Iowa senior Brandon Sorensen reflects on his career after finishing fifth at 149 pounds at the NCAA tournament.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Saturday morning's session at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships was a rough one on the Hawkeyes, but upon its conclusion, they mathematically clinched third place in the team race, barring any sort of point deduction.
In all, five Iowa wrestlers earned All-American status, and all finished above sixth place. Northern Iowa's Jacob Holschlag also capped his stellar week with a fifth-place finish at 197 pounds, and former Southeast Polk star Willie Miklus earned All-American honors for Missouri.
Here's how it went down:
149: No. 11 Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) over No. 2 Brandon Sorensen, 7-3
Kolodzik just took it to Sorensen in this one, scoring one takedown in the first period and two more in the third. When Sorensen was able to get a shot off, Kolodzik countered with quick hips. As such, Sorensen fell to the fifth-place match.
149, 5th Place: Sorensen over No. 3 Grant Leeth (Missouri), 4-0
Sorensen went out with a win, scoring a first-period takedown and adding an escape and a riding-time point to finish fifth at 149 pounds. He finishes his career with 127 victories and four All-American finishes.
157: No. 6 Michael Kemerer over No. 5 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan), 6-1
Kemerer looked solid in this crucial team race-oriented victory. Scored takedowns in the first and third and added a riding time point to help him advance to the third-place match.
157, 3rd Place: No. 8 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) over Kemerer, medical forfeit
Kemerer defaulted out of this match after suffering what appeared to be an injury to his left arm. He was favoring his left elbow and shoulder, and after a couple of stoppages, he decided to stop. He finishes fourth, and is now a two-time All-American.
165: No. 10 Evan Wick (Wisconsin) over No. 5 Alex Marinelli, 16-3
Marinelli and Wick traded takedowns to enter the second period tied 3-3. Wick opened the second period with a takedown and put Marinelli in two cradles for eight combined back points. Wick chose top again in the third and added two stalling points and another for riding time to send Marinelli to the fifth-place bout.
165, 5th Place: No. 2 David McFadden (Virginia Tech) over Marinelli by fall,
Marinelli opened with a takedown in the first period, but McFadden countered with an escape and a takedown of his own to lead 3-2 after one. In the third, McFadden caught Marinelli in a spladle for a quick pin. Marinelli finished sixth for his first All-American finish.
285: No. 4 Jacob Kasper (Duke) over No. 5 Sam Stoll by fall, 1:17
Stoll nearly had a takedown here, but Kasper wiggled free and tossed Stoll in a headlock for the quick pin, sending Stoll to the fifth-place match. Stoll then threw his ankle bands at Kasper, costing Iowa one team point.
285, 5th Place: Stoll over No. 11 Mike Hughes (Hofstra) by fall, 1:57
Stoll corralled an early first-period takedown, then methodically turned Hughes in a half-nelson for the pin — which locked up third place for the Hawkeyes in the team race (which may have made up for his point deduction earlier). Stoll finishes fifth.
197: Kyle Conel (Kent State) over Jacob Holschlag by fall, 2:48
Conel, the crowd favorite here after making a run to the semifinals, tossed Holschlag to his back for the pin near the end of the first period, sending Holschlag to the fifth-place bout.
197, 5th Place: Holschlag over No. 2 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) by fall, 2:37
Holschlag got to his offense in this one, scoring a quick takedown. Darmstadt reversed him, but Holschlag scored a reversal shortly after, then flipped Darmstadt to his back for the first-period pin. Holschlag finished fifth, recording a 6-2 record after losing in the first round on Thursday.
Unseeded Jacob Holschlag runs through the wrestlebacks to place 5th at nationals.
197, Seventh Place: No. 5 Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) over No. 6 Willie Miklus (Mizzou, former Southeast Polk), 11-3 major
Rasheed used two takedowns and four back points to lead Miklus 8-1 after the first period. That deficit proved too much for Miklus, who ended up giving up the major and finishing eighth.
1. Ohio State, 130.5 (2 finalists)
2. Penn State, 124.5 (5)
3. Iowa, 93 (1)
4. Michigan, 80 (2)
5. N.C. State, 76 (2)
The finals begin at 7 p.m., central time, and will be live on ESPN2.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.