By James Geerdes
Eight Iowa wrestlers competed in the consolation bracket in the second to last session of the Big Ten Championships.
Here’s what happened and what’s next:
Spencer Lee vs. Sebastian Rivera, Northwestern
Iowa’s Spencer Lee didn’t miss a beat after bouncing into the consolation bracket following his loss to Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello.
Against Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera, Lee scored a takedown in a little more than 30 seconds, then forced the Wildcat onto his back for 4 near-fall points. By the time the first period was over, Lee was up 6-0 with 2:17 of riding time.
Lee landed a couple of nice shots in the second and third period on Rivera and earned an escape point in the third to walk off the mat with an 11-0 major decision. Lee will wrestle for third place later March 4.
Vince Turk vs. Nick Lee, Penn State
The 141-pound Turk has been scrappy all weekend long, and his match with Penn State’s Nick Lee was no different. Turk scored on a single leg takedown within seconds of the start. But his takedown wasn’t enough to win the match.
Lee put up two takedowns and rode Turk the entire second period to win an 8-3 decision. Turk will wrestle for fifth later this afternoon.
Michael Kemerer vs. Andrew Crone, Wisconsin
Kemerer elected to medically forfeit following his loss to Ohio State’s Micah Jordan in the semifinals. Kemerer defaulted to sixth place and will share the award stand with Penn State’s Jason Nolf.
Alex Marinelli vs. Richie Lewis, Rutgers
Marinelli has had Lewis’ number all season long. Iowa’s 165-pounder beat him in the Iowa-Rutgers dual meet and then at the Midlands.
The March 4 meeting at the Big Ten Championships was different. Marinelli had a takedown within the first 10 seconds and was able to hold off Lewis’ attacks until the third period.
But Lewis responded with a takedown in the final 10 seconds. While on top of Marinelli as time was expiring, Lewis pointed at the crowd, then after the whistle blew, got up and pointed at Iowa head coach Tom Brands, flexed, and made the “keep on talking sign” to the Iowa section.
Marinelli’s loss will have him wrestle for fifth in a rematch with Michigan’s Logan Massa.
Joey Gunther vs. Johnny Sebastian, Northwestern
Iowa’s 174-pounder will wrestle for fifth place after his loss to Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern. Sebastian scored a takedown in the first period, and Gunther was unable to get to his offense throughout in a 3-2 decision.
Cash Wilcke vs. Kevin Beazley, Michigan
Wilcke will also wrestle for fifth following a loss to Michigan’s Kevin Beazley. Wilcke now has two losses to Beazley this season when Wilcke was ranked higher.
Beazley scored a takedown in the first period, and Wilcke’s shots were lethargic throughout the match, resulting in a 3-1 decision in favor of the Wolverine.
Sam Stoll vs. Conan Jennings, Northwestern
Iowa’s heavyweight made quick work of his consolation match against Northwestern’s Jennings. Stoll forced Jennings feet-to-back for a takedown, then a fall. Stoll will wrestle for third place at the Big Ten Championships.
Mitch Bowman vs. Ricky Robertson, Wisconsin
In the Big Ten Championships 184-pound seventh place match, Iowa’s Bowman was toppled by Wisconsin’s Robertson.
Robertson scored 3 takedowns and 2 near-fall points to go up 8-2.
Bowman finally found his offense in the third period, but it was too little, too late. A takedown halfway through the period was all Bowman could muster as he dropped a 9-4 decision. Bowman finished eighth at Big Tens and will compete in Cleveland.
Iowa has one finalist competing in the Big Ten Championships finals. Brandon Sorensen will meet Penn State’s Zain Retherford in the 149-pound finale.
Spencer Lee and Stoll will wrestle for third place. In the heavyweight division, Nick Nevills of Penn State stands between Stoll and the bronze. Lee will have to top Purdue’s Luke Welch.
Vince Turk, Joey Gunther, and Cash Wilcke will wrestle for fifth place in their respective weight categories this afternoon.
Notables and Fun Facts
At 157 pounds, the first- and second-seeded wrestlers will share the podium. In sixth place, that is. Kemerer medically forfeited following his semifinals loss, and Nolf forfeited before his semifinals match started. Seedings at nationals will be interesting, to say the least.
The 125-pound championship match will be between fifth-seeded Ethan Lizak of Minnesota and third-seeded Nathan Tomasello. On Feb. 2, Iowa’s Spencer Lee beat Lizak via a tech fall. Tomasello knocked Lee out in the semifinals with a 3-1 decision.
Following his match with Iowa’s Marinelli, Rutgers’ 165-pounder Lewis pointed at Brands, gestured at the Iowa crowd, then flexed for the rest of the crowd. This was enough for officials to deduct Rutgers a team point. In previous matches, many other wrestlers have flexed for the crowd following wins, and none had a team point taken away.
Updated Team Scores
1. Ohio State — 145.5
2. Penn State — 133.0
3. Michigan — 108.0
4. Iowa — 87.0
5. Nebraska — 71.5
6. Minnesota — 66.5
7. Wisconsin — 63.0
8. Illinois — 56.5
9. Purdue — 55.5
10. Northwestern — 51.5
11. Rutgers — 39.5
12. Maryland — 27.5
13. Indiana —10.0
14. Michigan State — 9.5