Day One was not kind to our Iowa Hawkeyes.
I could end this recap right there because that sentence tells us all we need to know, but alas, I’ll quick dive into the heartache, disappointment, and downright frustration.
We went 8-2 in the opening round with the two loses coming from Drake Ayala and Abe Assad. Drake kicked things off seemingly forgetting about the neutral danger rule and the golden rule of “STAY OFF YOUR BACK”. He proceeded to surrender 8 points due to staring at the lights. He wrestled his ass off and made a valiant come back, but ultimately lost 12-9.
DeSanto, Eierman, KY, Bull, Kemerer, and Cassioppi all had to battle their way to simple decision. All the while Max Murin and Jacob Warner both secured bonus point wins: Mad Max with the fall and Warner by major.
With the two brutal loses and the lack of bonus point wins from our (usual) workhorses, we found ourselves tied with Michigan for 2nd place with 12.5, trailing PSU’s 15.5
Things would go from mediocre to worse in the 2nd round.
Eierman and KY would go on to lose painful, frustrating, downright head-scratches matches. Both refused to initiate any offense, to which, they both would lose in OT.
Jaydin looks clearly injured (and reports are he blew out his knee). The typical flashy defensive mastery simply isn’t there. He seemed timid and possibly, scared, to let anyone in on his legs. If he can’t get to his go to leg bait/ cradles, he doesn’t have much to offer.
KY, on the other hand, tried his best Eierman impersonation and baited Lewan into a poor attempt, but KY was caught flat footed and quickly coughed up the lead and the win.
DeSanto would battle to another decision victory, as did Marinelli, Kemdawg, and Warner. Mad Max had another impressive win over #9 Kaden Gfeller (OKST) 8-4 and Cassioppi would go on to win by the bonus point variety.
In total we have 6 good guys in the QF with 4 more alive in the wrestle-backs. But those 4 all have long, long roads ahead of them.
We’ve got some big time matchups here in the QF’s. Any Hawkeye who wins this round guarantees themselves a spot on the podium and the coveted All-American status.
We’re underdogs in most matches, but everyone outside of Max has winnable matches. Unfortunately, Murin will be toeing the line against the 2x champ Yianni Diakomihalis.
We also need to keep an eye on Jaydin Eierman and his will to continue and fight back. Here’s a guy that’s a 4x AA and returning finalist, hampered by a severe injury, and now finds himself needing 3 backside wins just to reach the podium. Can he do it? I’m praying he can.
Outside of the Iowa woes, the Big Ten took gut punch at 125 in the opening round.
ISU’s returning 157lbs champ, #1 David Carr, also fell in the 2nd round. Kevin Dresser’s squad has had a historically bad tournament with (at the time of this writing) six wrestlers still alive, with ZERO on the frontside.
They are currently sitting tied for 28th place with 5 points.
So, I guess in the grand scheme of things, at least we’re not having an Iowa Sate like tournament...
1. Penn State 27.5
2. Arizona State 22.0
3. NC State 21.5
4. Michigan 21.0
5. Iowa 20.5
6. Northern Iowa 15.0
133: #5 Austin DeSanto vs #4 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech)
149: #8 Max Murin vs #1 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell)
165: #3 Alex Marinelli vs #6 Cameron Amine (Michigan)
174: #5 Michael Kemerer vs #4 Hayden Hidlay (NC State)
197: #6 Jacob Warner vs #3 Eric Schultz (Nebraska)
285: #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #6 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)
Consolation Round 2
#13 Drake Ayala vs #14 Jakob Camacho (NC State)
#2 Jaydin Eierman vs #17 Dylan D`Emilio (Ohio State)
#18 Abe Assad vs #16 Dakota Geer (OKST)
Session III (Quarterfinals) - 10AM God’s Time (Central) // Friday, March 18th, 2022
Session IV (Semifinals) - 7PM God’s Time (Central) // Friday, March 18th, 2022
TV: Session III is available on ESPNU, Session IV will be on ESPN
Streaming: Individual mats for all sessions are available on ESPN3
Location: Little Caesars Arena // Detroit, Michigan