Iowa coach Tom Brands reacts after the Hawkeyes clinched third place in the team race at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Many of the Iowa wrestling program’s recent additions have bolstered the lineup and roster for the next few seasons. But on Monday, the Hawkeyes received some good news with respect to the program's future.
Patrick Kennedy, a rising junior at Kasson-Mantorville in Minnesota, announced his commitment to Iowa on Monday evening. Kennedy is one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the country, and becomes the Hawkeyes’ first 2020 recruit. He projects at 174/184 pounds.
"See you in Iowa City, Iowa!" he wrote in a tweet.
Kennedy’s résumé, while still budding, is already an impressive one. He ended the season ranked No. 4, nationally, at 182 pounds by Intermat, No. 3 at the same weight by Trackwrestling and No. 2 by The Open Mat. Flowrestling has Kennedy as the No. 8 pound-for-pound wrestler in the 2020 class, while The Open Mat has him at No. 5.
His results explain why.
Kennedy is a two-time Minnesota state champion with a 73-2 career record while competing for the Komets. He went 30-0 this year at 182 pounds, winning his first three state tournament matches by technical fall before winning the finals, 9-2.
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Even more, Kennedy has excelled on the national level as well.
He placed third at the UWW Cadet World Team Trials in 2017, competing at 76 kilograms (roughly 167 pounds). He was a Cadet freestyle All-American, placing third at 170 pounds last July. Last October, he won the Super 32 Challenge, arguably the toughest high school preseason competition in the country, and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
There’s also a local connection between Kennedy and Iowa, as heavyweight Sam Stoll, a rising-senior for the Hawkeyes, is a product of Kasson-Mantorville, too.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.