IOWA CITY, Ia. — The preseason matchups Iowa held inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday weren’t wrestle-offs, at least not in the way that they’ve held them in previous years. That’s an important distinction to make.
But they did offer our first glimpse at a few members of the 2019-20 Iowa wrestling team.
And, really, the first glimpse of Gavin Teasdale.
The redshirt freshman who transferred in from Penn State this offseason beat Paul Glynn 3-2 in the second preseason matchup Thursday. A takedown in the third period separated him from the veteran and always-tough Glynn.
A low-scoring bout meant there wasn’t a ton of offense, of course. These two go after it in the room quite a bit. But Teasdale got in on a few shots throughout and nearly flipped Glynn for a reversal in the second period. Glynn’s length kept Teasdale from dipping into his full arsenal.
Teasdale flashed his toughness in the second period. During that sequence, which nearly netted a reversal, he appeared to tweak his knee and walked gingerly back to the center after the referee stopped the match.
He took a moment to regather himself, and head coach Tom Brands asked if he wanted to see the trainer. Teasdale waved him off. Shortly after, he escaped for a 1-0 lead.
After a Glynn escape in the third, Teasdale struck for a quick takedown, a small look into the talent that has Iowa wrestling coaches excited about what he can bring to the team this season.
It’s hard to take a lot from a 3-2 match, but Teasdale showcased toughness and skill, two valuable traits that are necessary to excel at the Division I level.
Tony Cassioppi pinned Aaron Costello … in a cradle
During Iowa’s media day last week in Mount Vernon, Brands had this to say about redshirt freshman heavyweight Tony Cassioppi:
“We have a heavyweight that our fans and wrestling pundits are going to like.”
Thursday showed why.
Cassioppi pinned teammate Aaron Costello in the third period in the final preseason match of the day. He led 5-0 after an escape in the third, then locked up a nearside cradle while in a standing front-headlock position.
Picture that. A heavyweight locking up a cradle in a standing front-headlock position.
The time of the fall: 5 minutes, 33 seconds.
These aren’t wrestle-offs, but …
Some of these might appear that way, especially at what appears to be the battle for 149 pounds. Pat Lugo and Vince Turk both won their matchups on Thursday and will face off on Friday, per Iowa’s schedule of events.
Lugo defeated Zach Axmear 18-6 and looked really solid doing it. He scored eight total takedowns, including one in the final 30 seconds or so of each period. When he flows from one technique to the next, he’s pretty tough to stop.
Turk, up from 141 last season, looked plenty comfortable at his new weight in a 15-4 win over Cobe Siebrecht. Experience won out in this match, as Turk led 8-1 after the first period. But Siebrecht, a Lisbon product, hit a slick reversal in the second.
The only other matchup wrestled on Thursday that had an impact on what’s coming Friday was the matchup between Sam Cook and Connor Corbin.
In a battle of old CIML stars, Cook defeated Corbin 3-2, thanks to a nice, third-period takedown. That’s a solid win for Cook, who will wrestle Jacob Warner on Friday, as Corbin had really improved over the last year.
Takeaways from the other matches
Spencer Lee over Aaron Cashman, 16-0 TF: Workmanlike for the two-time NCAA champ. While wearing a brace on his right knee — for precautionary reasons, I was told — he scored a takedown and two sets of back points in the first period, then did so again in the second to wrap up the technical fall.
Carter Happel over Justin Stickley, 4-2: Happel racked up riding time and scored a takedown in the third period to win. Fended off plenty of Stickley shots throughout, too, including one right at the gun.
Jacob Warner over Zach Glazier, 8-3: Warner scored three takedowns and displayed heavy enough hands that he actually broke Glazier’s headgear. But Glazier’s length will be a problem once he gains more experience.
These were the scheduled matchups for Friday:
- Austin DeSanto vs. Aaron Meyer
- Pat Lugo vs. Vince Turk
- Zach Axmear vs. Kaleb Young
- Joe Kelly vs. Alex Marinelli
- Nelson Brands vs. Jeremiah Moody
- Abe Assad vs. Cash Wilcke
- Jacob Warner vs. Sam Cook
- Cade Brownlee vs. Steven Holloway