LINCOLN, Neb. — University of Iowa senior Alex Marinelli won a 2-1 decision in the finals of the 2022 Big Ten Championships to win the 165-pound conference title and become the eighth four-time Big Ten champion in program history.
Marinelli, seeded No. 2 at 165, scored on an escape and earned a point for stalling against fourth-seeded Cameron Amine. He surrendered an escape in the third to clinch his fourth title.
Marinelli is Iowa’s first four-time champion since Mark Ironside won his fourth conference title in 1998. Joe Scarpello, Iowa’s first four-time conference champion, won his first title 75 years ago in 1947. Marinelli is only the 17th four-time champion in the history of the Big Ten Conference tournament.
“I don’t know if I wrestled my best today and sometimes your worst should always beat their best,” Marinelli said. “It has been 24 years since we had a Big Ten champion at Iowa. I am really thankful and blessed. I got to wrestle in a lot of Big Ten Championships, and I got it done. Everyone remembers the national champ, right? So we have more to do.”
The Hawkeyes were 1-3 in championship finals. Austin DeSanto lost a 3-1 decision at 133 pounds and Jaydin Eierman (141) and Tony Cassioppi (285) both turned in medical forfeits.
DeSanto finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships for the second straight year, dropping a 3-1 decision to Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young in the 133-pound finals. The wrestlers traded escapes to start the second and third periods. Bravo-Young scored the deciding points when DeSanto was put in the neutral danger position with 20 seconds left in the third. The takedown survived review and the final score held, 3-1.
On the back side of the bracket, Max Murin finished his tournament with a 4-1 mark, including a win by medical forfeit in the 149-pound consolation semifinals. Murin’s third-place finish is his highest in four tournament appearances.
Two Hawkeyes dropped third-place bouts to place fourth. Kaleb Young dropped a 3-1 decision in sudden victory at 157 pounds and Jacob Warner fell, 3-1, at 197.
Iowa placed third with 129.5 points. Michigan won the team title with 143.0 points. Penn State placed second with 141.5.
QUOTING TOM BRANDS
“The story should be about Alex Marinelli winning his fourth title. That’s a big deal. That’s rare company. This story should be we’re going to Detroit. We have 10 guys going to Detroit. We are third in the team race. That’s not where we want to be. That’s not where we like to sit. We have an opportunity to do something about it moving forward.”
ON TO THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ten Hawkeyes earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships in Detroit on March 17-19. It marks the first time since 2010 Iowa earned 10 automatic berths to the national tournament. The Big Ten Conference tournament is one of seven NCAA qualifying tournaments across the country. The NCAA will announce the NCAA at-large qualifiers Tuesday. NCAA tournament brackets will be released Wednesday.
• Alex Marinelli won his fourth straight Big Ten title. He is the eighth four-time conference champion in program history and the first since Mark Ironside in 1998.
• All 10 Hawkeyes placed on the podium and seven placed fourth or better.
• Ten Hawkeyes earned automatic berths to the 2022 NCAA Championships. It marks the third straight year and sixth time under Tom Brands that Iowa is sending its entire lineup to the national tournament.
• Drake Ayala is the fourth true freshman to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships under Brands (Nathan Burak, 2013, Spencer Lee 2018; Abe Assad 2020; Drake Ayala 2022).
• Tony Cassioppi advanced to his first career Big Ten Championships finals. Cassioppi is a two-time third-place finisher.
• Murin’s third-place finish was his best in four tournament appearances (7th, 5th, DNP).
133 – #1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) dec. #2 Austin DeSanto (IA), 3-1
141 – #1 Nick Lee (PSU) mff. #2 Jaydin Eierman (IA)
165 – #2 Alex Marinelli (IA) dec. #4 Cameron Amine (MICH), 2-1
285 – #1 Gable Steveson (MINN) mff. #2 Tony Cassioppi (IA)
149 – #4 Max Murin (IA) mff. #3 Ridge Lovett (NEB)
157 – #10 Brady Berge (PSU) dec. #2 Kaleb Young (IA), 3-1 SV1
197 – #5 Pat Brucki (MICH) dec. #4 Jacob Warner (IA), 3-1
1. Michigan 143.0
2. Penn State 141.5
2. IOWA 129.5
4. Ohio State 91.5
5. Northwestern 90.5
6. Minnesota 78.5
7. Nebraska 75.5
8. Wisconsin 68.0
9. Rutgers 41.0
10. Purdue 36.5
11. Illinois 34.5
12. Michigan State 33.0
13. Maryland 15.5
14. Indiana 4.0