Top-ranked Iowa wrestling team completes Indiana road trip by blanking No. 8 Purdue

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

The Iowa wrestling team waltzed through the state of Indiana this weekend and came out with two shutout victories over two vastly different teams.

On Friday, the top-ranked Hawkeyes beat down lowly Indiana, 41-0. The dual featured three pins, a technical fall in addition to true freshman Abe Assad’s debut in the all-black Iowa singlet.

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes followed by thrashing an impressive Purdue squad, ranked No. 8 nationally by Trackwrestling, by an identical 41-0 score. A pair of technical falls, two pins and a major decision highlighted the second half of this past weekend’s doubleheader.

With the win, Iowa is now 6-0 overall and 3-0 against the Big Ten with the meat of its schedule up next. The rest of January features teams that will vie for trophies at the NCAA Championships in March: No. 7 Nebraska this coming week, No. 3 Ohio State next week and No. 2 Penn State the week after that.

"This is when it gets fun," Iowa's Michael Kemerer said afterward.

The good news is that all of those matchups will be at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. But it’s not really mattered much where Iowa has wrestled this season. These Hawkeyes are proving time and again that they are perhaps the best collection of talent in head coach Tom Brands’ tenure.

On Sunday, inside Holloway Gymnasium in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Hawkeyes blitzed perhaps the most talented Purdue team ever. They scored 20 takedowns to Purdue’s one, and collectively put up 79 total match points to the Boilermakers’ 14 — half of which came from two wrestlers.

This is a Purdue lineup that could feature as many as four All-Americans come March, which made for some intriguing matchups against the Hawkeyes. All of that remains true even after Sunday's result — which, as the score suggests, went entirely Iowa's way.

At 157, fourth-ranked Kaleb Young beat seventh-ranked Kendall Coleman, 4-3, thanks to a takedown late in the first period and a trio of escapes. At 197, Iowa’s fifth-ranked Jacob Warner topped third-ranked Christian Brunner, 8-2, on a four-point turn and late takedown in the third period.

"Friday, I missed a couple of tilts when I had that wrist," Warner said afterward. "Today, I sucked him back. I had to make sure I had it tight. I had it tight, and I knew I could go with it. Then in the third period, just staying on him, getting to that body lock, those double-unders where I know I'm strong."

At 174, Kemerer, ranked second nationally, scored three third-period takedowns to defeat fourth-ranked Dylan Lydy, 8-4. Those were just the second, third and fourth takedowns Lydy had given up all season. Lydy’s four points were also the most by any individual Boilermaker all afternoon.

"I was feeling good," Kemerer said. "Friday, I won the match, but I felt like I could've wrestled a lot better. My plan today was to just do what I do best. Stay in position, get to my ties, get to my attacks. I knew if I stayed in there, stayed on him, it would pay off."

Elsewhere, the Hawkeyes relentlessly blew through Purdue, now 8-2 and 1-1. Spencer Lee (125) and Austin DeSanto (133) opened with back-to-back technical falls in a combined six minutes and 17 seconds to put the Hawkeyes up 10-0. At 149, Pat Lugo scored three takedowns in an 8-0 major over Nate Limmex.

Out of the intermission, Alex Marinelli rolled up three more takedowns and pinned Tanner Webster in under two minutes at 165 pounds to mathematically clinch the dual. Sandwiched between Kemerer and Warner’s victories was Assad’s second of the weekend, a 5-2 decision over former Western Dubuque star Max Lyon. Tony Cassioppi closed the dual with another first-period pin at heavyweight — just like he did on Friday.

"Carter Happel was cheering hard for Cassioppi to get the fall because his Green Bay Packers are playing and he didn't want to miss any of that game," Brands said. "We're going to get on the bus, get home and watch the Green Bay Packers and listen to Carter Happel.

"I love falls. I love it."

For the weekend, the Hawkeyes went 20-0 in individual matches and outscored Indiana and Purdue by a combined 82-0. They rolled up 46 takedowns and allowed five. They scored 168 total match points and allowed just 41.

A tougher schedule awaits, to be sure, but one thing is clear after the season’s first six duals: this Hawkeye team is very, very good, and they don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

"Send messages," Brands said. "Send messages to the rest of the country."

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

Your subscription makes work like this possible. Subscribe today at

No. 1 Iowa 41, No. 8 Purdue 0

  • 125: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) tech. fall No. 5 Devin Schroeder (PUR), 15-0
  • 133: No. 2 Austin DeSanto (IA) tech. fall Travis Ford-Melton (PUR), 17-1
  • 141: No. 5 Max Murin (IA) dec. No. 33 Parker Filius (PUR), 6-1
  • 149: No. 1 Pat Lugo (IA) maj. dec. Nate Limmex (PUR), 8-0
  • 157: No. 4 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. No. 7 Kendall Coleman (PUR), 4-3
  • 165: No. 2 Alex Marinelli (IA) over Tanner Webster (PUR) by fall, 1:51
  • 174: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (IA) dec. No. 4 Dylan Lydy (PUR), 8-4
  • 184: Abe Assad (IA) dec. No. 26 Max Lyon (PUR), 5-2
  • 197: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. No. 3 Christian Brunner (PUR), 8-2
  • 285: No. 4 Tony Cassioppi (IA) over Thomas Penola (PUR) by fall, 2:00

Rankings from Trackwrestling.