Carver Hawkeye-Arena was electric. CHA was on fire. CHA and the 9,751 fans in attendance almost collectively hurled in their laps in the closing seconds. Thankfully we didn’t upchuck and thankfully we walked out of our own home with a win.
But boy’o’boy do we have some things to discuss. This was an absolute perfect storm for the Cyclones and we almost sunk in our own ship. We were sick and injured and they came out firing on all cylinders. They got the upsets and we lost the swing matches and yet we prevailed.
But first let’s take a look at the boxscore.
Iowa 19, Iowa State 18
141: Ian Parker dec. #17 Max Murin, 5-4. ISU 3-0
149: Jarrett Degen dec.#7 Pat Lugo, 7-4 (TB1) ISU 6-0
157: #15 Kaleb Young dec. Chase Straw, 8-3. ISU 6-3
165: #4 Alex Marinelli pin Brady Jennings, 4:45. Iowa 9-6
174: Marcus Coleman injury default over Myles Wilson. ISU 12-9
184: Sam Colbray dec. #12 Cash Wilcke, 7-6. ISU 15-9
197: #11 Jacob Warner dec. #5 Willie Miklus, 5-4. ISU 15-12
285: #1 Sam Stoll (IA) dec. Gannon Gremmel (ISU), 5-1. Tied 15-15
125: #1 Spencer Lee maj. dec. Alex Mackall, 13-4. Iowa 19-5
133: Austin Gomez dec. Austin DeSanto, 14-9. Iowa 19-18
***At one point or another we led in all ten matches***
Each team split, winning five a piece, but we were able to get bonus points from Marinelli and Lee and that’s what ultimately gave us the W. However, everyone outside of Marinelli and Young looked haggard and struggled in the later periods.
Here are my amended match notes:
141: Murin led off, came out like gangbusters, and looked solid through two periods and faded. He lost position late. Then he just lost. Parker is no slouch and I think Murin came in expecting an easy go, he didn’t get it. There is a lot he can take away and learn from this loss and he will.
149: Pat Lugo came out, looked solid against another ranked opponent, struggled to finish a shot against length, faded in sudden victory. He lost. Pat may be one of the shortest 149lbers in the country, so he needs to learn to finish against someone taller or this is going to continually happen. He would get in deep then turtle-up. Man, I love being a turtle, but not here.
157: We found ourselves down 6-0 and Young stepped in once again to stop the bleeding. He had a tough battle, but he didn’t fade, nor did he ever wrestle poorly. He rode tough and wrestled smart. He is growing up before our eyes.
165: I’ve said this every week, but the Bull did what the Bull do. His ¾ half is absolutely brutal and I’m so thankful he’s on this team. He is old school Iowa 100%. He also 100% won us this dual.
174: This was a Myles Wilson we had never seen before and he looked gooooood. He was up 4-0 in the first looking to take it to Coleman when his knee buckled. He went down hard and the medical staff rushed the mat. Things went from bad to worse when they started comparing stability to his other leg. He would injury default out, gifting ISU six undeserved points and erasing Marinelli’s pin.
184: Cash Wilcke had his hands full in a match he should’ve won. Had the lead late and lost it even later. For all the massive strides forward he’s taken through the first four duals, he took a big step back this one. He lost his aggressive edge and took an ill-fated half shot late that cost him.
197: Jacob Warner burst out with a quick TD that seemed like we were well on our way to a repeat performance against Miklus (another major) but catastrophe struck when Warner evidently turned an ankle late in the first. From here on out it was a painful display, but a heroic one. Warner limped around and grimaced in agony, but gutted it out on one wheel and came away victorious in the most confrontational call of the season so far. Miklus got a TD with 1:07 to go then this happened:
It was a wild series of moves. Miklus was hanging on for dear life and quite frankly should’ve been hit with a stall call, but was able to lock up a cradle. Warner broke free, got the quick reversal as Miklus attempted his own as time expired. If there had been even one more second on the clock and Warner loses. Saved by the bell, amirite?
285: The lights dimmed, the Imperial March theme sounded and the crowd went crazy. No one came walking out and we literally didn’t know what was going on. Was it Stoll or Costello? Then the roof blew off CHA.
After a quick TD Stoll never got anything else going. He was never in jeopardy of losing, but never extended the lead either. He’s obviously healthy, but his gas tank isn’t where it needs to be. The important takeaway: Stoll is back!
