By Courtney Baumann | email@example.com
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It appears as though Iowa wrestling fans no longer need to fret about injuries. The Hawkeyes were back to their anticipated lineup with both No. 2 Cory Clark and No. 6 Sam Stoll on the mat Jan. 6 as No. 3 Iowa defeated No. 15 Michigan, 31-7.
Thomas Gilman did what he does and got the ball rolling for the Hawkeyes with a 20-7 major decision over Michigan’s Austin Assad. The senior tallied 9 takedowns duriing his seven minutes on the mat, along with an escape and a point for riding time.
Clark won a 2-0 decision in his first match since the Purdue dual. The senior missed all of December with an injury.
Clark’s first oppoment back was No. 8 Stevan Micic, whom Clark did not allow to score a point in the full seven minutes.
“I’m anxious to get some matches under my belt, because that’s when my best wrestling comes out, when I get some time out there on the mat,” Clark said. “I’m not necessarily someone who can step out on the mat and be at my very best right away. That’s something I know about myself.”
Iowa hit a wall after the intermission, with two losses in a row from Joey Gunter and No. 13 Alex Meyer. The Wolverines cut the deficit to 10 points with three weights left, but a Sammy Brooks win over Ernest Battaglia put a team victory out of Michigan’s reach.
The No. 6 senior dominated his match right off the whistle. By the end of the first period, Brooks had racked up 4 takedowns as well as 4 near-fall points.
Brooks earned a technical fall in the third period, putting Iowa up 22-7 with just two matches left.
Stoll wrestled for the first time in a dual meet this season and started out his 2017 campaign in a very Stoll-esque way, pinning Dan Perry in 2:12.
The sophomore said he feels good, but he needs to be ready to go earlier in the match.
“I almost got taken down, so I have to get a little more ready to go right away,” he said. “I thought I was going to score, I think I just relaxed for a second … I have to be more aware.”
Iowa head coach Tom Brands had no bad things to say about his heavyweight, but it was not the same story for the rest of his team.
Brands was not happy with the way a few of his wrestlers performed. Although eight Hawkeyes won their matchups, he couldn’t get past the two that didn’t.
“It could’ve been nine wins with Meyer, and maybe 10 wins if you get a guy who competes out there,” Brands said, referring to redshirt freshman Joey Gunther. “We need to believe, maybe, more at 165, and at 174 you can’t build yourself a hole, and you can’t get in a situation where you’re looking for a flag in Ann Arbor.”
Regardless, the Hawkeyes moved to 6-0 in dual-meet competition with the win, and it will try for another road victory in a couple days. Iowa will stay in Michigan and take on Michigan State Jan. 8.
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