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Iowa Wrestling: No. 2 Iowa vs No. 9 Wisconsin - Preview, HTW Guide & Match Thread

Senior Day

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Another weekend, another top10 opponent for Iowa wrestling with Wisconsin coming to town, just the way it should be. And if you’re newly tuned into wrestling following Iowa’s monster dual with Penn State, you’re in good company. Last week’s #1 vs #2 showdown set the BTN all-time record for most viewers of a dual, beating out the 2020 version of Iowa vs Penn State. The most recent iteration didn’t turn out quite like the Hawkeyes would have hoped but it proved that Iowa is within striking distance of Penn State.

Now, Iowa has to prepare for what may be a sneaky competitive dual with Wisconsin. On senior day and following an emotionally taxing contest like last week there may be some danger of a let down in focus and intensity. Already missing Lee and with Ayala possibly sitting out a second straight contest, Iowa can’t afford to fool around.


125lbs: Jesse Ybarra or #9 Drake Ayala vs #5 Eric Barnett

133: #3 Austin DeSanto vs Kyle Burwick

141: #2 Jaydin Eierman vs #21 Joseph Zargo

149: #10 Max Murin vs #5 Austin Gomez

157: #12 Kaleb Young vs #21 Garrett Model

165: #5 Alex Marinelli vs #12 Dean Hamiti

174: #2 Michael Kemerer vs #20 Andrew McNally

184: #17 Abe Assad vs Christopher Weiler

197: #3 Jacob Warner vs #22 Braxton Amos

285: #5 Anthony Cassioppi vs #11 Trent Hillger

*Rankings via Flowrestling

Looking over the probable matchups, there’s reason to think this dual will be close until at least intermission. Iowa ought to pull away starting at 165 and make the final score look comfortable but in wrestling it only takes a couple of seconds for a match and an entire dual to go from comfortable to doubtful with a pin or a sloppy ride that becomes a reversal in the 3rd period.

Key Matchups

149: #10 Max Murin vs #5 Austin Gomez

Gomez spent several years at Iowa State before transferring to Wisconsin for this season. Due to injury issues for Gomez, these two never met in a Cy-Hawk meet but Gomez is healthy now and 12-1 on the season. Murin has been facing top10 guys week in and week out for a while now and has looked up to it, beating PSU’s Bartlett, taking #2 Sasso of OSU to the wire, and upsetting Yahya Thomas before that. If this match doesn’t come down to a last 3rd period or SV takedown, I’d be shocked. Thinking bigger picture than just this dual meet, a win here or against Nebraska’s Lovett in a couple weeks would earn Murin a #2 or #3 seed in the Big10 tournament, thereby avoiding a semifinal showdown with Sasso.

157: #12 Kaleb Young vs #21 Garrett Model

Young ground out a no frills decision last week against his Penn State foe and is certain to attempt the same against Model. For his part, Model has shown by his past results that he can hang tough, losing 8-3 to #2 Ryan Deakin. He also can get out and score points opportunistically. If this one stays under 6-7 total match points, it’ll be to Young’s style and advantage. A higher score than that and all bets are off.

165: #5 Alex Marinelli vs #12 Dean Hamiti

Marinelli has been caught a couple of times in his career by young, up and coming wrestlers, most recently by Ohio State’s Carson Kharchla. Hamiti is another emerging talent and Marinelli absolutely has to be ready. The Bull looked very much like himself last week, destroying PSU’s Brady Berge in the 3rd period to the point that it looked like Berge was regretting coming out of retirement. Should he bring that energy again vs Hamiti or anyone else in the field at 165, he’ll close out his Carver career a winner.

A few remaining thoughts:

  • Iowa’s dual last week was the most viewed all time on television. The Bout at the Ballpark event planned for next Saturday where Iowa will meet Oklahoma State is most assuredly going to be witnessed by the 2nd largest in person crowd for a wrestling dual in history. The top spot already belongs to Iowa (and Oklahoma State) for the Grapple on the Gridiron at Kinnick. Saturday’s event is a developing story to keep an eye on since the Iowa vs Oklahoma State dual is just one piece of the planned spectacle. The USA and Iranian national teams were expected to square off in a dual type format but alleged visa issues for the Iranian contingent are placing their attendance in doubt. All we know for now is that some type of freestyle event involving USA wrestling will occur, in addition to a high school tournament and women’s freestyle.
  • And speaking of women’s wrestling, my oh my does Iowa have more news for you! The Hawkeyes announced a few months back that they would be the first power five conference university to sponsor a women’s wrestling team. That team now has its first recruit, the #1 pound for pound wrestler in her class, 2021 Junior World Champion Kylie Welker. If you hear “junior world champion” and need more context to determine just how good Welker is, try this: as a high schooler, she tried out for the Olympic team and made it all the way to the finals where she was bested only by Adeline Gray. Gray won the silver medal in Tokyo. So yes, this start to recruiting for Iowa women’s wrestling is acceptable.
  • Graduating Seniors. What a ride it’s been for these men listed below. Covid displaced nearly a year of competition (and in all likelihood stole a national title) from this class but they all came back for this year to finish out their college careers as a band of brothers. One name not listed officially is Pat Lugo who got the roughest deal of them all, having graduated last year without a chance to compete for a title at 149 where he was a favorite to win prior to Covid cancelation. Lugo has been able to remain part of the team in spirit as a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club and it’s heartwarming seeing him behind the bench at Iowa’s home duals.

Half of Iowa’s starting lineup is comprised of the names below and it would have been six out of ten but for Lee’s knee surgeries this year granting him another year. As for Costello, Turk, and Wilson, they could have been multi year starters at most schools but stayed committed to Iowa through their entire careers while seeing only limited spot duty, choosing the Hawkeye family and Iowa’s practice room over individual glory. Credit to all these guys and the extra dedication they’ve made to Iowa wrestling:

Aaron COSTELLO, Dubuque, Iowa

Austin DESANTO, Exeter, Pennsylvania

Jaydin EIERMAN, Columbia, Missouri

Michael KEMERER, Murrysville, Pennsylvania

Alex MARINELLI, Miamisburg, Ohio

Vince TURK, Hampshire, Illinois

Myles WILSON, New Castle, Colorado

Kaleb YOUNG, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Broadcast Info

Opponent: #9 Wisconsin

Dual time: 2:30PM God’s Time (Central) // Saturday February 5th, 2022


Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, Iowa