By James Geerdes
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Iowa wrestling continued its onslaught on Dec. 29 at the Midlands Championship in Session 2, running its team score to 91.0. Arizona State was a distant second at 75.0, followed by Rutgers with 72.0.
Throughout the day, Iowa boasted a .793 winning percentage, the most total match points with 382, and the most pins with 13. How did each weight class pan out?
Spencer Lee at 125 clocked in and clocked out of Session 2 of the Midlands. The true freshman forced a speedy and flawless tech fall over third-seeded Sean Russell of Edinboro, 15-0. Russell finished fifth last year at the NCAA Championships, so Lee continues to show, with each match, his limitless ceiling.
Lee’s quick work was greeted enthusiastically by the well-traveled Iowa crowd and earned him a spot in the semifinals.
Justin Stickley lost in his consolation match to Joshua Kramer of Arizona State, knocking him out of the tournament.
Paul Glynn suffered his first Midlands loss to fourth-seeded Dylan Duncan of Illinois in a 6-1 decision. Because Midlands takes the scores of the best attached wrestlers in each weight, Glynn’s score will go to Iowa’s team score.
Glynn will take on Paul Konrath of Wisconsin on Dec. 30 in the consolation bracket.
Teammate Phillip Laux beat Noah Gonser of Eastern Michigan in a 2-0 decision in wrestle-backs. Laux was knocked out of the Midlands Championships when Colin Valdiviez of Northwestern won a 6-3 decision over him.
Vince Turk forced a fall against Cory Crooks of Arizona State in 3:21 in the consolation bracket but was knocked out by Mike Vanschenkbrill of Rutgers, getting pinned in 2:21.
Carter Happel lost by a major decision in the quarterfinals to Bucknell’s Tyler Smith. Happel will wrestle Vanschenkbrill on Dec. 30 to continue on in the consolation bracket.
True freshman Max Murin bounced back from a loss in the Round of 16 in Session 1 by winning two consolation matches. After a medical forfeit, Murin beat Michael Carr of Illinois, 3-2.
Senior Brandon Sorensen stayed hot with a 12-2 major decision over eighth-seed Eleazar DeLuca of Rutgers.
Sorensen earned a spot in his fifth appearance in the Midlands semifinals, and the senior is now two wins away from becoming the 12th Hawkeye to win three Midlands Championships. He will wrestle Jason Tsirtis of Arizona State on Dec. 30 for a chance to advance to the finals.
After a loss in the Round of 16, Jeren Glosser won a major decision over Michigan’s Tyler Meisinger. Unseeded Glosser then beat 12th-seeded Eric Barone of Illinois by decision, 3-1. He will wrestle 6th-seed Ryan Deakin of Northwestern on Dec. 30 for the chance to advance in the consolation bracket.
In the wrestle-back bracket, Pat Lugo avenged his Round of 16 loss by earning a decision over 4th-seeded Brandon Wright, then forcing a fall over Josh Cortez of Cal Poly in 2:01. Lugo will wrestle DeLuca on Dec. 30 to advance in wrestle-backs.
Michael Kemerer snagged his fourth fall of the day, this time against Jake Danishek of Indiana. First seeded Kemerer pinned ninth-seeded Danishek in 4:24. Kemerer will wrestle Justin Staudenmayer of Brown in the semifinals Saturday at noon.165
Alex Marinelli survived a nail-biting match with seventh-seeded Jon Viruet of Brown. A second-period takedown by Marinelli made the difference in a 3-2 decision. Marinelli will face Rutgers’ Richie Lewis, a World silver medalist.
Marinelli last faced Lewis in his Iowa début on Dec. 8 and helped lead a rally against the Rutgers with a 6-4 decision over the then 9th-ranked Lewis.
Redshirt freshman Kaleb Young has torn through the consolation bracket with major victories over Jesse Dellavecchia and Dale Tiongson.
After a loss to Rutgers’ Jordan Pagano in his first match of the day, Joey Gunther worked through the consolation bracket. Gunther earned wins over Matthew Gancayco and Jake Lanning.
He will wrestle 2nd-seed Mikey Labriola of Nebraska to advance on Dec. 30.
Iowa’s Mitch Bowman lost in a controversial decision to Jordan Ellingwood in a tiebreaker after being granted a takedown as the time expired in regular time, only to have it revoked.
Bowman enters the consolation bracket and will face Martin Mueller of South Dakota to advance.
Sophomore Cash Wilcke secured a 5-2 decision over 11th-seed Patrick Brucki of Princeton to advance to the semifinals.
Jacob Warner won with a takedown as time expired over 2nd-seed Jacob Smith of West Virginia. The true freshman will advance to the semifinals, where he will meet teammate Wilcke with the finals on the line.
The last time the pair met competitively was in Iowa’s wrestle-offs in early November. Warner won a 4-3 decision.
Junior Sam Stoll secured a trip to the semifinals with a 17-5 major decision over Zack Parker of Ohio. Stoll forced two DQs in session 1 en route to his third semifinals appearance in as many years.