By James Geerdes
In what is usually a competitive rivalry, Iowa wrestling rolled over Minnesota, 34-7, on Feb. 2 in Carver-Hawkeye.
In his penultimate match at home, Brandon Sorensen started the night exactly how he wanted: with a pin. Iowa’s dual against Minnesota began at the 149-pound weight class, and the Hawkeyes smothered the Gophers from the start.
The second-ranked Sorensen found his groove from the get-go against Minnesota’s Ben Brancale. He piled on 3 takedowns in the first period and wrapped up a fall in 3:32 to give Iowa the early 6-0 lead.
Teammate and fellow No. 2 Michael Kemerer kept the success rolling for the Hawkeyes. The sophomore scored 5 takedowns and a reversal against No. 18 Jake Short after missing last week’s dual with Michigan because of an injury. Kemerer, with his right leg wrapped in athletic tape, showed no signs of damage and won a 16-6 major decision to increase the team score to 10-0, Iowa.
In the third match of the night, Alex Marinelli overpowered Minnesota’s No. 8 Nick Wanzek. Marinelli, ranked No. 7 by Intermat, went scoreless with the Gopher through the first period and only earned an escape point in the second. Leading 1-0 going into the third, Marinelli scored a takedown and racked up more than a minute of riding time. With an awarded stalling point, Marinelli ended with a 5-1 decision, and Iowa increased its lead to 13-0.
Joey Gunther followed Marinelli’s performance with his own 5-1 decision over Minnesota’s Chris Pfarr. Gunther scored 2 takedowns and an escape to push Iowa’s lead to 16-0.
An Iowa hiccup at 184 pounds put the first Gopher points on the board, as Minnesota finally found some light when Brandon Krone smothered Mitch Bowman. Bowman was caught sleeping, and Krone immediately scored a takedown, then added a 4-point near fall. Krone added more back points and well over a minute of riding time to walk away with a 12-2 major decision.
Cash Wilcke found his way back in the win column after losing to Michigan’s Kevin Beazley last weekend. Wilcke edged Minnesota’s Dylan Anderson, 10-7, behind 3 takedowns in the first period, but he allowed 2 in the second and third periods. Iowa expanded its lead to 19-4.
Sam Stroll won a 12-1 major decision over Minnesota’s Rylee Streifel. Iowa’s heavyweight racked up 4 takedowns and added 2 more points for stalling while accumulating more than three minutes of riding time. Iowa’s lead grew to 23-4.
The highly anticipated matchup between true freshman Spencer Lee and Minnesota’s Ethan Lizak brought Iowa fans to their feet. Lee scored a takedown early in the first and never looked back. Following his takedown, the freshman put up 2 near falls and a reversal. Up 13-0 in the third, Lee scored another takedown to seal the deal and put Iowa up 28-4.
Iowa’s second loss of the night came at 133 pounds when Minnesota’s Mitch McKee won a 7-2 decision over Paul Glynn. Glynn scored a takedown in the second, but No. 12 McKee was too much for the Hawkeye, and Iowa’s lead was cut to 28-7.
To conclude Iowa’s night, Carter Happel shocked Carver-Hawkeye with a extremely last-second takedown and pin over No. 10 Tommy Thorn. Happel was down 4-3 with riding time in favor of Thorn and only seven seconds left in the final period. Iowa’s 141-pounder took Thorn to his back for 2, then notched the fall to secure the 6 points for Iowa. The arena erupted, Mark Ironside briefly lost his voice screaming on the radio broadcast, and the Hawkeyes walked away with a dominating 34-7 win over rival Minnesota.