Hello there, folks and happy Monday. If you’re like me, you spent the majority of Saturday stuffing your face with buffalo chicken sliders from the Vine and washing ‘em down with Busch Light. Some two and a half hours away in Decorah, humans in infinitely better physical condition were kicking off their wrestling season at the Luther Open.
And (as expected) how dominant it was. The Hawkeyes won every title but heavyweight in the varsity division, and added three more in the freshman division. The championship bout at seven weights — no. 174, 184, or HWT — featured Iowa wrestlers against Iowa wrestlers, giving us clarity into Tom Brands’ lineup to start the year.
Iowa’s big guns put on a show, most of them doing damage exactly how you’d like them to. Thomas Gilman pinned his way through the 125 bracket, besting Perez Perez in 5:39 in the championship round. His quickest pin was over Luther’s Connor Murphy in 2:25. Cory Clark had two falls and a tech before beating teammate Phillip Laux, 4-1, in the finals. Of note: Clark had a brace on his left wrist. Probably means nothing, but you can read too much into everything along with me by watching this video.
Brandon Sorensen had two pins, a tech, and two majors, the second of which came over Hawkeye Jeren Glosser in the 1st place match. Sammy Brooks and Alex Meyer had bonus points in all of their matches, save for the 174 pound finals, where Meyer downed Minnesota State Mankato’s Adam Cooling, 2-0.
Now, the weights with some form of competition for the starting spot.
Senior Topher Carton came out on top at 141 (Carter Happel made a mockery of the freshman bracket, by the way), scoring bonus points in five of his six bouts. He and Paul Glynn squared off in the finals, a decision Carton won 4-2. Some may have expected Vince Turk to take the reigns here, but an apparent injury following a first-round tech fall ended his day early. Key word here being apparent, because I’ve failed you and can’t find anything anywhere giving more details. Could be something to look for at the IC Duals.
Moving on up to 157, Michael Kemerer put on a clinic. He went tech, pin, tech, tech before winning by forfeit over teammate Logan McQuillen. Again, no potential injury updates on McQuillen, just something to keep an eye on, even though McQuillen hopefully won’t have to be used this year.
Joey Gunther (insert obscure Sunny reference here) likely took the 165 spot via a 10-4 decision over Jeremiah Moody in the first-place match. Gunther recorded three bonus-point wins on the day, and Moody did the same. If we want to start the Alex Marinelli watch party, he looked nice at Grand View.
Moving onto the big guys before we go our separate ways, 197 could still be a toss-up. Mitch Bowman had bonus points in every match leading up to the finals with Cash Wilcke, who had a scare in the semis against Kyle Frank of Wartburg, downing him 5-3 in sudden victory. Wilcke rebounded to beat Bowman with a 3-2 decision.
Steven Holloway only had to wrestle three matches at heavyweight, winning two decisions before getting beat 12-5 in the finals.
So, now that all that’s out of the way. let’s take a look at Iowa’s potential starting lineup. This is subject to change, and based solely on what happened Saturday. But given everything, this should be close to what Iowa looks like, at least early in the year.
125 — Gilman
133 — Clark
141 — Carton
149 — Sorensen
157 — Kemerer
165 — Gunther
174 — Meyer
184 — Brooks
197 — Wilcke
HWT — Holloway (?) until Stoll comes back. Please come back, Sam.
If you’d like, full results of the Luther Open are available here. Talk to you guys Wednesday.