Hawkeyes Clinch Third Place at Medal Rounds

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CLEVELAND – The University of Iowa wrestling team won three matches in the medal rounds Saturday to clinch third place at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena.
51590Four of Iowa’s five All-Americans combined for 7.5 team points in the final consolation round.
Michael Kemerer placed fourth for the Hawkeyes at 157. Brandon Sorensen (149) and Sam Stoll (285) both finished in fifth place, and Alex Marinelli (165) placed sixth.
Iowa’s 93 points guarantees them a third place finish with Spencer Lee still competing in the tournament. Fourth-place Michigan has 80 points and two wrestlers still in the bracket. None of the wrestlers competing for titles tonight can score more than six points for their team.
Heading into the finals, Ohio State is in first place with 130.5 points. Penn State is in second with 124.5. Iowa’s team trophy is its 10th in the last 11 years.
“I’ve heard third, fourth, and second a lot in the last however many years,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “It doesn’t feel good, but you do have to give some credit to some tough performances to get us in that position.”
Iowa scored 30.5 bonus points. Eight of the Hawkeyes nine qualifiers scored bonus points in at least one match. Stoll and Lee each contributed seven bonus points to Iowa’s total. Lee won two matches by technical fall and two more by fall. Stoll registered three pins, more than any other wrestler in the tournament.
“We scored a lot of bonus points in this tournament. That is something that we preach and something that we haven’t maybe seen a lot of. (Give) credit to (winning) tough matches, credit to wide open wrestling that our fans like and is really good for the sport. The biggest message is that I’m never going to get used to third. We left points out there too, no doubt.”
Iowa was 3-5 in the medal round. Michael Kemerer was the lone Hawkeye to win his consolation semifinal match, a 6-1 decision, but he injury defaulted in the third-place match and finished fourth.
“I would have liked to finish on top of the stand and win the whole thing,” Kemerer said, “but either way you have to move forward. I’ve got a lot of good teammates, a lot of great coaches and people around me in my life and I’m looking forward to going back with those people and getting better and I’m really thankful for what I’ve got.”
Sorensen lost his opening match Saturday, 7-3, but walked off the mat for the final time with his hand raised after a 4-0 win in the fifth-place match. He finishes his career as a four-time All-American with a career record of 127-17. His career wins tie Mark Ironside and Randy Lewis for 12th all-time in program history.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Sorensen said. “I’ve grown up with a lot of good teammates. I could go through a ton of names that have been successful through high school and through college, doesn’t matter the level. It’s been fun.
“(This team) is another family. It has developed me a lot over the past five years into a better person and a better man.”
Stoll was pinned in his consolation semifinal match, but bounced back in the fifth-place match with a fall of his own in one minute, 57 seconds.
“I think we have a lot of tough guys who want to put guys on their backs and get it done. Sometimes you get the guys that when they get to day two or day three and just want to be done. I think we are good at getting the guys and breaking them.”
Marinelli dropped a pair matches on the consolation side, but his sixth place finish makes him Iowa’s first 165-pound All-American since Ryan Morningstar in 2010.
“It’s not what we wanted,” Marinelli said. “We all want to beat Penn State and Ohio State. We know we can do it, and next year is the year. We didn’t get it done this year, but our team… we believe in ourselves.”
Including finalist Spencer Lee, the Hawkeyes return four All-Americans next season. Lee wrestles for the 125-pound NCAA title Saturday night at 7 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.
149 – #11 Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) dec. #2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), 7-3
157 – #6 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) dec. #5 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan), 6-1
165 – #10 Evan Wick (Wisconsin) major dec. #5 Alex Marinelli (Iowa), 16-3
285 – #4 Jacob Kasper (Duke) pinned #5 Sam Stoll (Iowa), 1:17       
157 – #8 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) won by injury default #6 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
149 – #2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. Grant Leeth (Missouri), 4-0
165 – David McFadden (Virginia Tech) pinned #5 Alex Marinelli (Iowa), 5:14
285 – #5 Sam Stoll (Iowa) pinned #11 Mike Hughes (Hofstra), 1:57
Ohio State           130.5
Penn State           124.5
IOWA                   93.0
Michigan             80.0
NC State              76.0
Missouri               61.5
Virginia Tech       47.5
Nebraska             47.0
Cornell                 44.0
Rutgers                42.5
Attendance: 19,267