Match Notes: Midlands Championships

Hawk Talk Monthly — December | Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2019-20 | Midlands Notes PDF | Youth Clinic Registration

The University of Iowa wrestling team competes at the 57th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Sunday and Monday in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Sears Centre Arena will host the two-day event.
Tickets can be purchased online at or over the phone at 888-SEARSTIX. One-day passes start at $51. Single-session passes start at $31 for adults and $26 for youth.
9:30 a.m.               Session I                                      
7 p.m.                    Session II                                     
12 p.m.                  Session III                                    
7 p.m.                    Session IV                                    
The Hawkeyes have won the last six Midlands team titles. Iowa has won more team titles (28) than any other school in the 56 years of the Midlands Championships. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceeded to win nine of the next 11. Iowa also won team titles in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Other team winners include Iowa State (8), Illinois (4), Michigan State (3), Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (3), Michigan (2), Arizona State (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Team scores were not kept at four tournaments (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995).
Nine Hawkeyes have earned the Art Kraft Champion of Champions Award, and nine have been named Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler. The Art Kraft Champion of Champions include Lenny Zalesky (1980), Jim Zalesky (1983), Jim Heffernan (1986), Jeff McGinness (1995), Joe Williams (1996), Eric Juergens (1999), Mark Perry (2007), Thomas Gilman (2016), and Alex Marinelli (2017).
     The Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestlers were Randy Lewis (1979), Lenny Zalesky (1980), Ed Banach (1981), Royce Alger (1994), Jeff McGinness (1995), Lincoln McIlravy (1997), Joe Williams (1999, 2000), Mark Perry (2007), Brent Metcalf (2009), and Thomas Gilman (2016). Gable was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler five times (1966-69, 1971).
20-in-4 club
Kaleb Young and Michael Kemerer could enter the prestigious 20-in-4 club, which requires a wrestler to record at least 20 wins in their first four years of competition. They could be the 10th and 11th Hawkeyes to join the club. The others include John Bowlsby (22 – 1974, 1976-78), Barry Davis (20 – 1980-83), Joe Williams (20 – 1993-96), Mark Ironside (22 – 1994-97), Wes Hand (20 – 1996-99), Jody Strittmatter (20 – 1997-2000), Doug Schwab (20 – 1997-2000) Cliff Moore (23 – 2001-03, 2005), and Brandon Sorensen (22  – 2013-16).
Junior Michael Kemerer is a two-time Midlands Champion (157). He won titles in 2016 and 2017, and did not compete in 2018 due to injury. This is his first Midlands appearance at 174 pounds.
     Thirteen Hawkeyes have won three or more titles at the Midlands Championships. Former Hawkeye Joe Williams holds the most individual titles in Midlands history, winning 10. Other former Hawkeyes to win at least three titles are Tim Cysweski (5), Mark Ironside (4), Royce Alger (3), Ed Banach (3), Chris Campbell (3), Thomas GIlman (3), Jim Heffernan (3), Randy Lewis (3), Brent Metcalf (3), Brandon Sorensen (3), and Chuck Yagla (3).
Juniors Austin DeSanto and Alex Marinelli return to defend their Midlands titles. DeSanto scored 28.5 team points en route to the 133-pound championship.
     Marinelli defeated top-seeded Evan Wick in the finals to avenge a 2018 NCAA Championships loss and win his second consecutive Midlands title at 165 pounds.
Iowa has four wrestlers with a combined six Midlands titles in the lineup.  Juniors Austin DeSanto (133) and Alex Marinelli (165) won titles in 2018. Marinelli (165), senior Michael Kemerer (157), and senior Cash Wilcke (197) won titles in 2017. Kemerer also won the 157-poud title in 2016.
Junior Michael Kemerer enters the 2019 tournament with a 13-match winning streak at the Midlands Championships. Kemerer won six matches in 2017 to win the 157-pound title. He also won six straight to win the 157-pound title in 2016. In 2015, Kemerer won his fifth place match by medical forfeit. In three Midlands tournaments, Kemerer is 18-2. He has 13 bonus-point wins, including five wins by fall.
     Junior Alex Marinelli has won nine straight Midlands matches. He won five straight to win the 165-pound title in 2018, and four straight to win the 165-pound title in 2017.
     Junior Austin DeSanto has a five-match winning streak at Midlands. He won five in a row to win the 133-pound title in 2018.
Iowa has won 10 Midlands team titles since 2006, Tom Brands’ first season as head coach. The Hawkeyes won team titles in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Iowa placed second in 2006, fourth in 2010, and did not compete in 2012.
     Since 2006, 21 Hawkeyes have combined to win 32 individual titles — Eric Luedke (’06), Joey Slaton (’07), Dan LeClere (’07), Mark Perry (’07), Brent Metcalf (’07, ’08, ’09), Daniel Dennis (’08), Ryan Morningstar (’08), Jay Borschel (’09), Matt McDonough (’09, ’11), Thomas Gilman (’13, ’15, ’16), Derek St. John (’13), Mike Evans (’13, ’14), Cory Clark (’14), Nathan Burak (’14, ’15),   Bobby Telford (’14), Brandon Sorensen (’15, ’16), Michael Kemerer (’16, ’17), Alex Marinelli (’17, ’18), Cash Wilcke (’17), Sam Stoll (’17), and Austin DeSanto (’18).
hawkeyes in the midlands hof
Ten former Hawkeyes are enshrined in the Midlands Hall of Fame. They include Ed Banach, Terry Brands, Tom Brands, Chris Campbell, Steve Combs, Tim Cysewski, Barry Davis, Jim Heffernan, Randy Lewis and Chuck Yagla. Former Hawkeye head coach Dan Gable is also a Midlands Hall of Fame member.
Head coach Tom Brands is one of six Grand Slam Winners in Midlands history. Wrestlers who have won a Midlands title, an NCAA championship, a World title, and an Olympic gold medal are considered Grand Slam Winners. Brands is joined on the list by Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, Dave Schultz, Kenny Monday, and Jordan Burroughs.
Iowa’s coaching staff has won a combined four Midlands titles. Head coach Tom Brands won the 134-pound title in 1990. Associate head coach Terry Brands won the 126-pound title in 1991, and again in 1997 as a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. Assistant coach Ryan Morningstar won the 165-pound title in 2008.
Iowa’s 32-3 win against No. 6 Wisconsin on Dec. 1 was head coach Tom Brands’ 100th Big Ten victory. He has a 100-10 Big Ten record in 14 seasons. Brands has had eight undefeated Big Ten seasons, and won or shared the Big Ten regular season title 10 times under Brands’ watch.
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 earned its 1,000th dual win in program history Nov. 9, 2018, 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 1,014-232-31 (.799) in 109 seasons.