Ryan Deakin (NW), 5-4 (SV-1)
157: Michael Kemerer (IA) over Shane Oster (NW) by technical fall, 17-2
165: Alex Marinelli (IA) over Michael Sepke (NW) by technical fall, 23-8
174: Johnny Sebastian (NW) over Kaleb Young (IA), 9-4
184: Mitch Bowman (IA) over Mitch Sliga (NW) by major, 9-1
197: Cash Wilcke (IA) over Zack Chakonis (NW), 8-4
285: Sam Stoll (IA) over Conan Jennings (NW), 2-0
*Northwestern was deducted a team point at the 157-pound match for control of the mat area.