NCAA wrestling: Match-by-match analysis from Friday night's action

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

CLEVELAND — The Hawkeyes used a strong Friday performance to solidify their spot in the race for a trophy at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships here at Quicken Loans Arena. Bonus points continued to come early and often for Iowa.

Northern Iowa struggled mightily on Day Two, and Iowa State's Jarrett Degen saw his run come to an end during Friday's evening session.

Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands celebrates with assistant coach Ben Berhow as Spencer Lee pins Ohio State's Nathan Tomasello in the 125 semifinals at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, March 16, 2018.

Here's how it all happened:


1. Penn State, 120.5
2. Ohio State, 109.5
3. Iowa, 86.5
4. Michigan, 73.5
5. North Carolina State, 69.5



125: No. 3 Spencer Lee over No. 2 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) by fall, 6:05

You read that right. Spencer Lee pinned Nathan Tomasello, a four-time Big Ten Conference Champion and four-time NCAA All-American, in the national semifinals on Friday night.

LEISTIKOW:In Iowa's Spencer Lee, wrestling fans are witnessing greatness

Before the pin, Lee was beating Tomasello handily, scoring a takedown and two backs in the first period with 1 minute, 42 seconds of riding time. Tomasello got a takedown back in the second, but Lee escaped for a 5-2 lead entering the third.

Midway through, Lee shot in, and a scramble ensued. It ended with Lee falling on Tomasello and locking up a cradle for the pin in 6:05. He's into Saturday night's NCAA finals, where he'll face Rutgers' Nick Suriano.

165: No. 1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) over No. 5 Alex Marinelli, 5-2

Martinez struck quickly with a first-period takedown and added another in the third to keep Marinelli at bay. Iowa's redshirt freshman couldn't get to his offense in this match and falls to Saturday's wrestlebacks, where he could finish as high as third and as low as sixth.


149: No. 2 Brandon Sorensen over No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State), 9-0 major

Sorensen continued his run through the backside with a sound victory over Hayes. Sorensen scored takedowns in all three periods, and piled up more than three minutes of riding time. He's now a four-time All-American, just the 20th Iowa wrestler to do so.

Sorensen over No. 8 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State), 13-3 major

Sorensen scored another bonus-point victory on the backside, securing five total takedowns and two in the third to lift him to the major decision. He's now into the top six and can still finish as high as third on Saturday.

157: No. 6 Michael Kemerer over No. 2 Joey Lavallee (Missouri), 5-2

Another workmanlike outing from Kemerer. Two first-period takedowns and some stellar neutral defense throughout kept Lavallee at bay and pushed Kemerer back to the podium. He's now a two-time All-American.

Kemerer over No. 4 Josh Shields (Arizona State), 6-2

Kemerer scored an early takedown in the first and added another in the second, wherein he piled up enough to secure a riding-time point. He's now into the top six and can still finish as high as third on Saturday.

197: No. 1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) over No. 14 Cash Wilcke, 5-2

After a scoreless first period, Moore struck with two back points in the second then added a takedown in the third to eliminate Wilcke, who finished 3-2 for the second year in a row.

285: No. 5 Sam Stoll over No. 7 Nathan Butler (Stanford), 15-3

Stoll dominated in this one, scoring two takedowns and a set of four back points to go up 8-1 after the first period. He added two more takedowns to secure the major and earn All-American status.

Stoll over No. 3 Nick Nevills (Penn State), 3-1 (SV1)

After trading escapes in regulation, Stoll locked up a body lock and muscled Nevills over for two in the first sudden victory to move into the top six. He remains alive for third place entering Saturday.

MORE:Hawkeyes firmly in the race for third after Day Two

Northern Iowa


149: No. 3 Grant Leeth (Missouri) over No. 9 Max Thomsen, 3-2

Thomsen opened this one strong, scoring an early takedown in the first period, but Leeth escaped to make it 2-1. Leeth then rode Thomsen out the entire second period, then used that riding time to edge Thomsen in the end. Thomsen's run ends at 3-2.

174: No. 13 Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State) over No. 7 Taylor Lujan, 10-8

Lujan in another crazy match, but falls short this time. An early takedown and two backs was quickly erased when Smith countered with a takedown and two backs of his own. In the second, Lujan scored another takedown, but Smith countered with a reversal.

In the third, Smith scored a takedown off a Lujan-initiated headlock. Northern Iowa's coaches challenged the call, thinking Lujan had two points, but they weren't awarded. Lujan is eliminated, finishing 3-2.

197: Jacob Holschlag over Chris Weiler (Lehigh), 3-2

Holschlag fights his way to All-American status. Weiler scored a takedown in the first period, but Holschlag tied it with a late reversal. Holschlag then rode out Weiler in the second, and escaped in the third period to win and advance.

Holschlag over No. 6 Willie Miklus (Mizzou, former Southeast Polk), 7-5

Holschlag's superior top wrestling has carried him into the top six at 197 pounds. Against Miklus, he scored four back points, which lifted him to a victory. Miklus will wrestle for seventh on Saturday. Holschlag remains alive for third.

Iowa State


149: No. 10 Jason Tsirtsis (Arizona State) over Jarrett Degen, 4-3

Degen's remarkable NCAA tournament run comes to an end in the bloodround. Tsirtsis struck with a takedown in the first period, then used riding time to escape with a one-point victory. Degen ended up 3-2 overall. 



165: No. 9 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) over No. 6 Richie Lewis (Rutgers, former Iowa Central), 4-2

Marsteller scored a first-period takedown, but a pair of escapes helped Lewis tie it at two after the second period. Marsteller then scored another takedown in the third to win. Lewis ends 3-2.

197: No. 6 Willie Miklus (Mizzou, former Southeast Polk) over No. 8 Nate Rotert (South Dakota State)

Miklus looked great here, scoring two third-period takedowns to break a 4-4 tie and ultimately win to become an All-American. Miklus wrestled Northern Iowa's Jacob Holschlag in the following round.

Session Five begins at 10 a.m., central time, on Saturday.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.