Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands talks about what Drexel transfer Austin DeSanto has brought to the room since he's been in Iowa City. Cody Goodwin, email@example.com
The Iowa wrestling program opened the 2018-19 season with two lopsided victories Friday at the Frenzy in the Fieldhouse on the campus of Kent State.
The Hawkeyes rolled over Cal-State Bakersfield, 36-3, and toppled the host Kent State, 45-0. Iowa’s win over Bakersfield was the 1,000th dual victory in program history. The Hawkeyes are just the fourth program in NCAA history to reach 1,000 dual victories, joining Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Oregon State (yes, really).
“Those thousand wins go way back to E.G. Schroeder, the first coach, and come all the way through Mike DeAnna, who was here tonight, and (Dan) Gable, and here we are,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said in a release.
“The most important thing is getting win No. 1,002. That's coming up next — Princeton on Friday night.”
On the whole, Iowa won 19 of 20 contested bouts and picked up 13 bonus-point victories en route to a 2-0 start to the season. Against Bakersfield, the Hawkeyes recorded two technical falls and five majors. Facing Kent State, Iowa recorded four pins, as well as a tech and a major.
Many of the bonus points came from where you would expect. Spencer Lee went 2-0 with two technical falls, in which he outscored Cal-State’s Alex Hernandez-Figueroa and Kent State’s Tomas Gutierrez by a combined 34-0. Neither match made it out of the first period.
Additionally, Max Murin opened his Iowa career with two major decisions at 141. Kaleb Young added a major and a pin at 157. Alex Marinelli, an Ohio native, recorded a major and a pin at 165. Cash Wilcke, now down at 184, won both matches by major decision.
Austin DeSanto made his Iowa debut Friday, securing two wins at 133 pounds. His first match was impressive, a 22-6 technical fall over Bakersfield’s Sean Nickell that ended early in the second period. DeSanto scored nine takedowns and a set of four back points.
His second match didn’t feature nearly as many points. DeSanto muscled out an 8-7 win over Tim Rooney in which he overcame two Rooney takedowns in the first period to improve to 2-0.
Pat Lugo also made his Iowa debut at 149 pounds after redshirting last season — and it didn’t go nearly as well as DeSanto’s. The redshirt junior lost to Bakersfield’s Russell Rohlfing, 10-9, after surrendering a late takedown. Lugo bounced back in his second match to pin Kent State’s Kody Komara in the first period.
Other wrestlers made the trip as fill-ins for usual starters. At 174 pounds, redshirt freshman Myles Wilson took the mat instead of presumed starter Michael Kemerer. Wilson went 2-0, winning by major and decision.
At 197, Mitch Bowman and Connor Corbin both got matches. Bowman got the first nod and defeated Cal-State’s Mark Penyacsek, 6-2, behind a first-period takedown and a second-period reversal. Corbin went against Kent State’s Shane Mast and won 8-3.
Aaron Costello filled in at heavyweight for the suspended Sam Stoll and collected two decision victories Friday — a 6-1 win over Bakersfield’s Jacob Sieder and a 4-1 win over Kent State’s Billy Bolia.
“I liked the pace,” Brands said. “I like the opportunity these guys have and making the most of them. We left Stoll at home. We have (Jacob Warner) at home. We have Kemerer at home. We have Vince Turk at home. We have a lot of depth that still isn't here, but a tribute to our depth for getting the job done.
“We have a heavyweight fans haven't seen before. Aaron Costello did the job. Max Murin, first time in the lineup, did the job. You can go through the lineup and I could give credit to a lot of people.”
Iowa returns home next week to host Princeton inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The dual is set for Friday at 7 p.m.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.