A week after opening up with three wins in three duals in Chattanooga, TN, the Iowa wrestling team headed back to Iowa City to open up the home dual meet portion of their schedule with the Iowa City Duals. As has been the norm with the Iowa City Duals, the competition was not exactly fierce -- Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Cornell College, and Iowa Central were Iowa's three opponents at Carver-Hawkeye Arena yesterday.
As expected, the competition was not exactly fierce and Iowa won all three duals by heavily lopsided margins to move to 5-0 on the season. (The Iowa Central dual was just an exhibition dual, thanks to some timing-related issues on the part of Iowa Central, so none of the results of that meet -- individual or team -- will count toward the official records.) Iowa won 28 of 30 matches and picked up bonus points in 23 of those 28 wins, including 16 pins. By and large, Iowa didn't just defeat lesser competition in the Duals -- they dominated it, which is precisely what you'd hope to see.
#4 IOWA 49, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS-EDWARDSVILLE 0
125: #1 Matt McDonough wins via forfeit (Iowa 6-0)
133: #3 Tony Ramos FALL (4:24) Patrick Myers (Iowa 12-0)
141: #14 Mark Ballweg MAJ DEC (12-3) Drew Vrbenec (Iowa 16-0)
149: Mike Kelly MAJ DEC (10-2) Dillon Pousson (Iowa 20-0)
157: #1 Derek St. John TECH FALL (17-1) Kyle Lowman (Iowa 25-0)
165: Nick Moore FALL (0:56) Jake Residori (Iowa 31-0)
174: #8 Grant Gambrall TECH FALL (23-6) Deshoun White (Iowa 36-0)
184: #8 Ethen Lofthouse MAJ DEC (14-4) Chris Johnson (Iowa 40-0)
197: Tomas Lira FALL (4:35) Josh Wood (Iowa 46-0)
285: #6 Bobby Telford DEC (4-1) David Devine (Iowa 49-0)
#4 IOWA 49, CORNELL COLLEGE 3
125: #1 Matt McDonough FALL (1:17) Mitch Hood (Iowa 6-0)
133: #3 Tony Ramos FALL (2:26) Ben Rosen (Iowa 12-0)
141: #14 Mark Ballweg FALL (2:13) Zach Henning (Iowa 18-0)
149: Brody Grothus DEC (5-4) Trevor Engle (Iowa 21-0)
157: #1 Derek St. John FALL (2:47) Josh Guenther (Iowa 27-0)
165: Nick Moore FALL (1:37) Benjamin Rosen (Iowa 33-0)
174: #4 Mike Evans TECH FALL (16-0) Brent Hamm (Iowa 38-0)
184: #8 Ethen Lofthouse FALL (1:41) Kevin Stahmer (Iowa 44-0)
197: Alex Collidge DEC (9-8) Nathan Burak (Iowa 44-3)
285: #4 Bobby Telford TECH FALL (19-2) Carl Gaul (Iowa 49-3)
#4 IOWA 45, IOWA CENTRAL 6 (EXHIBITION)
125: Matt Gurule DEC (12-5) Tristan Bundy (Iowa 3-0)
133: #3 Tony Ramos FALL (2:28) Tyler Reiste (Iowa 9-0)
141: Josh Dziewa FALL (0:43) Kris Lehman (Iowa 15-0)
149: Patrick Rhoads DEC (11-5) Kennan Jackson (Iowa 18-0)
157: Devin Geoghegan FALL (2:25) Ethen Owens (Iowa 18-6)
165: Nick Moore FALL (3:21) John Lampe (Iowa 24-6)
174: #8 Grant Gambrall FALL (4:52) Cody Harrison (Iowa 30-6)
184: #8 Ethen Lofthouse FALL (2:31) Joe Stanton (Iowa 36-6)
197: Nathan Burak DEC (15-9) Brandon Bradney (Iowa 39-6)
285: #4 Bobby Telford FALL (1:28) Chevon Okonobah (Iowa 45-6)
125: McD wrestled only once and scored a pin in less than 90 seconds. He may not have even broken a sweat -- literally. Matt Gurule filled in for McD in the match against Iowa Central (presumably to give McD a little extra rest) and opened things up late for an easy decision win.
