Well, the Hawkeye wrestling team is your 2016 Midlands Champion. It was expected, and it still feels great. Aided by three individual champions, Iowa was able to outlast Nebraska and Arizona State with a total of 150.5 points in the team race.
We’ll have a deeper analysis of the Hawkeyes’ performance tomorrow, below are your results by session.
Iowa wrestlers went 3-2 in the semifinals, with Thomas Gilman, Brandon Sorensen, and Michael Kemerer doing their thing, while Alex Meyer and Sam Stoll dropped their bouts.
Gilman’s win over American’s Josh Terao was only by an 8-6 decision, featuring fireworks and Tom Brands on the mat after the bout. It looked like Iowa’s 33-pounder was upset over something, so much so that Brands had to step in. That’s Pulitzer Prize-worthy writing there, folks.
Sorensen majored Sam Speno, and oh baby, did Kemerer make his presence felt. He put a beatdown on former NCAA Champ Jason Tsirtsis with an 11-2 major, giving the former Wildcat and now Sundevil an embarrassment at his former home.
Alex Meyer got off to a slow start in the 174 quarters, falling behind 8-1 before mounting a respectable comeback. He fell short, however, losing 9-7. Sam Stoll fell to No. 2 Tanner Hall, 2-1. Both Hawks won to make the third-place match, as did Alex Marinelli and Sammy Brooks.
On the backside, 141-pounder Topher Carton placed seventh with a win over Nick Zanetta of Pitt.
At 165, Kaleb Young won two and lost one to compete in the fifth-place match.
Kemerer had the most exciting match of the evening, by far, as he downed No. 1 Tyler Berger of Nebraska to win the 157-pound title.
Wow that was awesome— Pat Angerer (@PAngererUSA) December 31, 2016
Sure was. Kemerer and Berger both had takedowns reversed in the waning moments of the match, with the Hawkeye outlasting the Husker in the second round of tiebreakers for a 6-5 decision. It was an electric bout, and we’ll break that down further tomorrow.
Sorensen and Gilman took care of business to win at their respective weights. That duo now has five combined Midlands Championships. Not bad.
Iowa went 2-and-2 in the third-place matches. Marinelli got pinned by Anthony Valencia and Meyer lost a 9-5 decision. Brooks added four backpoints late in the third period to take third by a score of 10-5. Sam Stoll pinned his guy in 4:44.
Young won 9-4 to take fifth, so your guess on the future of 165 for the remainder of the year is as good as anyone’s at this point.