In 2018, 34 Iowa high school wrestlers earned All-American honors at the Cadet and Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Day Two of the Iowa wrestling team’s wrestle-offs wasn’t as revealing as Day One, but perhaps the biggest takeaway was that there isn’t much separating Max Murin and Vince Turk at 141 pounds.
Murin beat Turk, 5-4, on the second day of the Hawkeyes’ preseason exhibition inside the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex on Friday afternoon. Murin scored a takedown in the first, then Turk added one of his own between two Murin escapes in the second, making it 4-2 Murin after two.
In the third period, Turk escaped to make it 4-3, then tied it thanks to two stalling calls on Murin. Murin ultimately won thanks to riding time compiled in the first and third periods.
This could be one of those weights where both wrestlers split time as the starter throughout the season. Murin’s victory on Friday should give him a slight edge for now, at least at the beginning of the season, but Turk may still see some matches if Murin doesn’t produce results in a way that makes Iowa coach Tom Brands happy.
Recall, just last year, Turk and Carter Happel were in this same position. Turk was the starter at 141 early on. Happel won a few matches in December, then gained a slightly bigger edge with his performance at the Midlands later that month. Turk took the spot back in January and February, then won the weight outright with a closed-door wrestle-off before the Big Ten Conference Championships.
Perhaps Murin and Turk will do a similar dance this season, or maybe Murin will take this opportunity and run with it. He certainly looked like the bigger wrestler on Friday. Both were offensive and aggressive throughout the 7 minutes.
Keep an eye on this weight. In a way, Friday’s match was only the beginning.
Austin DeSanto looks like the guy at 133 this season
Austin DeSanto, the Drexel transfer, beat Paul Glynn, 6-3, at 133 pounds on Friday. DeSanto scored a takedown in the first and another in the second, and added a stalling point and an escape for the final score. He looked strong and was aggressive as he stepped into ties and contact. He may have scored more, but Glynn used his length to keep DeSanto from opening up more offensively.
This was the second win for DeSanto over Glynn in as many days — he won by the same score on Thursday. Until it’s said otherwise, DeSanto looks like he’ll be the guy for Iowa at 133 pounds this season — Jason Renteria, who transferred in from Nebraska, didn’t wrestle either Thursday or Friday.
DeSanto gives Iowa an immediate All-American candidate at 133. While wrestling for Drexel last year, he reached the quarterfinals and ultimately lost in the bloodround at the NCAA Championships. His five team points was more than Iowa had at that weight, since Glynn did not qualify for the national tournament.
Marinelli tops Brands at 165
Nelson Brands showcased his horsepower on Thursday with a 28-12 win over Tristan McDonald. On Friday, Brands tangled with Alex Marinelli, a returning All-American at 165 pounds.
Marinelli beat Brands, 6-3, but the gap between the two is a little bigger than those three points. Marinelli scored a takedown just a few seconds into the match and added another a short time later to lead 4-2 after the first period. Brands never really threatened Marinelli to the point of potentially winning the match.
But Brands didn’t back down. He got in on a few shots, but couldn’t finish. Outside of that, Marinelli stifled most of his attacks and applied plenty of pressure in the form of hand-fighting and heavy hands. Brands also struggled getting out from bottom, as Marinelli added a riding-time point.
Many were curious how Brands might look in his first year of college wrestling. His wrestle-off performances were encouraging, but we’ll definitely learn more when he competes in open tournaments later this season.
Other wrestle-off takeaways and observations
- Spencer Lee was Spencer Lee against Aaron Cashman at 125 pounds. Lee led 7-0 after the first thanks to a takedown, four backs and two stall calls on Cashman. Lee then took Cashman to his back in the second period and recorded the pin.
- Pat Lugo pinned Zach Axmear at 149. Lugo scored a quick takedown, then locked up Axmear’s head and arm for the fall in the first minute.
- At 157, Kaleb Young beat Jeren Glosser, 3-1, in overtime. Young countered a shot from Glosser in the first 30 seconds of the extra time and muscled his way to a go-behind for two. Both guys were in on shots and displayed solid defense throughout regulation.
- Cash Wilcke beat Mitch Bowman, 9-5, at 184. Wilcke looked solid at his new weight — he wrestled 197 the last two seasons, reaching the bloodround of the NCAA Championships both times. Against Bowman, he scored four takedowns and looked quick on his feet.
- Jacob Warner beat Connor Corbin, 10-1, at 197. Warner scored a takedown and four backs in the first, then added an escape and another takedown in the second. Workmanlike performance.
- I was eye-balling it again, but there was probably a few hundred people packed inside the wrestling room for Day Two.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.
Iowa wrestle-offs, Day Two
125: Spencer Lee pinned Aaron Cashman, second period
133: Austin DeSanto def. Paul Glynn, 6-3
141: Max Murin def. Vince Turk, 5-4
149: Pat Lugo pinned Zach Axmear, 00:36
157: Kaleb Young def. Jeren Glosser, 3-1 SV1
165: Alex Marinelli def. Nelson Brands, 6-3
184: Cash Wilcke def. Mitch Bowman, 9-5
197: Jacob Warner vs. Connor Corbin, 10-1
125: Aaron Cashman def. Perez Perez, 8-6