ON THE MAT
The Hawkeyes finished the 2017-18 season with one NCAA individual champion, five All-Americans, and 10 academic All-Big Ten honors. The Hawkeyes owned an overall record of 12-3 and a Big Ten record of 6-3.
The Hawkeyes sent nine wrestlers to the national tournament, placed third overall, and crowned one NCAA Champion (Spencer Lee, 125) and five All-Americans. It marks the 10th time in 12 years Iowa placed fourth or better to claim a team trophy. Iowa has sent at least eight athletes to the NCAA Championships in each of head coach Tom Brands’ 12 seasons.
Iowa scored 97 team points in 2018 and will return all but the 13 points scored by senior Brandon Sorensen.
The Hawkeyes scored 30.5 bonus points in the tournament, their highest total since setting the team scoring record in 1997 (33.5).
LEE WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Lee won the 125-pound title at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland on March 17.
He rolled through the championship bracket, scoring more team points than any of the 330 competitors in the tournament. His 27 team points came from two technical falls, two pins, and a 5-1 decision in the NCAA finals against previously undefeated Nick Suriano of Rutgers. He outscored his opponents 60-4 in five matches. He was named USA Wrestler of the Week and recognized with Amateur Wrestling News Hammer Award — presented to the champion of what is perceived as the toughest bracket in the tournament — following the championships.
Lee is the first Hawkeye to win a national title as a true freshman since Lincoln McIlravy in 1993. He is the 55th Hawkeye in program history to win an NCAA wrestling title. Those 55 winners have totaled 83 individual national championships.
HAWKEYES IN THE FINALS
Freshman Spencer lee advanced to the NCAA finals in 2018 to extend Iowa’s streak of NCAA finals appearances to 29 consecutive years.
Iowa has had at least one wrestler in the national finals every year since 1990, and in 43 of the last 44 seasons dating back to 1975.
STOLL WINS GORRIARIAN TROPHY
Junior Sam Stoll won the Gorriaran Trophy at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The award is presented annually to the wrestler who records the most pins in the least amount of time at the national tournament. Stoll placed fifth at 285 pounds, recording a tournament-best three falls in a combined time of eight minutes, 50 seconds.
He is the sixth Hawkeye in program history to earn the award. The others include Sherwyn Thorson (1962), Bruce Kinseth (1979), Lou Banach (1983), Doug Streicher (1990), and Mark Perry (2006).
Iowa crowned five All-Americans in 2018 — Spencer Lee (125), Brandon Sorensen (149), Michael Kemerer (157), Alex Marinelli (165), and Sam Stoll (285).
Sorensen became the 20th four-time All-American in school history. Kemerer won his second career All-America honor, and Lee, Marinelli, and Stoll won their first.
The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American in 47 consecutive seasons, a stretch dating back to 1972. Iowa has totaled 283 All-America honors during that stretch.
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN
Ten Hawkeyes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, including Stephen Alvarez, Michael Kemerer, Phillip Laux, Alex Marinelli, Logan McQuillen, Aaron Meyer, Danny Murphy, Keegan Shaw, Brandon Sorensen, and Kaleb Young. Iowa has had 99 academic All-Big Ten honorees since 2007, head coach Tom Brands’ first year.
ROOM TO GROW
The Hawkeyes qualified six underclassmen for the national tournament, including four sophomores, one redshirt freshman, and one true freshman. The six underclassmen were the most of any Big Ten school at the national tournament.
The six underclassmen represent the most by a Hawkeye NCAA lineup six the 2008 team qualified six sophomores for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis.
Three of the underclassmen earned All-America honors. Freshman Spencer Lee won the 125-pound title. Sophomore Michael Kemerer placed fourth at 157, and redshirt freshman Alex Marinelli placed sixth at 165.
Since 2007, Brands first NCAA championships as Iowa’s head coach, 17 freshmen have qualified for the NCAA tournament and eight have gone on to win All-America honors (Matt McDonough 2010; Derek St. John, 2011; Bobby Telford, 2012; Cory Clark, 2014; Brandon Sorensen, 2015; Michael Kemerer, 2017; Spencer Lee, 2018; Alex Marinelli, 2018). McDonough won the national title in 2010 at 125 pounds, and Lee won the national title in 2018 at 125 pounds.
