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Iowa Wrestling: Preseason Match Recap

Some questions are answered, but some big ones remain.

Tony Cassioppi pinning Aaron Costello
Darren Miller/

The non-wrestle-off wrestle-offs are over and the results are in the books. Over the course of two days, hundreds of fans packed into the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex to witness some great intrasquad matches and they did not leave disappointed. With no official wrestle offs happening and a shorter-than-normal regular season schedule scheduled, this was a special treat for us fans. This was like having our dessert before the main course and who doesn’t like that?


  1. Spencer Lee tech. fall Aaron Cashman, 16-0
  2. Gavin Teasdale dec. Paul Glynn, 3-2
  3. Carter Happel dec. Justin Stickley, 4-2
  4. Pat Lugo maj dec. Zach Axmear, 18-6
  5. Vince Turk maj dec. Cobe Siebrecht, 15-4
  6. Sam Cook dec. Connor Corbin, 3-2
  7. Jacob Warner dec. Zach Glazier, 8-3
  8. Tony Cassioppi pinned Aaron Costello, 5:33


  1. Austin DeSanto maj dec. Aaron Meyer, 20-7
  2. Pat Lugo dec. Vince Turk, 2-1 TB1
  3. Kaleb Young maj dec. Zach Axmear, 15-5
  4. Alex Marinelli maj dec. Joe Kelly, 16-5
  5. Cash Wilcke dec. Abe Assad, 3-2 TB1
  6. Jacob Warner maj dec. Sam Cook, 15-4
  7. Steven Holloway dec. Cade Brownlee, 6-3

This wasn’t officially broadcast via BTN or radio and I wasn’t physically there. Though if my transporter had been working properly, I would have been. If anyone was there, please chime in in the comments section and let me know your thoughts! But, for the most part, everything I expected to happen, happened.

Answered Questions:

Spencer Lee rolled or more accurately, rolled Cashman several times and won his only match decisively. Though, I don’t think he finalized his tech-fall until midway through the 2nd period, Cashman made him work for it. Which is a good sign since he’ll be in our lineup a few times this season. But we should note that Lee is wearing his knee brace, but he doesn’t look to be favoring that leg at all. Here’s to hoping this is precautionary, like it was this time last season.

Austin DeSanto, Alex Marinelli, Kaleb Young, Tony Cassioppi and Jacob Warner all had workmanlike wins, which is exactly what we wanted to see. Including Lee, this is the main core that we’re going to rely heavily on for bonus points throughout the course of the season and into B1G’s and beyond. You have to love the energy they’re showing this early in the season. These guys are ready to rock n’ roll. Oh, and Big Cass wasn’t being facetious about pinning. He’s freakin’ ready.

Unanswered Whats?:

Everyone was anxious to see Gavin Teasdale for the first time and he had to gut-out a victory against our veteran senior, Paul Glynn, 3-2. Some may be a bit worried about GT, but let’s give respect where it’s due. Glynn is a very solid wrestler and would be a starter elsewhere if he chose to and if he were, he’d certainly be an NCAA qualifier. Even DeSanto had to work for it last year against Glynn, winning by a close decision. Glynn is good and GT is on track. This is good news.

BUT, considering DeSanto and Teasdale did not face off and Max Murin didn’t make any appearance whatsoever, we still have no idea what’s going on with 133/141lbs. That’s three workhorses battling it out for two spots, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the odd man out move up to 149lbs to challenge Pat Lugo, which leads us to…

Pat Lugo vs Vince Turk was close. Lugo ultimately beat Turk by a 2-1 decision in TB1. This means they went through an entire period of sudden victory before going into ride outs. These guys are neck and neck and more importantly, Lugo’s spot in the starting lineup is nowhere near secure. Lugo is a returning All-American, but we need to remember that Turk went 3-2 in the 2018 NCAA’s (at 141lbs) where he looked impressive in a loss to Bryce Meredith (Wyoming 2x finalist), 5-2.

With Turk bumping up to challenge at 149lbs it means one of two things to me.

1: There’s not much that separates these two or

2: There’s a lot of familiarity and they simply know how to wrestle each other.

To me, it’s a bit of both. I’ve always liked Turk, his outlook, and when his offense is on, he can hang with anyone in the country, as evident in the Meredith match. Now, if DeSanto or Murin are forced to pump up, things are going to get really interesting really fast. Either way, Lugo controls his own destiny and perhaps this will give him a sense of urgency and he uses it as fuel. Personally, I think he wrestles better with a fire lit under him, which can be exactly what he needs to climb even higher this year.

Murin and Michael Kemerer did not wrestle. For Murin, we simply don’t know. For Kemerer, it sounds more like Jeremiah Moody is a bit dinged up and they scratched his matches against Kem-Dog and Nelson Brands. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here, but I do think we see Brands or Moody step in for Kem-Dog if he needs some R&R while recovering.

This leads us to Cash Wilcke and his 3-2 win over true freshman Abe Assad. Similar to Lugo’s situation, this seems like a wrestle-off to me. Wilcke has been a valuable asset to this program over the past three years going 63-29, but we desperately need more production from the 184lbs slot in March. Wilcke has the ability to AA this year, but make no mistake about it, Assad is gunning for his spot. I fully expect Assad to take his redshirt this year, but if things continue to be this close in the room and Assad enters the Midlands Tournament and out-places Cash… the window could be wide open for him to step in.

The regular season starts next week on Nov. 17 against Tennessee at Chattanooga.

I. Can. Not. Wait.


Who is our starter at 133?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Austin DeSanto
    (132 votes)
  • 38%
    Gavin Teasdale
    (84 votes)
216 votes total Vote Now


Who is our starter at 141?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Austin DeSanto
    (96 votes)
  • 53%
    Max Murin
    (111 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now


Who is going to lock down 149?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Pat Lugo
    (170 votes)
  • 17%
    Vince Turk
    (37 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now