24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2018-19 | Hawk Talk Monthly — March | Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | I-Club Events Page | Final NCAA Brackets | Wrestling Notebook 2019 | Lugo, Young Want More After Becoming All-Americans | Hawkeyes Clinch 4th Place Ahead of NCAA Finals | NCAA Championships Central
ON THE MAT
The Hawkeyes finished the 2018-19 season with one NCAA individual champion, six All-Americans, and a school-record 13 academic All-Big Ten honors. The Hawkeyes were 14-1 overall and 9-0 in the Big Ten, sharing the regular season conference title with Penn State.
The Hawkeyes sent nine wrestlers to the national tournament, placed four overall, and crowned one NCAA Champion (Spencer Lee, 125) and six All-Americans. Only Penn State had more All-Americans (7). No other team had more than five.
The fourth-place finish marks the 11th time in 13 years Iowa placed fourth or better to claim a team trophy at the NCAA Championships. Iowa has sent at least eight athletes to the NCAA Championships in each of head coach Tom Brands’ 13 seasons.
Iowa scored 76 team points in 2019 and will return all but the two points scored by senior Sam Stoll.
LEE WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Sophomore Spencer Lee won the 125-pound title at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Pittsburgh on March 23.
The title was Lee’s second in as many seasons. He outscored his opponents, 55-7, winning twice by decision, and once each via major decision, technical fall and pin. He scored 24.5 team points.
Lee is the first Hawkeye to defend his national title since Mark Perry won consecutive championships in 2007 and 2008, and the 23rd Hawkeye to win multiple NCAA champions. His title is the 84th individual NCAA title in school history.
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa earned its 1,000th dual win in program history Nov. 9, topping California State Bakersfield, 36-3, in Kent, Ohio. Iowa is one of four NCAA Division I schools with 1,000 program wins (Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oregon State). The Hawkeyes’ overall dual meet record is 1,013-232-31 (.799) in 109 seasons.
The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 35 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 55 NCAA Champions have won a total of 84 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 17 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 113 Big Ten champions have combined for 200 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 335 times, including 20 four-time, 36 three-time and 42 two-time honorees.
Iowa crowned six All-Americans in 2019, the second highest total among any school in the tournament. Sophomores Spencer Lee and Alex Marinelli returned to the podium for the second straight season. Junior Pat Lugo earned his first All-America honor, as did sophomores Austin DeSanto and Kaleb Young, and redshirt freshman Jacob Warner.
Warner is the ninth Hawkeye since 2007, Brands’ first NCAA championships as Iowa’s head coach, to earn 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; Jacob Warner, 2019). McDonough won the national title in 2010 at 125 pounds. Lee won the national title in 2018 at 125 pounds.
All six All-Americans return next season. Two-time All-American Michael Kemerer, who missed 2018-19 with a knee injury, is also expected to return to the lineup.
The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American in 48 consecutive seasons, a stretch dating back to 1972. Iowa has totaled 289 All-America honors during that stretch.
Eight of Iowa’s nine qualifiers earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. Sam Stoll received an at-large bid from the NCAA selection committee.
Iowa has sent at least eight athletes to the NCAA Championships in each of head coach Tom Brands’ 13 seasons.
HAWKEYES IN THE FINAL
Spencer Lee advanced to the finals and won the NCAA title at 125 pounds in 2019 to extend Iowa’s streak of NCAA finals appearances to 30 consecutive years.
Iowa has had at least one wrestler in the national finals every year since 1990, and in 44 of the last 45 seasons dating back to 1975.
Sophomore Alex Marinelli entered the NCAA Championships with an undefeated record.
Marinelli was 23-0 overall, posting a 20-0 mark in the regular season and winning three matches en route to the 2019 Big Ten Championship. Marinelli won his first two matches at the national tournament. His 25-match winning streak was the longest by a Hawkeye since Thomas Gilman won his first 30 matches of the 2016-17 season.
He scored a team-high 77 points in 15 dual matches, averaging 5.13 team points per dual, the most by a Hawkeye since Brent Metcalf averaged 5.35 in 2009-10.
Marinelli completed an undefeated regular season for the second time in as many seasons. He was 14-0 in 2018 entering the postseason. He is 34-0 in the regular season with a pair of Midlands titles, 10 falls, and seven wins over top 10 opponents.
In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91 and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.
A PERFECT (BIG) TEN
Sophomore Alex Marinelli rolled through the Big Ten Championships with three straight decisions to win the 165-pound bracket. The conference title was the first of his career, and the 200th individual Big Ten title in school history.
Marinelli was 9-0 in Big Ten duals, becoming the first Iowa wrestler to win all nine conference duals since Thomas Gilman in 2017.
Marinelli was 9-0 in the Big Ten with two major decisions, four falls, and one win by stalling disqualification. He scored 44 of a possible 54 team points in Big Ten dual competition. Marinelli is 17-0 all-time in Big Ten duals. He was 8-0 last year.
Since 2007, Tom Brands’ first season as Iowa head coach, a wrestler has navigated a perfect Big Ten regular season 18 times. Since 2014-15, when the conference went to a nine-dual regular season schedule, five Hawkeyes have posted perfect 9-0 records. Marinelli in 2018-19, Gilman did it three times (2015, 2016, 2017), and Alex Meyer, Brandon Sorensen, and Sam Stoll were all 9-0 in 2015-16.