2018 TEAM AWARDS
Mike Howard Award (Most Valuable):
J. Donald McPike Award (Highest GPA):
Mike J. McGivern (Most Courageous):
John & Dorothy Sill (Most Dedicated):
Most Pins Award:
Michael Kemerer (10)
Sam Stoll (10)
Most Improved Award:
Coaches Appreciation Award:
2017-18 Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa won a program record five individual titles and scored 156.5 points to win the 55th annual Midlands Championships. It was Iowa’s fifth straight team title in the event, and 27th overall.
Brandon Sorensen (149), Michael Kemerer (157), Alex Marinelli (165), Cash Wilcke (197), and Sam Stoll (285) all won titles at their respective weight classes.
Marinelli was named Champion of Champions. He is the ninth Hawkeye in program history to earn the award.
Kemerer earned the Most Pins/Fastest Time award. He pinned four opponents in a total time of 9:54.
The Hawkeyes scored 156.5 points, 47 more than second place Rutgers (109.5). It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory since scoring a tournament record 189 points and winning by 58.5 points in 2014.
HAWKEYES RETAIN DAN GABLE TROPHY
The Hawkeyes scored bonus points in four bouts and won all nine contested matches to rout Iowa State, 35-6, on Feb. 18 at Hilton Coliseum.
The win was Iowa’s 14th straight in the series, and awarded Iowa possession of the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for eighth consecutive year. Iowa has owned the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy every year since its inception in 2010.
CHASING THE HAWKEYES
Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 44 years since, the Hawkeyes have accumulated 23 team titles, more than any other school — Oklahoma State (7), Penn State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Ohio State (1) and Arizona State (1).
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 999-230-31 (.799) in 108 seasons. The University of Iowa would be the fourth team in NCAA history to reach 1,000 program wins (Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oregon State).
The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 35 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 55 NCAA Champions have won a total of 83 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 112 Big Ten champions have combined for 199 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 30 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa.
Iowa’s 157 All-Americans have earned All-America status 329 times, including 20 four-time, 36 three-time and 40 two-time honorees.
B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
The Hawkeyes earned five Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors in 2018, more than any other conference school.
Michael Kemerer and Alex Marinelli were recognized on two occasions, and Spencer Lee was recognized once.
Kemerer first won the award following a 18-5 major decision against seventh-ranked B.J. Clagon of Rider. He won his second honor after dominating the 157-pound field at the Midlands Championships. He went 6-0 with four falls, one technical fall, and a 5-2 decision against No. 7 Josh Shields from Arizona State in the finals to win the 157 title at the Midlands Championships.
Marinelli won his first award after his collegiate debut at Rutgers and Maryland. He defeated No. 9 Richie Lewis, 6-4, in sudden victory in his Hawkeye debut, and followed that performance with a first-period fall at Maryland.
He was recognized later in the season following a 9-6 decision against top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Vincenzo Joseph at Penn State.
Lee won the conference award after upsetting No. 1 Nathan Tomasello, 3-2, at Ohio State.
NCAA/USAW WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Spencer Lee was named NCAA Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 24 following his 3-2 win over top-ranked Nathan Tomasello.
Lee was named USA Wrestling Wrestler of the Week after winning the 125-pound title at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland on March 17. He rolled through the championship bracket, scoring more team points than any of the 330 competitors in the tournament. His 27 team points came from two technical falls, two pins, and a 5-1 decision in the NCAA finals against previously undefeated Nick Suriano of Rutgers.
THE ATTENDANCE GAME
The Hawkeyes averaged an NCAA-best 9,311 fans in seven home duals this season (excluding the Iowa City duals).
In eight dates including the IC Duals, 71,966 fans watched NCAA wrestling at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2017-18 (8,996 per home date).
Iowa led the nation in attendance for the 12th consecutive season.
Iowa has averaged more than 8,000 fans in 10 straight seasons.
HAWKEYES AND CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
The Hawkeyes are 248-25 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. The Hawkeyes have recorded 20 undefeated seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most recent in 2012-13 (9-0).
Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted two United States Olympic Team Trials, four Big Ten Championships (1983, 1994, 2005, 2016), and four NCAA Championships (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The Hawkeyes have won five tournament titles on their home mat, including the 1983 and 1994 Big Ten Championships, and the 1986, 1991 and 1995 NCAA Championships.
In 2018, the University of Iowa hosted the UWW World Cup, an international dual tournament featuring eight of the top countries in the world.