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PITTSBURGH — The University of Iowa wrestling team went 4-1 in placement matches Saturday afternoon and has clinched fourth place heading into the finals of the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships in PPG Paints Arena.
First-time All-Americans Austin DeSanto and Kaleb Young placed fifth with decisions at 133 and 157 pounds, respectively.
Redshirt freshman All-American Jacob Warner won 8-4 in his 197-pound seventh place match, and sophomore Alex Marinelli finished his second straight All-America season with a 9-3 win in the 165-pound seventh place match.
“It’s good, but we want to be in the other placement matches, like the one that goes tonight. That’s the pinnacle of NCAA wrestling,” said Iowa coach Tom Brands. “It’s always easier to go forward with success. We still have to get better. That’s the great thing about the sport, even if the national tournament is over (for some), we are still working on getting better.”
The Hawkeyes have 72 team points after Session V. Penn State has clinched the team title and enters the finals with 123.5 points. Ohio State is in second (96.5) and Oklahoma State (84) is in third. Iowa’s team trophy is its 11th in the last 12 seasons.
DeSanto went 5-2 in his second NCAA tournament, earning All-America honors in his first season at Iowa. He reached the Round of 12 as a freshman at Drexel in 2018, but transferred to Iowa last summer and finished his sophomore year 23-6 overall.
“You have to have a short memory and finish it right,” DeSanto said. “It was pretty important to finish that whole year off right so that you’re not waiting a whole year thinking about it.”
Young watched the 2018 NCAA Championships from the stands, but earned a spot in the lineup this season and won 23 matches, including three this weekend against top five opponents.
“I feel good about it, but I still have to get better this offseason so next year I can work my way up even higher,” Young said.
Marinelli, the top seed at 165, was knocked into the wrestle-backs following a quarterfinal loss and needed two wins on the backside of the bracket to secure his second straight All-America honor.
“I tried to think of what Gillman would do, losing at the national tournament senior year. He said, ‘What’s the next best thing.’ Yesterday I lost and Tom always says it a lot easier to move on with success. Today I wanted to end off with a good note. I owe a lot to my coaches,” Marinelli said.
Warner entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed at 197 and finished his rookie season 12-6. He is the fourth Hawkeye freshman in the last three years to earn All-America honors.
“Ending a tournament on a win is big,” Warner said. “It’s big for morale, big for you, big for the team. I love my teammates like family. Even though we don’t agree on everything I still love them and would do anything for them. To see them win and then me come back and win it’s huge for us. Especially moving forward into next year.”
In addition to Spencer Lee, who defends his NCAA title Saturday night, and Michael Kemerer, a two-time All-American who missed the season with injury, the Hawkeyes are expected to have seven All-Americans in the lineup next season. The last time Iowa started a season with seven All-Americans was 1991-91, Tom and Terry Brands senior season.
- Iowa’s team trophy is its 11th in the last 12 years.
- Iowa earned six All-America honors, its most since 2016. Only Penn State had more (7).
- Iowa has had at least five All-Americans in six straight seasons, and 11 times in head coach Brands’ 13 years.
- DeSanto, Lugo, Young, and Warner are all first-time All-Americans.
- Iowa has had 161 All-Americans combine for 335 All-America honors.
- Warner is the ninth freshman All-American since 2007, and fourth in the last three years (Kemerer, Lee, Marinelli, Warner).
- Iowa returns seven All-Americans next season, the highest total since 1991-92 when the lineup included nine returning All-Americans.
CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL RESULTS
133 – #5 Luke Pletcher (OSU) dec. #7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa), 7-6
157 – #4 Alec Panteleo (MICH) dec. #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa), 6-2
FIFTH PLACE RESULTS
133 – #7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) dec. #8 John Erneste (MIZZ), 11-6
157 – #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. #3 Ryan Deakin (NU), 7-5 SV1
SEVENTH PLACE RESULTS
149 – #8 Jarrett Degen (IAST) dec. #10 Pat Lugo (Iowa), 11-9
165 – #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec. #11 Bryce Steiert (UNI), 9-3
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. #9 Benjamin Honis (Cornell), 8-4
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUPS (SATURDAY NIGHT)
125 – #3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. #5 Jack Mueller (UVA)
- Penn State 123.5
- Ohio State 96.5
- Oklahoma St. 84
- IOWA 72
- Michigan 62.5
- Missouri 62
- Cornell 55.5
- Minnesota 53.5
- Nebraska 51
- Virginia Tech 46