133: Three matches, three pins for Ramos. In total, Tony wrestled less than ten minutes combined over the span of those three matches. There isn't a lot to say about his performances, although it is nice to see him notching pins and not just major decisions or technical falls. The more bonus points, the better.
141: Mark Ballweg contributed two bonus point wins (a major decision and a pin), while Josh Dziewa wrestled one match, fought off an early takedown attempt, and ended up pinning his opponent on a scramble less than a minute into the match. Ballweg remains the man at this weight, but Dziewa looks like a solid back-up -- and an intriguing option for next year (and beyond).
149: Three matches, three different wrestlers. 149 is still a mess. Mike Kelly had the best showing of the three wrestlers here: he cruised to a fairly easy 10-2 major decision (and was the only one of the three to pick up bonus points), while Grothus won a back-and-forth 5-4 decision and Rhoads needed a late flurry to get his 11-5 margin of victory. (Grothus also appeared to be dealing with an injury, since his left leg was heavily wrapped up.) This weight is still a clusterfuck. I think Kelly is the slight favorite here, but this weight still looks unsettled.
157: St. John wrestled two matches here, notching a technical fall and a pin; Ethan Owens filled in on the third match and got pinned in the first period. What did we learn? St. John is still good, but the depth at this weight is lacking. (Although the depth here would probably be fine if Kelly wasn't trying to make the lineup at 149.)
165: Here's where things actually got a little bit interesting in the Iowa City Duals. Iowa wrestled three matches at 165 on Saturday, but expected starter (and current #4 in the nation) Mike Evans didn't wrestle any of them. Not because of injury or discipline-related issues; rather, it's because he was dipping his toe into the waters at 174. More on that in a moment. Meanwhile, at 165, Nick Moore wrestled all three matches and managed to match Tony Ramos by scoring three pins in those three matches. In fact, he might have even bettered Ramos slightly, since he got his three pins in less than seven minutes combined. As always with events like this, it's unwise to get too excited about the results. But Moore does look far more comfortable at 165 than he did at 157 and he would be a very intriguing option if Evans moved up to 174 permanently.
174: Speaking of Evans... he wrestled one match at the weight yesterday and picked up a 16-0 tech fall. That match was sandwiched between two Grant Gambrall matches and, to be fair, Gambrall did just fine against lesser competition this week: he grabbed a pin in one match and a 23-6 tech fall in the other (although it sounded like his opponent in the latter match just plain quit). I think Brands is still experimenting a bit with the lineup right now, but is Iowa's lineup stronger with Moore at 165, Evans at 174, and Gambrall on the bench or with Evans at 165, Gambrall at 174, and Moore on the bench? I'm not sure. I think Moore would be a downgrade from Evans at 165, but perhaps not a significant one, while Evans might very well be a better option than Gambrall at 174. Decisions, decisions...
184: Ethen Lofthouse wrestled all three matches at this weight and picked up bonus points in all three wins -- two pins and a major decision. He looks pretty locked in here; now we just have to wait and see how he fares against better competition at the weight.
197: Well, it finally happened: Brands started a true freshman in a meet. Nathan Burak got the nod in two of the three matches at 197 yesterday and since one of them (in the Cornell College dual) was an official match, his redshirt has been officially burned for this season. The result in that match was far from ideal -- he lost a wild 9-8 decision -- but he rebounded to win in the match against Iowa Central (a 15-9 decision). There will be some ups and downs with Burak this year; the hope is that getting him experience now will pay off later in the season. Meanwhile, Tomas Lira wrestled the other match for Iowa at 197 and picked up a pin -- can't ask for more than that, although I still think Burak has a much higher upside this season, which is why he'll get the nod at 197.
285: As expected, Telford wrestled all three matches at heavyweight yesterday and he picked up three wins. I'm not sure how good David Devine is, so I'm not sure what level of concern to express re: Telford's 4-1 decision win over him. Probably none; everyone has an off match now and then and Telford did steamroll his other opponents yesterday. He'll be just fine.
NEXT: Iowa hosts Iowa State next Saturday at 730pm CT in Iowa City, IA.