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Third-ranked Iowa Wrestling takes on Iowa State

We look to knock down Cy for the 15th year in a row. Also four former Hawkeyes make their debut in the inaugural AWL event

NCAA Wrestling: DI Wrestling Championships Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We’re fresh off a Purdue beat down and looking to keep the momentum as we welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Carver Hawkeye-Arena Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2PM CT.

We’re in the midst of the Cy-Hawk series this week and ISU currently has a 6-5 advantage over us. Saturday’s dual will count for two points for the winner. Saturday’s winner will also lay claim to the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy, which was introduced in 2010. This goes without saying, but Gable is incredibly important to each program. Either way ISU has never seen it. Never ever. Furthermore, as a team they haven’t even scored more than 9 points since the trophy’s creation.

We’ve also have beaten them 14 times in a row dating back to 2005, Tom Brands is 13-0 against them as a Head Coach, and our overall record is an impressive 63-16-3.

Iowa State (1-0):

Iowa State is knocking on the door of a top-20 ranking for the first time in eons. Flowrestling has yet to award them with a pound sign and number in front of their name, but Intermat has them checking in at #23. Respectability is just around the corner for them, but they still have to make that turn.

Led by ISU are three former and iconic Hawkeyes. Leading the leaders is Head Coach Kevin “The Dress” Dresser and assistant coaches Brent Metcalf and Derek St. John. There was some turmoil in the offseason as another Hawkeye great, Mike Zadick, departed from the program under some cloak & dagger conspiracies and in the fallout Dresser promoted Metcalf from his volunteer role to a full-time assistant.

The biggest news for them, in terms of an actual student-athlete, was when 3x AA Willie Miklus transferred in from Missouri. There are three other guys that appear in various rankings: Austin Gomez (133lbs), Jarrett Degen (149lbs), and Marcus Coleman (174lbs).

Furthermore, they have three true freshmen listed on the probable lineup headed by the overall #2 recruit for 2018 David Carr at 157lbs. Carr recently beat our very own Jaren Glosser and Keegan Shaw at the Lindenwood Open and majored Jeremiah Moody at the Grandview Open as well. Joining him is Joel Shapiro at 184lbs and Francis Duggan at heavyweight. I would be incredibly surprised if Dresser pulls the redshirts, but then again, they may be desperate to snap this losing streak.

#3 Iowa (4-0):

We trotted out an irregular lineup last week and this one could look similar, but who we definitely won’t see is RS junior Michael Kemerer. Kemdawg is going under the knife this week (possibly already has) to repair an injured knee that he suffered at some undisclosed time. He is done for the season and now the 174lb weight class becomes a toss up for Iowa. For more information please read here. Godspeed Kemerer, we’ll see you next year. And we’ll see who fills in for you soon enough

We are and should be heavily favored in this dual, but if we bring five backups like we did against Purdue, this could be a very tight and stressful afternoon in CHA. Our backups vs. their starters could be a much closer contest than what we’re comfortable with. However, #1 Spencer Lee and #7 Pat Lugo are probably returning to the starting lineup, thankfully. Also let it be known that #11 Jacob Warner is the only one listed at 197lbs on the probable lineup. Take it with all the salt you can find. We’ve been here before and he still didn’t go. Another obvious omission is our heavyweigt #1 Sam Stoll who still hasn’t touched the mat. I suppose there’s still chance he could go Saturday, but I’m doubting it. Here’s a quick look at that official document.

Key Matchups:

125: Here we truly need #1 Spencer Lee to go against the RS sophomore Alex Mackall. Mackall is a transfer from Rutgers and was a big time recruit coming out of high school. If Lee takes the mat this will be a 5-0 or 6-0 lead for us, but if he doesn’t it very easily could tilt in the opposite direction. Those team points are going to become extremely important down the stretch.

133: This is the Battle of the Austins as #9 Austin DeSanto squares off against RS freshman Austin Gomez who is ranked #14 via intermat. Like Mackall, Gomez was also a big time recruit and will be a serious, SERIOUS challenge for ADS. Our Austin needs to keep a level head and not get too aggressive too early. He also needs to rely on his bottomless tank and high pace, which could prove to be the difference in this matchup. This is a huge swing match and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of this guys on the podium at the end of the year, so this is perhaps the biggest match of the dual unless….

