Depth on Display in Iowa's B1G Opener

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Mitch Bowman led off with an upset and the No. 3 University of Iowa wrestling team strung together five straight wins in the middle of its 26-9 win over No. 14 Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Bowman was giving away 13 pounds to 11th-ranked Christian Brunner, but opened the dual with a pair of first-period takedowns and added a second-period reversal to earn a 7-5 decision. Bowman, a natural 184-pounder, won for the second time this season wrestling at 197.
“It comes back to the way I was raised and that you do what the head coach asks of you,” Bowman said. “I believe in Tom (Brands) and I know he has my best interests in mind. If he asks me to go ’97, I’ll wrestle ’97. If he asks me to wrestle heavyweight, I’ll wrestle heavyweight. It doesn’t matter because he’s doing what’s best for me and what’s best for the team and I truly believe that.”
Bowman was one of two Hawkeyes wrestling up a weight in a lineup that was missing five projected starters. Carter Happel, a natural 141-pounder, won, 2-0, at 149 with the benefit of a second-period escape and one point for riding time (1:52).
“Tom preaches that you’re a heartbeat away from the lineup. This week I and others were asked to fill a spot and we went out there and got the job done,” Happel said.
Happel’s victory at 149 was sandwiched between decisions by Austin DeSanto (133) and Max Murin (141), and a pair of bonus-point victories from Kaleb Young (157) and Alex Marinelli (165).
The Hawkeyes trailed 6-3 in the team score before rattling off those five straight wins. The dual opened at 197 with a Bowman victory. Purdue then won consecutive decisions at 285 and 125.
DeSanto and Murin’s decisions gave Iowa a 9-6 lead at the break. Happel’s win extended it to 12-6, and Young’s pin at 157 extended the lead to 18-6. Young’s match was scoreless after one period. He started on top in the second period and turned No. 14 Griffin Parriott, registering a fall 23 seconds after the whistle.
“I knew if I went out and wrestled my style, was loose and let things go, that I would be able to get bonus points,” Young said. “It felt great to make it happen and get things rolling a little more our way.”
Marinelli totaled more than four minutes of riding time, four takedowns, and four nearfall points to clinch the dual with a 14-3 major decision at 165.
Purdue got back on the board with a decision at 174, but Cash Wilcke ended the dual with a 12-4 major decision at 184.
With half of its lineup in street clothes, Iowa won its 21st consecutive Big Ten Conference opener.
“You never know what’s going on in that wrestling room and we are going to rely on these guys for the near term,” Brands said. “It’s the lineup you’re going to see and we have to be making hay with that lineup. I don’t know how many teams can throw five backups in there and win in seven different weights.”
“It’s a culture. You hear the word a lot from programs on the rise that they need a better culture, or from good programs with one established. We love our guys and they feel that they’re loved.”

  • Iowa has won 21 straight conference openers.
  • Iowa has won 30 straight against Purdue.
  • Iowa wrestled without projected starters Spencer Lee (125), Pat Lugo (149), Michael Kemerer (174), Jacob Warner (197), and Sam Stoll (285).
  • Mitch Bowman’s decision against No. 11 Christian Brunner was his fifth career win against a top 20 opponent. Brunner represented Team USA at the 2018 U23 World Championships earlier this month.
  • Perez Perez made his dual debut and his first appearance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 
  • Austin DeSanto earned his second win this season over a ranked opponent.
  • Carter Happel made his first career appearance at 149 pounds.
  • Kaleb Young earned his second career win over a top 20 opponent.
  • Marinelli improved to 4-0 with two major decisions and two falls.
  • Wilcke improved to 4-0 with a team-high three major decisions.

The Hawkeyes host Iowa State in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available at
#3 IOWA 26, #14 PURDUE 9
197 — Mitch Bowman (IA) dec. #11 Christian Brunner (P), 7-5; 3-0
285 — Jacob Aven (P) dec. Aaron Costello (IA), 3-1 SV1; 3-3
125 — #15 Devin Shroder (P) dec. Perez Perez (IA), 4-2; 3-6
133 — #11 Austin DeSanto (IA) dec. #18 Ben Thornton (P), 5-2; 6-6
141 — #14 Max Murin (IA) dec. #19 Nate Limex (P), 5-0; 9-6
149 — Carter Happel (IA) dec. Parker Filius (P), 2-0; 12-6
157 — #13 Kaleb Young (IA) pinned #14 Griffin Parriott (P), 3:37; 18-6
165 — #4 Alex Marinelli (IA) major dec. Cole Wysocki (P), 14-3; 22-6
174 — #13 Dylan Lydy (P) dec. Myles Wilson (IA), 7-3; 22-9
184 — #12 Cash Wilcke (IA) major dec. Max Lyon (P), 12-4; 26-9
Records: Iowa (4-0, 1-0), Purdue (2-1, 0-1)
Attendance: 8,122