125: Lee looked like vintage Lee through the first, almost teching Mackall before fading into oblivion after. Perhaps for the first time in his career he got hit with a stall call and even got taken down. What looked like another sure-fire five points quickly went sideways and worrisome for the final 3 minutes. Thank the Hawkeye gods that Lee had enough strength left in his whizzer to hold of the charging Mackall. If these two ever meet up again Mackall spends most of his time counting lights. Count on it.
133: Austin DeSanto had the most entertaining match of all. It was a back and forth slug fest and we were deadlocked 8-8 late in the third. Remember when we almost threw up? This is why…
Credit is given where it’s due, he fought off his back to avoid the pin and secured the team win, but he still lost. This wasn’t on physical conditioning, but mental conditioning. Merely a few seconds prior to this epic throw Ryan Morningstar was seen tapping the side of his temple and saying, “Wrestle Smart.” If there was ever a moment we see ADS go nuclear this was it. He didn’t. No one should have to say it, but congrats to Austin for handling this loss with humility and being humble in defeat. He too, is growing up quickly and he too will learn from this.
Back to the serious issue:
Illness, injuries, conditioning, officiating? Those are the main topics fresh on everyone's mind. Are they out of shape? Are they training too hard? Tom Brands couldn’t recruit, now he can recruit, but he can’t coach? Were the refs stacking the odds and making life difficult? Bottom line, what the hell happened and why did #3 Iowa struggle so much with an unranked team and why the hell were there so many upsets?!
Folks this isn’t an injury issue, it’s not a conditioning issue, and it’s certainly not a coaching issue. Rumor has it the flu, common cold, stomach bug, whatever you want to call it, has been running rampant throughout the room. Anytime you’re in peak condition like these athletes are and a sickness rocks your world, messes up your routine, and wrecks your immune system, you’re going to crash and crash hard. More importantly, it’s a slow recovery and you can’t expect to shake the fatigue immediately. Sometimes it can take weeks. Yes, weeks. Even bigger than that, illness spread and spreads fast. Regardless, they do need to improve and do it quickly. Like I said it was a Perfect Storm and crap happens. It happened and we lived. Remember how George Clooney and Markie Mark didn’t?
This has been a “thing” for two weeks now and I’m not overly concerned, but if it continues past the upcoming dual with Lehigh on Dec 8 and into the Midlands three weeks later, I will be.
Now for the injuries: Myles Wilson going down was bad, but again it happens. Tom Brands isn’t over training his athletes, neither are they skipping out on stretches and warmups. These guys are so quick and powerful that any minuscule movement in the wrong direction can have unprecedented consequences on a joint. Wilson unfortunately discovered that against Coleman. I truly hope for a quick recovery, but don’t be surprised if he’s out for an extended time, if not the whole time.
So what do we do now? Well I think the “Bowman at 174lbs” experiment is full steam ahead. But until he legally makes weight before the Midlands expect to see somebody like Jeren Glosser or Jeremiah Moody bump up from 157lbs or Tristan McDonald go against Lehigh. I think all three can be successful on the varsity team, but not up one or two weight classes. It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of who. Also, what we will not see, is Nelson Brands being inserted into this lineup. He too is a 157lbs already wrestling up at 165lbs. I’ll eat my own words if he goes, but I cannot see them burning a redshirt for one match.
On to the officiating. I’m as big of a Hawkeye homer as they come, but in terms of the refs I try to keep an objective outlook, that goes for all sports.
Saturday it was impossible.
It started off fast and furious against Murin (who hadn’t been hit with a stall call all year) and continued up the lineup. Then perhaps Kaleb Young had the most egregious call against him. Unfortunately, Flowrestling has pulled all their clips from the Twittersphere so I don’t have anything to share, but Kaleb took a shot, both went back to neutral, Straw took a half attempt, Young sprawled and was immediately dinged for a stall point, then countered into his own TD. I just don’t understand, but similar calls were happening all evening, but yet several ISU wrestlers continually appeared to flee the mat or wrestle on the edge. There just seemed to be no consistency from match to match, which led to more frustration.
Before I put this post to bed I’d like to share one more clip about Sam Stoll.
MUST WATCH: Tom Brands explains what happened right before Sam Stoll took the mat against Iowa State. pic.twitter.com/bsfLnyltpt— Beau (@bowman_beau) December 1, 2018
Our boy is back.
Up next we take on #13 Lehigh at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30PM CT.
We're now a perfect 5-0 on the season. GO HAWKS!!!