ON THE MAT
University of Iowa wrestling team competes at No. 6 Ohio State on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Covelli Center in Columbus, Ohio. The dual is televised live on BTN.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Friday’s dual is televised live on BTN and available at FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports mobile app. Iowa will make eight appearances on BTN this season, including duals against Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, and Wisconsin, road duals at Illinois, Ohio State, and Nebraska. The Big Ten Championships at Nebraska on March 5-6 are also televised on BTN.
THE SERIES — OHIO STATE
Iowa leads the all-time series against Ohio State, 41-4. The schools split the first four meetings, 2-2, before Iowa rattled off 34 consecutive victories from 1967-2011. Ohio State ended the streak with a 21-9 win in 2012 at Columbus. Iowa is 18-3 all-time in Columbus. The Buckeyes won the last meeting in Columbus, 22-12, on Jan. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, 24-10, on Jan. 24 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa head coach Tom Brands is 9-2 all-time against Ohio State.
The defending NCAA champion Hawkeyes opened the season ranked No. 1 in the NWCA Coaches Poll and ran their streak atop the polls to 28 straight weeks before dropping to the No. 2 spot on Jan. 11, 2022. The 28-week stretch ranked No. 1 in the country was the longest since Iowa spent 38 weeks at the top of the rankings from Jan. 15, 2008, until Feb. 23, 2010. (The poll started weekly rankings in 1997. Bi-weekly and monthly rankings started in 1960). Since 1960, the Hawkeyes have appeared at the top spot of the national poll 220 times.
Iowa has won 28 straight overall and 22 straight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes’ 28-dual winning streak is the longest active streak in the country. Iowa’s 22-dual winning streak at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is its longest since winning 38 straight from 2008-12. The Hawkeyes’ last loss at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was Jan. 27, 2018 (19-17 versus No. 7 Michigan). Iowa has won 27 consecutive Big Ten duals, its longest conference streak since winning 39 straight from 2007-12.
TOP 10 MATCHUPS
Friday’s dual features three top 10 matchups, including 149, 165 and 174 pounds. Max Murin climbed back into the top 10 at 149. He is ranked 10th following a pair of victories last weekend, including a 4-3 decision over No. 4 Yahya Thomas of Northwestern and a 9-3 win at Illinois. Murin faces No. 2 Sammy Sasso on Friday. Sasso won by fall (6:53) in the only previous mathup, a 2021 dual in West Lafayette, Indiana. Murin is 20-18 all-time against ranked opponents, with four wins over top-five opponents. Top-ranked Alex Marinelli and No. 7 Carson Kharchla meet at 165 pounds. Marinelli is 42-10 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 16-10 career mark against the top 10. Friday is the first career meeting between Marinelli and Kharchla. No. 2 Michael Kemerer takes a 46-8 career record against ranked opponents into his match with No. 7 Ethan Smith. Kemerer is 23-8 all-time against the top 10. Friday is the first career meeting between Kemerer and Smith.
TRUE FRESHMAN HISTORY
Freshman Drake Ayala made his official collegiate debut Jan. 7 against Minnesota. He became the fifth Hawkeye in the Tom Brands era to wrestle as a true freshman, and just the third to wrestle in his first year removed from high school (Spencer Lee 2018; Abe Assad 2020; Drake Ayala 2022). Nathan Burak (2013) and Justin Stickley (2017) wrestled as true freshmen but both deferred college enrollment by one year after graduating high school. Lee won a national title as a redshirt freshman in 2018. He supplemented Stickley in the lineup following the Midlands Championships. Assad was named a NWCA All-American as a true freshman in 2020. He was 22-7 entering the NCAA Championships, which were eventually cancelled due to covid. Burak reached the NCAA Championships round of 12 as a freshman in 2013. He finished the season 20-17 and went on to earn three All-America honors.
MARINELLI CLIMBS TO NO. 1
Senior Alex Marinelli debuted at No. 2 in the preseason polls but has since climbed to the top spot at 165. Marinelli has entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seeded wrestler in each of the last three years. He has an 88-10 career record, including a 49-1 record in duals and a 15-0 record in nonconference duals. He is 23-1 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
BONUS POINTS OR BUST
Senior Austin DeSanto is 11-0 with a team-high seven technical falls. DeSanto has 34 career technical falls. He has scored 20 points or more in five of his 11 wins and has 26 career matches of scoring 20 points or more.
The nine All-Americans in Iowa’s lineup have a combined record of 314-46 (.872) in career duals, including a 191-23 (.897) mark in Big Ten duals. Senior Jaydin Eierman is 52-5 all-time in dual competition, including a perfect 13-0 record at Iowa. Eierman is undefeated in 26 conference duals. He was 19-0 at Missouri from 2016-19 and is 7-0 since joining the Big Ten in 2020. Senior Michael Kemerer has 49 career dual victories, including a 33-1 mark in Big Ten duals. Kemerer is 49-1 all-time in duals, with his one loss coming as a redshirt freshman in 2017. He has won 41 straight dual appearances. Senior Alex Marinelli is 48-1 all-time in dual meets, including a 30-1 mark in Big Ten duals. He has won 15 straight dual matches. Senior Austin DeSanto is 45-4 all-time in duals, including a 19-1 mark in the Big Ten.