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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team scored a tournament record 196.5 points to win the 2019 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Monday. The team title is Iowa’s 29th in the 57-year history of the event, and its seventh championship in a row.
The Hawkeyes crowned five individual champions, matching a school-record set in 2014, and placed 12 wrestlers on the podium.
Alex Marinelli led Iowa’s charge, running through the 165-pound bracket to win his third straight Midland Championships. He was named the Midlands Champion of Champions for the second time in his career (2017), and won awards for most falls (4) and highest tournament point total (29).
Marinelli was joined at the top of the award stand by Max Murin (141), Pat Lugo (149), Kaleb Young (157), and Tony Cassioppi (285).
“We have a good lineup. We have a 25-pounder, we have a good heavyweight, we have a lot of good in-between there,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “We just have to put those final hammer pieces in there. And it’s not just that easy. You have to perform.”
- Max Murin (141) won his first career Midlands title in his second straight finals appearance.
- Pat Lugo won the 149-pound title after a pair of fourth-place finishes in 2017 and 2018.
- Kaleb Young won his first Midlands title following fifth, fifth, and second place finishes from 2016-18. He became the 10th Hawkeye to join the prestigious 20-in-4 club, which requires wrestlers to record at least 20 wins in their first four years of competitions. Young was 5-0 in the tournament and has a career record of 21-5 in four Midlands appearances.
- Alex Marinelli became the 14th Hawkeye to win three or more Midlands Championships. Marinelli has won 15 straight matches at the Midlands Championships. He has a 20-2 record over the last four years, and became the 11th Hawkeye to join the prestigious 20-in-4 club, which requires wrestlers to record at least 20 wins in their first four years of competition.
- Tony Cassioppi won his first Midlands title, he placed seventh at 285 in 2018.
- The Hawkeyes set a tournament record with 196.5 team points, besting the previous mark of 189.0, set by Iowa in 2014.
- Iowa has won 29 team trophies in the 57-year history of the event, including each of the last seven years.
- Iowa scored a tournament record without a 174-pounder. Michael Kemerer was withheld from competition, and Spencer Lee withdrew from the tournament after the quarterfinals. Both withdrawals were Coaches Decisions.
The Hawkeyes return to the mat Jan. 10 and Jan. 12 with road trips to Indiana and Purdue. Iowa faces the Hoosiers on Friday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. (CT), and the Boilermakers on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m.
141 – #1 Max Murin (Iowa) dec. #3 Josh Heil (Campbell), 5-3
149 – #2 Pat Lugo (Iowa) dec. #1 Austin O’Connor (North Carolina), 8-4
157 – #2 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. Markus Hartman (Army), 5-3 SV1
165 – #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. #3 David McFadden (Virginia Tech), 5-3
184 – #1 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) dec. #11 Abe Assad (UN-Iowa), 4-0
285 – #1 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) dec. #3 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan), 5-1
133 – #2 Seth Gross (Wisconsin) dec. #1 Austin DeSanto (Iowa), 6-5
149 – #3 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) MFF #12 Vince Turk (Iowa)
184 – #9 Cash Wilcke (Iowa) dec. #7 Zachary Braunagel (Illinois), 5-3
197 – #2 Pat Brucki (Princeton) dec. #1 Jacob Warner (Iowa), 9-5
149 –#8 K. Clarke (American) MFF Jeren Glosser (Iowa)