“Never ever say, “Never ever.”
But this time I can, because looking at these will never ever get old.
Our Hawkeyes put together one of our best late performances in recent memory going 6 for 9 in medal round matches to secure our first out-right Big Ten Championship since 2010 and 36th in program history.
Speaking of program history, the record books are going to have to be re-worked as Spencer Lee and Pat Lugo earned their first Big Ten titles and Alex Marinelli tallied his second to give us 203 total individual champions split between 115 wrestlers.
Not only is Iowa coming home with the biggest and bestest trophy, two are also bringing back individual honors as well. Spencer Lee was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and head coach Tom Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Lee bonused his way through the field to capture his first conference title and went 18-0 on the year with 17 of those coming by bonus points: 4 pins, 9 tech falls, 3 major decisions, and 1 medical forfeit.
Tom Brands led the Hawks to a perfect B1G regular season record of 14-0, a regular season title, and a B1G tourney championship — the fourth of his career.
We’ve been talking about team effort all year long and these guys have completely bought into that mentality and concept. All ten wrestlers were seeded #3 or higher. Living up to those expectations were nigh-impossible, but of those ten, nine of them finished inside the top 5. Only Kaleb Young failed to find his way to the podium.
There’s so much information that needs to be unpacked and analyzed, but for now, let’s take a couple days to enjoy this. It’s been a very long, pressure-filled season, but our hopes and dreams are starting to materialize in front of our eyes. It's a beauiftul sight.
Sit back, smile, and soak it in. Your Iowa Hawkeyes are Big Ten Champions!!!
1st PLACE MATCHES:
125 - #1 Spencer Lee major dec. over #2 Devin Schroder, 16-2
149 - #2 Pat Lugo dec. over #1 Sammy Sasso, 2-1
165 - #2 Alex Marinelli dec. over #1 Vincenzo Joseph, 3-2
174 - #2 Mark Hall dec. over #1 Michael Kemerer, 8-5
3rd PLACE MATCHES:
133 - #1 Seth Gross dec. over #3 Austin DeSanto, 6-3
184 - #4 Taylor Venz dec. over #3 Abe Assad, 6-4
197 - #3 Jacob Warner inj. def. over #6 Shakur Rasheed, 2:14
285 - #3 Tony Cassioppi dec. over #4 Trent Hillger, 4-0
5th PLACE MATCH:
141 - #3 Max Murin medical forfeit over #6 Mitch McKee
- IOWA 157.5
- Nebraska 132
- Ohio State 112
- Penn State 107
- Purdue 83.0
- Northwestern 79.5
- Michigan 73.0
- Minnesota 63.4
- Wisconsin 62.5
- MichiganState 57.0
- Illinois 49.0
- Rutgers 25.5
- Indiana 14.5
- Maryland 0.0