149: #7 Pat Lugo is back on the mat against #14 Jarrett Degen. Lugo has either been ill or dinged up to start the season and it’s not the start to his Hawkeye career he wanted. He enters with a record of 1-2, having faced two top 15 opponents already, now add in another. If Lugo is back to 100% I fully expect him to be victorious in what will more than likely be a low scoring brawl. But if Lugo can’t and Carter Happel enters the fray, this could and will probably go in the direction of ISU. This is another big swing match and the biggest of the dual unless…

197: #11 Jacob Warner goes against #5 Willie Miklus. As mentioned good ol’ Willie is a 3x time All-American with eyes on becoming a rare four-timer. If Warner gets the greenlight I can’t really imagine a bigger debut. At home, against our (used to be biggest) rival, facing a top 5 guy and returning AA. Folks, this is huge. Warner is an all-world talent but we haven’t been able to see it yet and we are starving for it. But this is a trap match for him, make no mistake about it. If he goes and pulls off the upset be prepared to instantaneously throw huge expectations on him for the remainder of the season. Similarly to when we threw it on him last year after he upset this very same Willie Miklus at the Lindenwood open via major 16-7. Either way, it’ll prove to be a quality test and barometer to where he stands at this point in his young career.

Projected Lineups:

125: #1 Spencer Lee (4-0) Perez Perez (0-3) vs. Alex Mackall (5-1)

133: #9 Austin DeSanto (4-0) vs. Austin Gomez (4-0)

141: #17 Max Murin (4-0) vs. Ian Parker (9-2)

149: #7 Pat Lugo (1-2) / Carter Happel (4-2) vs. #14 Jarrett Degen (7-1)

157: #15 Kaleb Young (3-0) vs. Chase Straw (0-1) / David Carr (13-1)

165: #4 Alex Marinelli (3-0) vs. Brady Jennings (6-3) / Skyler St. John (0-0)

174: Myles Wilson (2-2) vs. Marcus Coleman (5-3)

184: #12 Cash Wilcke (4-0) / Mitch Bowman (2-0) vs Sam Colbray (7-2) / Danny Brush (11-3) / Joel Shapiro (7-1)

197: #11 Jacob Warner (0-0) vs. #5 Willie Miklus (8-0)

285: Aaron Costello (3-1) vs. Gannon Gremmel (6-2) / Francis Duggan (4-0)

So I am beyond excited for this dual, guys! I flew in from Atlanta yesterday evening and as I type this jargon I’m currently in a car heading up to Iowa City with my folks, who are also big time Hawkeye wrestling fans. The last time I was in CHA was for the 2016 Olympic Trials where I watched Dan Dennis throttle Tony Ramos. Other than that I haven’t stepped foot in Iowa City since I graduated from there 2009. It’s been well over a decade since I attended my last Hawkeye dual and I can hardly contain myself.

But this isn’t the only event I will be attending. Oh no. We’re also going to the American Wrestling League inaugural event in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Nov 30. For those of you that don’t know, this is a sanctioned wrestling dual with the biggest of the bigs involved. David Taylor and Kyle Dake, both world champions, held a draft recently and selected the lineups.

This is an attempt to start a real professional wrestling league, with real money involved. Each participant will earn $2,500 with an additional $5,000 going to the winner! This is the first time many of these guys will be financially rewarded for the craft. But what makes this even more intriguing is the FIVE former Hawkeyes/ Cyclones in the starting lineup. Those state of Iowa boys are highlighted.

Team Dake | Team Taylor

57 kg: Frank Perrelli vs. Nico Megaludis

61 kg: Tony Ramos vs. Cory Clark

65 kg: Jordan Oliver vs. Zain Retherford

70 kg: James Green vs. Brandon Sorensen

74 kg: Richie Lewis vs. Tommy Gantt

79 kg: Isaiah Martinez vs. Alex Dieringer

86 kg: Nick Heflin vs. Sam Brooks

92 kg: Deron Winn vs. Mike Macchiavello

97 kg: Jacob Kasper vs. Kyven Gadson

125 kg: Dom Bradley vs. Zach Rey

I’m pumped for all these matches, but Clark vs Ramos takes the top spot. Many of you probably remember the fallout Ramos had with Brands and company as he departed the HWC for North Carolina. He’s a 2x USA Team member, but recently relinquished the top spot to our own Thomas Gilman. He now sits third on the depth chart to Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix.

On the other hand, Clark is finally fully healed and competing well on the senior level. He doesn’t have nearly as much experience, but anytime anyone counts Clark out he surprises them. Look at his NCAA run a couple years back where he won it all with a labral tear in his shoulder.

Alright folks, I’ll see you next week when we dive into the Iowa/ Iowa State recap. Until then, GO HAWKS!!!