8 Hawkeyes Advance to Quarterfinals of NCAA Championships

ST. LOUIS – Eight University of Iowa wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships following second-round wins Thursday night at the Enterprise Center.

Wrestling insertThe Hawkeyes scored bonus points in 12 of 18 wins, putting together an 18-2 record on the opening day. Iowa recorded six major decisions, five technical falls and one pin. The Hawkeyes’ four top-seeds – Spencer Lee, Jaydin Eierman, Alex Marinelli and Michael Kemerer – outscored their opponents by nearly 100 points, 127-30.

“Bonus points are crucial. They’re an indication of your team and philosophy and you can see the communication getting through to our guys,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “Our guys have horsepower and it is starting to come out.”

Iowa scored bonus points in five bouts in Session II and leads the team race with 33.5 points.

Austin DeSanto registered a first-period fall in one minute, 33 seconds, to finish his day with an opening round technical fall and a second round pin at 133.

Lee scored a takedown and pair of four-point tilts on his way to a 15-5 major decision at 125. He outscored his opponents, 32-6, Thursday and has outscored his opponents, 149-19, in 12 career matches at the NCAA Championships.

“Bonus points are crucial. They’re an indication of your team and philosophy and you can see the communication getting through to our guys. Our guys have horsepower and it is starting to come out.”

Head Coach Tom Brands

Marinelli used a six-point move in the first to build an 8-1 lead, added a reversal in the third and more than two minutes of riding time to move on to the quarterfinals with a 13-2 major decision at 165.

Kemerer added a second technical fall victory to his day, terminating his 174-pound bout in 5:06 with a 17-1 lead. Cassioppi closed Thursday’s second session with the Hawkeyes’ 12th bonus-point win, this one an 11-0 major decision at 285. He outscored two opponents Thursday, 20-1.

Iowa also got second-round decisions from Jaydin Eierman, Max Murin and Jacob Warner. Eierman advanced to the quarters with 5-3 decision at 141. He scored a takedown in the first and added a pair of escapes and 2:11 of riding time. Murin advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in as many NCAA tournament appearances, avenging a Big Ten tournament loss to Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett with a 5-3 decision. He scored the decisive takedown with 24 seconds left in the third period. Warner advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win at 197.

Kaleb Young and Nelson Brands dropped decisions at 157 and 184 pounds, respectively. Both wrestlers return to the mat Friday morning in the wrestlebacks.

“We have to get ready for Day 2,” said Tom Brands. “We have eight on the front and two on the backside and we have to be ready to go. There is a lot of wrestling left. Let’s score points early and often.”

The NCAA Championships resume Thursday with quarterfinal and consolation rounds. Session 3 begins at 10 a.m. (CT) with weight classes 125-157. Session 4 begins at 2 p.m. with weight classes 165-285. ESPNU and ESPN3 are providing television and online coverage of Sessions 3 and 4.

• Iowa’s four No. 1 seeds were 8-0 with seven bonus-point wins (4 tech. fall, 3 major decisions).
• Iowa’s four No. 1 seeds outscored their opponents 127-30.
• Lee outscored his opponents 32-6. He improved to 12-0 in his career at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, outscoring those 12 opponents 149-19.
• Lee has won 32 straight, outscoring his opponents, 405-40
• Marinelli has won 13 in a row. He scored bonus points in both matches today, his first bonus points in seven matches this season, outscoring his opponents, 39-8.
• Michael Kemerer outscored his two opponents, 39-8.
• Tony Cassioppi outscored two opponents, 20-1, to advance to the quarterfinals in his first NCAA Championships.

125 – #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) major dec. #17 Killian Cardinale (WVU), 15-5
133 – #4 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) pinned #20 Ryan Sullivan (WVU), 1:36
141 – #1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) dec. #16 Cole Matthews (PITT), 5-3
149 – #12 Max Murin (Iowa) dec. #5 Ridge Lovett (NEB), 5-3
157 – #12 Brady Berge (PSU) dec. #5 Kaleb Young (Iowa), 3-2
165 – #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) major dec. #17 Thomas Bullard (NCST), 13-2
174 – #1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) tech. fall #17 Benjamin Pasiuk (ARMY)
184 – #5 Hunter Bolen (VT) dec. #12 Nelson Brands (Iowa), 6-2
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. #12 Lucas Davison (NU), 3-0
285 – #5 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) major dec. #21 Tate Orndorff (OSU), 11-0

125 – #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. #9 Devin Schroder (PU)
133 – #4 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. #5 Micky Phillippi (PITT)
141 – #1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) #9 Dresden Simon (CMU)
149 – #12 Max Murin (Iowa) vs. #4 Boo Lewallen (OKST)
165 – #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. #8 Shane Griffith (STAN)
174 – #1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) vs. #8 Daniel Bullard (NCST)
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) vs. #4 A.J. Ferrari (OKST)
285 – #5 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) vs. #4 Cohlton Schultz (ASU)

157 – #5 Kaleb Young (Iowa) vs. #22 Benjamin Barton (CAMP)
184 – #12 Nelson Brands (Iowa) vs. #22 Devin Kane (UNC)

1. IOWA 33.5
2. Penn State 28.0
3. Missouri 23.5
4. NC State 21.0
5. Oklahoma St. 20.0
6. Arizona State 19.5
7. Minnesota 16.5
8. Michigan 16.0
9. Nebraska 14.5
Virginia Tech 14.5