IOWA CITY, Ia. — A day removed from the action, and there’s still so much to unpack from Saturday’s Cy-Hawk wrestling dual.
The action spoke for itself. The dual unfolded like a 10-part play, each match seemingly taking on a life of its own and captivating the 9,571 fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa ultimately edged out Iowa State, 19-18.
Here are another 14 things we learned from Saturday’s dual.
1. Iowa and Iowa State have now wrestled 83 times, but Saturday’s dual was the first time a dual was decided by a single point. There have been two ties.
2. In total match points, Iowa held a 72-50 advantage. Breaking it down, the Hawkeyes scored 42 total match points in the first period. They scored just 30 the rest of the way — 14 in the second period, 13 in the third, and three more via riding time.
“We have to get better in the third period,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “… We have to move forward in a lot more ways than just one.”
3. Iowa State, meanwhile, scored 27 total match points in the third period, compared with 14 in the first and six in the second. If it looked like the Cyclones had a little more juice in the third period, it’s probably because they did.
“I loved the fight of the 10 guys we put out there,” Iowa State coach Kevin Dresser said. “That’s what we coach and that’s what we preach, to fight. But we also preach winning.”
4. Iowa also led in total takedowns, 17-10. This is interesting because, of Iowa State’s 10 takedowns, seven came in the third period. Of those seven, four led directly to victories.
5. Ian Parker took down Max Murin with seven seconds left, erased Murin’s riding time and won 5-4 at 141 pounds. Great action in this match. Both of these guys will be in the mix to make a run in March.
6. Sam Colbray scored with five seconds left to beat Cash Wilcke 7-6, at 184. Colbray has made a lot of strides in the last couple of years under Dresser. He could be a factor if he puts everything together.
7. Jarrett Degen scored a takedown against Pat Lugo with less than a minute left at 149, which helped force overtime. Degen added another in the first tiebreaker and won, 7-4. Degen’s a gamer. That bloodround run last year looked more like a sign of things to come.
8. At 133 pounds, Austin Gomez had two third-period takedowns. The first put him up 7-6. An Austin DeSanto reversal followed by a Gomez escaped knotted the match at 8-all. Gomez then scored another when he took DeSanto to his back, scoring six points and winning 14-9.
This was the match of the afternoon, and everything was on the line. Gomez is going to be a problem for other 133-pounders around the country. He’s good.
9. The way the dual unfolded dictated Iowa’s lineup.
“There’s a lot of communication that has to happen to several people,” Brands said afterward. “Paul Glynn was ready to go. At the last second, we made the call to go with DeSanto. (Aaron) Costello was ready to go.”
Iowa didn’t plan on wrestling heavyweight Sam Stoll, who took the mat wearing a bulky knee brace, or DeSanto, who had his left shoulder wrapped and his left knee taped. Carter Happel weighed in at 149 alongside Lugo, and Perez Perez also listed at 125 pounds with Spencer Lee.
“They had to play all their cards today, right?” Dresser said. “I didn’t expect it early, but as the dual went on, I nudged (assistant coach Brent Metcalf) and said, ‘They’re probably going to have to wrestle Stoll.”
10. The injury default at 174 pounds was a big break for Iowa State. Before leaving the mat with a right knee injury, Myles Wilson led Marcus Coleman 4-3 after two takedowns in the first period. Whether he hung on or if Coleman came back, it looked like a decision was coming.
11. Jacob Warner turned in a gutsy debut. The redshirt freshman finally took the mat for Iowa this season, and scored a late reversal to beat Iowa State’s Willie Miklus 5-4. This result came after Warner appeared to injure his left leg in the first period. He carried a limp the rest of the match.
“I’m all good,” Warner said afterward. “Just a little tweak. Nothing too big. I had to reel in my emotions. I let my emotions get away from me a little bit. When I found myself down, I had to realize that I wasn’t hurt, that I’m fine, I’m ready to go.”
“This is what I train for. I train when I’m sick. I train when I’m hurt. I train when I feel my best. Like (associate head coach Terry Brands) always says, when it’s your time, you’re ready to go, and I was ready to go today.”
12. Spencer Lee gassed hard after the first period. He went up 11-0 against Alex Mackall on a takedown, some back points and two stall calls against Mackall. After that, he just didn’t have the energy, and ended up winning 13-4. Looked like he was fighting through a leftover illness.
13. Iowa State is on the rise. Second-year coach Kevin Dresser has the Cyclones trending upward, and quickly. Only four guys entered Saturday’s dual ranked nationally by Trackwrestling, but the talent is there to perhaps surprise some people in March.
14. For Iowa, some guys showed some real heart on Saturday, but it’s clear this Hawkeye team is not where it needs to be, health-wise, to make another run at an NCAA trophy. There’s plenty of time to heal and fine-tune some things before the national tournament.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.