WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — The University of Iowa wrestling team opened the Big Ten season with a 34-3 win at Purdue on Sunday afternoon. The Hawkeyes won nine-of-10 bouts and scored 59 takedowns to win their Big Ten opener for the 19th straight season.
“There were a lot of good things,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “They were a team that came out to squeeze. You could tell right away they wanted to keep it close. They were on our wrists, squeezing us tight. We did a pretty good job overall.”
The Hawkeyes won the first nine bouts and outscored the Boilermakers 138-59 overall. Iowa won four matches by decision, three by major decision, and two by technical fall. Alex Meyer recorded one of the two technical falls, 25-10, finishing the third period with seven takedowns and scoring a career-high 25 match points.
“It’s fun to put points on the board,” Meyer said. “I was feeling good before the match, during the match, at the end of the match, and after the match. I was moving really well and that leads to me scoring points.”
“Give credit to Meyer,” Brands said. “He didn’t just get the major and stop wrestling. He got the major, kept building, and with seven seconds to go he gets the technical fall and we get another team point. That’s a big deal.”
Thomas Gilman, Topher Carton, Brandon Sorensen, and Sammy Brooks scored bonus points for Iowa. Gilman opened the dual at 125 with six first-period takedowns and earned his first technical fall of the season, 25-10. He improved to 6-0 on the season. He is yet to wrestle a full length match, winning his first five bouts of the season by fall.
Carton surrendered a takedown in the opening minute at 141, but scored the final eight takedowns, three in the final period, and added 2:26 of riding time to win by major decision, 19-8.
Sorensen led 5-2 after two periods before scoring five takedowns in the final frame to record his fourth major decision of the season, 17-6, at 149.
Brooks recorded eight takedowns and 2:40 of riding time to win 20-9 at 184.
Cory Clark improved to 7-0 on the season with a 6-0 decision at 133. Michael Kemerer was one of four Hawkeyes to make their Big Ten debuts. He scored the first of four takedowns 37 seconds into the match and added 1:03 of riding time to win, 10-3, at 157.
Joey Gunther (165) and Cash Wilcke (197) also picked up wins in their debut. Wilcke scored his third takedown of the match with two seconds on the clock to win 6-4 at 197, and Gunther outscored his opponent 6-2 in the third period to win 8-4 at 165.
“It was nice to get a Big Ten match under my belt,” Gunther said. “I just kept bringing the pace higher and higher and getting to my attacks. They were coming easier and easier as the match was going on.”
Purdue closed the dual with a 4-2 win at 285. Steven Holloway scored the bout’s only takedown, but gave up a penalty point, two escapes, and riding time.
“I like the test that we had in some matches,” Brands said. “We definitely have to get better at 97 and heavyweight in bottom position. We don’t want to dwell on that. Both matches were winnable. Wilcke overcame getting ridden out (second period) and Holloway can overcome that. The easiest way to overcome it is just get off the bottom.”
Iowa returns to the mat Friday, Dec. 2 wrestling South Dakota State in Brookings, South Dakota. The dual begins at 7:30 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcast on KXIC AM 800 and online at Hawkeye All-Access. The dual is streamed online at flowrestling.com and televised on the Midco Sports Network.
NOTES: Attendance was 944… Iowa held a 59-2 advantage in takedowns and scored 28 takedowns in the third period… Iowa has won 22 consecutive Big Ten duals… Iowa has won 19 straight conference openers… Iowa has won 29 consecutive duals against Purdue… Redshirt freshmen Michael Kemerer, Joey Gunther, Cash Wilcke, and Steven Holloway made their Big Ten debuts… Brandon Sorensen (18-0) and Alex Meyer (14-0) are undefeated in Big Ten duals.
#3 IOWA 34, Purdue 3
125 — #1 Thomas Gilman (I) tech. fall Ben Thornton (P), 25-10; 5-0
133 — #1 Cory Clark (I) dec. Luke Welch (P), 6-0; 8-0
141 — Topher Carton (I) major dec. Kyle Ayersman (P), 19-8; 12-0
149 — #2 Brandon Sorensen (I) major dec. Nate Limmex (P), 17-7; 16-0
157 — #7 Michael Kemerer (I) dec. Alex Griffin (P), 10-3; 19-0
165 — Joey Gunther (I) dec. Dylan Lydy (P), 8-4; 22-0
174 — #6 Alex Meyer (I) tech. fall Peter Andreotti (P), 25-10; 27-0
184 — #7 Sammy Brooks (I) major dec. Tanner Lynde (P), 20-9; 31-0
197 — Cash Wilcke (I) dec. Christian Brunner (P), 6-4; 34-0
285 — Tyler Kral (P) dec. Steven Holloway (I), 4-2; 34-3