CHASING THE HAWKEYES
Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 45 years since, the Hawkeyes have accumulated 23 team titles, more than any other school — Penn State (9), Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Ohio State (1) and Arizona State (1).
BIG TEN REGULAR SEASON CO-CHAMPS
Iowa won a share of the 2019 Big Ten regular season title with a 35-2 win at Wisconsin on Feb. 17. The Hawkeyes were 9-0 in conference duals and shared the title with Penn State.
The Hawkeyes have won or shared the Big Ten dual championships 11 times since the conference started recognizing a dual meet champion in 1999. Iowa won the title outright in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015, and shared the title in 2003, 2014, 2016, and 2019.
The Hawkeyes have eight undefeated conference seasons since 2006-07, head coach Tom Brands’ first year.
NEXT MAN IN
Seventeen Hawkeyes recorded at least one dual win in 2018-19, and 21 Hawkeyes appeared in at least one dual this season.
Alex Marinelli (165) and Cash Wilcke (184) were the only preseason projected starters to start every dual this season. Iowa opened the season with three projected starters on the bench, including redshirt freshman Jacob Warner (197), and All-Americans Michael Kemerer (174) and Sam Stoll (285).
In the absence of projected starters, Carter Happel, Myles Wilson, Connor Corbin, Mitch Bowman, Aaron Costello, Paul Glynn, Keegan Shaw, and Vince Turk picked up wins for Iowa.
On Jan. 25, Shaw became the fifth Hawkeye (including Kemerer) to see his name on top of the depth chart at 174 (Wilson, Bowman, Jeremiah Moody, Shaw). Iowa used four wrestlers at 197. Warner entered the lineup in January and was 8-0 in duals. Costello and Corbin picked up wins at heavyweight. Stoll started the last eight duals.
HAWKEYES EARN 6 WEEKLY HONORS
The Hawkeyes picked up four Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week honors and three USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week honors in 2018-19.
Sophomores Austin DeSanto, Alex Marinelli, and Kaleb Young, and junior Pat Lugo all earned conference recognition this season. Marinelli and freshman Tony Cassioppi were both recognized by USA Wrestling.
Marinelli was recognized following a 6-4 overtime win against No. 3 Evan Wick of Wisconsin on Feb. 17, helping Iowa clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
Cassioppi was recognized after pinning all three opponents in a combined three minutes, 10 seconds at the UNI Open on Dec. 8.
Lugo upset No. 6 Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State, 7-4 on Feb. 24. DeSanto earned a 6-4 decision against No. 3 Nick Suriano of Rutgers on Jan. 18. Young pinned No. 14 Griffin Parriott of Purdue on Nov. 24.
HAWKEYES WIN MIDLANDS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sophomores Austin DeSanto and Alex Marinelli won individual titles to help Iowa capture the team race at the 56th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Dec. 30.
Iowa scored 184 points to win its 28th Midlands title, 10 of which have been led by head coach Tom Brands.
The second-seeded DeSanto grabbed his first Midlands title, winning the 133-pound bracket with a 15-5 major decision over the fourth seed. DeSanto scored 28.5 team points in the tournament, more than any other wrestler in the tournament.
Second-seeded Alex Marinelli earned his second Midlands title in as many seasons, defeating the No. 1 seed Evan Wick, 4-3, in the 165-pound finals.
HAWKEYES RETAIN DAN GABLE TROPHY
The third-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team defeated Iowa State, 19-18, on Dec. 1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
The win was Iowa’s 15th straight in the series, and awarded Iowa possession of the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for ninth consecutive year. Iowa has owned the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy every year since its inception in 2010.
HOME SWEET HOME
Spencer Lee, Alex Marinelli, and Jacob Warner were undefeated at home in 2018-19, and are undefeated in their careers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Marinelli is 12-0 all-time at Carver. Lee owns a record of 11-0. Warner is undefeated in four home matches.
In Lee’s 11 home wins, he has four pins, four technical falls, and one major decision. Four of the wins are against top 10 opponents.
Among Marinelli’s 12 wins, he has five pins, three technical falls, and one major decision. He was 7-0 this year at home with bonus points in each match.
HAWKEYES AND CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
The Hawkeyes are 255-25 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. Iowa was 7-0 at home this season, completing its 21st undefeated season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes have recorded 21 undefeated seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
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.
THE ATTENDANCE GAME
The Hawkeyes averaged an NCAA-best 8,526 fans in seven home duals in 2018-19. In seven home dates, 59,684 fans watched NCAA Wrestling at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It marks the 13th consecutive season Iowa led the nation in attendance, and the 11th straight year the Hawkeyes averaged more than 8,000 fans.
2019 TEAM AWARDS
Mike Howard Award (Most Valuable):
J. Donald McPike Award (Highest GPA):
Mike J. McGivern (Most Courageous):
Sam Stoll, Keegan Shaw
John & Dorothy Sill (Most Dedicated):
Kaleb Young, Mitch Bowman
Most Pins Award:
Alex Marinelli (9)
Most Improved Award:
Paul Glynn, Austin DeSanto, Michael Kemerer
Coaches Appreciation Award:
Perez Perez, Paul Glynn, Vince Turk