DETROIT — University of Iowa wrestlers Austin DeSanto, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer and Tony Cassioppi finished their respective 2022 NCAA tournaments with All-America honors Saturday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena.
DeSanto placed third at 133. Kemerer placed fourth at 174. Marinelli placed fifth at 165 and Cassioppi placed seventh at 285. The quartet went 5-2 in the medal round to move Iowa into third place in the team race.
DeSanto won a pair of matches in the medal round to place third for the second straight year. He recorded four takedowns in a 10-6 win in the consolation semis and used two first-period takedowns to win, 7-4, in the consolation finals.
“Wrestling at Iowa has changed my life in the best way possible,” DeSanto said. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else on the planet. Iowa is the place to be. Tom and Terry would do anything for me. They have made me a better person. Not just in wrestling but in life.”
Kemerer split a pair of matches to place fourth and finished the tournament with his fifth All-America honor. He is the only wrestler in program history with five All-America honors. His 6-4 win in the consolation semis was the 100th of his career. He fell to fourth place following a 12-4 loss in the consolation finals.
“I’m a competitor and I hate losing, and it’s tough to put that aside but at the same time the other voice inside me is trying to tell me how much I have to be thankful for and how good my college career has been,” Kemerer said. “All of the good things I’d tell someone else I am trying to tell myself. It’s a little battle there.”
Marinelli won by medical forfeit in the fifth-place match. He finished his career a four-time Big Ten Conference champion and four-time All-American.
“My goal and my word that I like to describe myself is a champion,” Marinelli said. “If I don’t get what I want I can still be a champion off the mat. I can still be a champion the way I carry myself. I will be a champion for Christ. I will be a champion for my wife, my teammates, my friends, my family. In the future I’d love to coach. I’d love to lead someone to a victory, and I’ll be a champion for them.”
Cassioppi finished his tournament a three-time All-American with a 2-0 win in the seventh-place match. He won his final match with a second-period rideout and third-period escape.
“I didn’t necessarily have the results I had last year,” Cassioppi said. “I took third last year and seventh this year, but I am a lot better wrestler than I was last year. I have improved a lot and I need to keep that going on the mat. I need to keep movement on the mat.”
The Hawkeyes enter Saturday night with third place secured in the team standings. Penn State leads the team race with 111.5 points. Michigan is in second with 91 points. Arizona State (66.5) and Nebraska (59.5) round out the top five.
The NCAA finals begin Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT). Jacob Warner will wrestle for the 197-pound NCAA title live on ESPN.
• Iowa has had at least five All-Americans in nine straight seasons and 14 times in head coach Tom Brands’ 16 years.
• Iowa has secured a team trophy (fourth or better) for the 13th time in the last 14 NCAA Championships.
• Michael Kemerer is the first five-time All-American in school history.
• Michael Kemerer became the 41st Hawkeye in school history to reach 100 career wins.
• Austin DeSanto is the 23rd four-time All-American in school history.
• Austin DeSanto finished his career with 102 wins, including 72 at Iowa.
• Alex Marinelli is the 25th four-time All-American in school history.
CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL RESULTS
133 – #5 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) dec. #7 Lucas Byrd (Illinois), 10-6
165 – #1 Evan Wick (Cal-Poly) dec. #3 Alex Marinelli (Iowa), 10-4
174 – #5 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) dec. #3 Logan Massa (Michigan), 6-4 SV1
133 – #5 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) dec. #3 Michael McGee (Arizona State), 7-4
174 – #4 Hayden Hidlay (NC State) major dec. #5 Michael Kemerer (Iowa), 12-4
165 – #3 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) mff. #4 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin)
285 – #3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) dec. #12 Christian Lance (Nebraska), 2-0
IOWA’S NCAA FINALS MATCHUP
197 – #6 Jacob Warner (Iowa) vs. #1 Max Dean (Penn State)
1. Penn State 111.5
2. Michigan 91.0
3. IOWA 74.0
4. Arizona State 66.5
5. Nebraska 59.5
6. Northwestern 53.5
7. Virginia Tech 52.5
8. Cornell 50.5
9. NC State 49.0
10. Missouri 45.5