Here are all the matchups for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club's Showdown Open on Nov. 1
The full card for the HWC Showdown Open has been released — and there's a heavy Iowa Hawkeyes presence.
The Hawkeye Wrestling Club, in tandem with Trackwrestling, announced the nine-match card for the freestyle exhibition dual, set for Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. at the new Xtream Arena in Coralville.
The event includes six current Iowa wrestlers exepcted to compete — Spencer Lee, Austin DeSanto, Jaydin Eierman, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer and Tony Cassioppi — as well as one former Hawkeye, Pat Lugo.
Their opponents include an Olympic gold medalist, a two-time world silver medalist, a two-time NCAA champion, a two-time NCAA finalist and other multiple-time All-Americans.
That doesn't even include the two women's freestyle matches, which feature a world silver medalist, a multiple-time national team member and two other up-and-coming women's competitors.
"We've worked hard on this," Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands said. "Ryan Morningstar has worked hard on this. Bobby Telford has worked hard on this. Our Hawkeye Wrestling Club board has worked hard on this to make it happen. Trackwrestling is a good partner."
Weight classes and match order will be announced at a later date. But here is a bout-by-bout breakdown of the matchups.
Jaydin Eierman vs. Vladimer Khinchegashvili
Eierman is a three-time All-American who last year transferred from Missouri to Iowa for his senior season. He also made the 2019 U23 world team at 65 kilograms (143 pounds).
Khinchegashvili, a 29-year-old from Georgia — the country, not the state — won Olympic gold in 2012 and a world gold in 2015, both at 57 kilos (125 pounds). He recently beat Cornell's Yianni Diakomihalis at the Beat the Streets event last month.
Michael Kemerer vs. Tommy Gantt
Kemerer is a two-time All-American (and earned NWCA All-American honors last season) for Iowa. He was the 2-seed at 174 pounds for the 2020 NCAA Championships after going 15-1 last season.
Gantt is a past All-American from N.C. State. He's previously won the Bill Farrell International title and took third at 74 kilos (163 pounds) at the 2019 U.S. Senior National Championships last December.
Sarah Hildebrandt vs. Erin Golston
The first of two women's matches. Hildebrandt is a three-time Senior women's freestyle world team member and won a silver medal at the 2018 world championships.
Golston is a three-time Junior women's freestyle world medalist, and she's been on the national team each of the past three years.
Alex Marinelli vs. James Green
Marinelli, another two-time All-American for Iowa (and NWCA All-American in 2020), was the No. 1-seed at 165 pounds at the 2020 NCAA Championships after going 20-1 this past season.
Green, an All-American for Nebraska, has made five Senior-level world teams and twice won medals at the world championships — bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017, both at 70 kilos (154 pounds).
Tony Cassioppi vs. Nick Gwiazdowski
Cassioppi, Iowa's heavyweight, is fresh off a redshirt freshman season where he went 20-3, won the Midlands Championships, and earned the No. 3-seed at the 2020 NCAA Championships (as well as NWCA All-American honors).
Gwiazdowski won two NCAA titles at heavyweight for N.C. State and has twice won bronze at the men's freestyle world championships, in 2017 and 2018.
Precious Bell vs. Jordan Nelson
The second women's matchup pits two up-and-coming women's freestyle wrestlers against each other. Bell won the U.S. Open, reached Final X and competed at the U23 World Championships in 2019.
Nelson, a senior at Life University in Georgia (the state, this time), is a Women's College Wrestling Association All-American and has registered wins over a U23 world medalist, a national champ and a national team member.
Austin DeSanto vs. Bryce Meredith
DeSanto, an All-American for the Hawkeyes at 133 pounds, is 40-10 since transferring to Iowa from Drexel ahead of the 2018-19 season. Behind an incredible pace and growing offensive repertoire, he recorded 12 bonus-point wins in 17 victories last year.
Meredith was a two-time NCAA finalist and three-time All-American for Wyoming who's still in the early stages of his Senior-level career. He won bronze at the Cerro Pelado earlier this year, in a bracket won by Cuba's Alejandro Valdes Tobier, a two-time World medalist.
Pat Lugo vs. Matthew Kolodzik
Lugo, an All-American for Iowa at 149 pounds, earned the No. 1-seed at the 2020 NCAA Championships. He went 21-1 and won titles at the Big Ten and Midlands Championships. Another NWCA All-American, Lugo is continuing his competitive career with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.
Kolodzik was a multiple-time All-American and three-time EIWA champion at Princeton. He's actually beaten Lugo twice in three meetings during their college career, but Lugo won the lone freestyle matchup between them, at the 2018 U23 national championships.
Spencer Lee vs. Zach Sanders
Lee's credentials are as good as they come: two-time NCAA champion, three-time age-level world champion, 2019 U.S. Senior national champion, Big Ten champion and Hodge Trophy winner, among other sterling accomplishments.
Sanders is a grizzled veteran, a four-time All-American for Minnesota and a fifth-place finisher at the same U.S. Senior men's freestyle national championships last year. He's also won the 2018 Cerro Pelado International and the 2014 Pan Am Championships.
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 DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal