What a fun weekend that was. Beginning with a 31-7 win over a lackluster Michigan squad and ending with a 44-0 shellacking of a miserable Michigan State program, the No. 3 Hawkeyes cruised their way to a double-victory weekend in that state up north. We spoke about the Wolverine win Friday evening, so before we take a deeper gander at anything, let’s go through the Sparty dual.
The Hawks won all 10 matches, putting an utter beatdown on the severely outmatched Spartans with bonus points from seven weights — Cory Clark, Joey Gunther, and Cash Wilcke were the Hawkeyes unable to get more than three team points. Full disclosure, limited Twitter access (a Sunday afternoon dual isn’t making things very accessible, now is it, schedulers?) was numero uno to follow this matchup, so I’m sort of at the mercy of the eyes of others. Luckily, Ross WB at GIA, Courtney Baumann at the DI, and Ross Bartachek — the perfection of a member of the Iowa blogosphere with that last name is now dawning on me — at IAWrestle are three of the best in the business, so we’re in luck.
Gunther and Alex Meyer rebounded nicely from Friday losses at 165 and 174, respectively. Gunther’s victory came in the form of a 2-1 decision against Michigan State’s toughest grappler, which was absolutely awesome to see. As we’re still seemingly in this potential Alex Marinelli holding pattern, managing a victory after Tom Brands sent the skull and crossbones emoji his way Friday is a step in the right direction.
Gunther answered the bell here. After a 0-0 first period, he got the decisive takedown in the second period off a nice shot. Hughes rode him for the entire third period, but he was never able to turn Gunther, so Gunther was able to escape with the upset win in the lowest-scoring match of the day. Not too shabby.
Remember to enjoy the journey.
As far as Meyer goes, he opened things up! A typically workmanlike guy, we don’t often see big points from Meyer, so it’s a tremendous joy when we do. The senior managed only one takedown in the opening period, but turned things on afterwards en route to a 22-7 tech fall.
The fact Meyer put on a takedown clinic is unusual, so we’re all aboard if he can replicate this. Probably not realistic, but we can dream, can’t we?
With fewer than 30 seconds left in the third period, Meyer needed just one more takedown to guarantee the technical fall after the match ended, and Brands could be heard across Jenison Field House yelling, “One more.”
“I could hear him from the corner. I didn’t know it at that point, but that’s what he’s there for,” Meyer said. “He’s there to coach, and he’s great at it, so I listen to him in the corner and do what I need to do.”
Two more quick thoughts on the weekend before we get you out of here.
- Topher Carton has put together a nice little start to the dual season. After grinding out an 8-4 decision Friday, the senior managed a major against the only ranked opponent in the Michigan State lineup. He finished seventh at the Midlands, which leads me to believe he’s someone capable of scoring a few postseason points. The size is there, he’s lingered around the program and has shown flashes of being a solid grappler in his first and only full-time starting gig.
- Encouraging to see Cory Clark widen the gap in his second bout back from injury. It’s too bad the senior couldn’t get the major, but then again, it’s hard to expect anything more than three team points from a relatively non-explosive wrestler. Here’s to hoping the wrist/hand injury doesn’t hold him back moving forward.
Full Michigan State Results
125 / No. 1 Thomas Gilman fall Logan Griffin in 2:12
133 / No. 1 Cory Clark dec. Austin Eicher, 7-0
141 / Topher Carton major dec. No. 14 Javier Gasca, 12-2
149 / No. 2 Brandon Sorensen tech fall Nick Trimble, 20-5
157 / No. 2 Michael Kemerer major dec. Austin Thompson, 11-2
165 / Joey Gunther dec. Drew Hughes, 2-1, 16-6
174 / No. 11 Alex Meyer tech fall Drew Barnes, 22-7
184 / No. 5 Sammy Brooks tech fall Wesley Maskill, 18-3
197 / Cash Wilcke dec. Matt Okaiye, 8-4
HWT / No. 7 Sam Stoll beat Jacob Cooper by DQ after four stalling calls