Well, tonight started poorly and ended poorly. Less than an hour before the dual, Iowa announced heavyweight Sam Stoll will miss the remainder of his junior campaign with a torn ACL — that proved to be an omen for how the night progressed as the No. 4 Hawkeyes dropped their second straight dual at the hands of No. 2 Penn State, 26-11.
The Nittany Lions took 7 of 10 matches from Iowa, collecting bonus points in two matches. Thomas Gilman, Cory Clark, and Alex Meyer were the lone Hawk winners.
Things started about as well as the Hawkeyes could ask, with Gilman winning a tough decision over Nick Suriano and Clark picking up a tech fall over Penn State backup George Carpenter. The first period of Topher Carton’s 141 pound match against Jimmy Gulibon was awesome from an Iowa perspective, but by the third period, it turned into a gigantic fart noise.
Carton looked totally gassed halfway through the second period, and allowed four third-period takedowns to Gulibon. Not great!
Brandon Sorensen and Zain Retherford wrestled one of the most entertaining matches I’ve seen in a long time. The pair traded takedowns (progress, alright) before a Sorensen escape with less than 15 seconds remaining in the third forced overtime at 7-7. It was the nation’s top-ranked 49-pounder that outlasted Sorensen after a pair of tiebreaker periods.
The Michael Kemerer hype took a hit at 157 by way of a 9-4 victory that didn’t even seem that close. Perhaps expectations should’ve been tempered, but I expected more from the freshman sensation against No. 1 Jason Nolf. The Nittany Lion showed there’s a big gap between him and second-ranked Kemerer. Onward.
No. 19 Joey Gunther kept things reasonably close, but dropped a 7-4 decision to No. 6 Vincenzo Joseph. Madness came next.
I was lamenting Alex Meyer’s senior year performance before this dual, but man, did he shut me up. PSU head coach Cael Sanderson pulled phenom Mark Hall’s redshirt at 174, but Meyer played spoiler and won one of his biggest matches of the year, a 7-5 thriller with a takedown late in the third period to finish off the freshman.
In a match we won’t talk about much, No. 5 Sammy Brooks got stuck By No. 2 Bo Nickal in 38 seconds.
From there it was a lost cause even though Cash Wilcke wrestled No. 8 Matt McCuetchon well, losing 8-7 in overtime. Sam Stoll’s replacement, Steven Holloway, got teched by No. 5 Nick Nevills, ending a frustrating night for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa returns to action a week from tonight in Carver against No. 3 Ohio State. Better bring a more complete effort than tonight, Hawks.
We’ll have more on this dual and the state of Iowa wrestling early next week. Drown your sorrows responsibly. I’m en route to Iowa City to pretend real life doesn’t exist. Say hello if you see me.
FULL RESULTS, HAWKS IN BOLD
125 / No. 1 Thomas Gilman dec. No. 3 Nick Suriano, 3-2
133 / No. 3 Cory Clark tech fall George Carpenter, 19-5
141 / No. 18 Jimmy Gulibon dec. No. 19 Topher Carton, 8-6
149 / No. 1 Zain Retherford dec. No. 3 Brandon Sorensen, 9-8
157 / No. 1 Jason Nolf dec. No. 2 Michael Kemerer, 9-4
165 / No. 6 Vincenzo Joseph dec. No. 19 Joey Gunther, 7-4
174 / No. 13 Alex Meyer dec. Mark Hall, 7-5
184 / No. 1 Bo Nickal pinned No. 5 Sammy Brooks in 38 seconds
197 / No. 8 Matt McCutcheon dec. Cash Wilcke, 8-7
HWT / No. 5 Nick Nevills tech fall Steven Holloway, 21-6