ON THE MAT
The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team will compete in the Soldier Salute on Dec. 29-30 at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa.
• Session I begins at 10 a.m. (CT) on Thursday followed by Session II at 5 p.m. Session III is set for noon on Friday and the tournament will conclude with Session IV at 6 p.m.
FOLLOW ALONG LIVE
• Soldier Salute will be streamed live on BTN+ — a paid subscription service.
• Iowa wrestling events are broadcast by AM-800 KXIC and streamed on hawkeyesports.com via YouTube. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action for Hawkeye Sports Properties, a property of Learfield.
• Follow Iowa wrestling on social media via Twitter (@Hawks_Wrestling), Facebook/iowahawkeyewrestling and Instagram (@iowahawkeyewrestling).
• Live results will be available via TrackWrestling with a link available on hawkeyesports.com.
The inaugural Soldier Salute will include both men’s and women’s collegiate wrestling teams.
• The men’s field includes wrestlers from Citadel, VMI, Army, Navy, Iowa, UNI, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Columbia, Bellarmine, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Minnesota.
IOWA’S SOLDIER SALUTE LINEUP
The Hawkeyes will send a total of 29 wrestlers to the Soldier Salute — 16 attached and 13 unattached.
• Iowa’s attached group includes: Spencer Lee (125), Charles Matthews (125), Cullan Schriever (133), Jesse Ybarra (133), Drew Bennett (141), Real Woods (141), Max Murin (149), Caleb Rathjen (149), Leif Schroeder (149), Joe Kelly (165), Patrick Kennedy (165), Aiden Riggins (165), Abe Assad (184), Zach Glazier (197), Jacob Warner (197) and Tony Cassioppi (285).
• The unattached group includes: Drake Ayala (125), Jace Rhodes (133), Joel Jesuroga (149), Cade Siebrecht (149), Carson Martinson (165), Drake Rhodes (165), Brennan Swafford (174), Mickey Griffith (184), Aidan McCain (184), Kolby Franklin (197), Easton Fleshman (285), Bradley Hill (285) and Gage Marty (285).
The Hawkeyes won six matches, including five via bonus points — to down Chattanooga, 27-12, on Dec. 10 in Chattanooga. Iowa got tech falls from Real Woods and Patrick Kennedy, major decisions from Abe Assad and Jacob Warner and a fall from Tony Cassioppi to cap the dual.
LEE MAKES SEASON DEBUT
The nation’s top-ranked 125 pounder, Spencer Lee, is scheduled to compete at Soldier Salute this weekend in Coralville. It will be Lee’s second competition of the 2022-23 season.
• Lee made his 2022-23 debut in Iowa’s 18-15 victory over No. 7 Iowa State on Dec. 4. Lee posted a major decision over Corey Cabanban, 16-5.
• It was Lee’s first match since Dec. 21, 2021.
• Lee has posted bonus points in 65 of his 79 career victories and he is riding a 39-match winning streak dating back to the 2019 season.
REAL DEAL WOODS
Senior Real Woods made his Hawkeye debut on Dec. 4 — a 4-2 victory over Iowa State’s No. 10 Casey Swiderski. Woods was dominant in his second match — a 16-0 first-period technical fall over Chattanooga’s Dayne Dalrymple. Woods had a takedown, three four-point near falls and a two-point near fall to end the match in 2:57.
• Woods has 44 career victory (to eight defeats). The New Mexico native transferred to Iowa from Stanford.
SIEBRECHT CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Junior Cobe Siebrecht is 6-0 this season, posting bonus point victories in five of his six matches. He has two pins and three major decisions.
• Siebrecht is ranked in all three polls, coming in as high as No. 14 by Amateur Wrestling News at 157 pounds.
• Siebrecht had a six-point move in the first period en route to a 10-2 major decision over Iowa State’s Jason Kraisser. The Lisbon, Iowa, native pinned Penn’s 10th-ranked Anthony Artalona on Nov. 26 to record the highest ranked win of his career.
• Siebrecht has two victories over ranked opponents amongst his five wins this season.
CASS – 5 PINS, 7 WINS
Senior Tony Cassioppi opened the season with four pins in his first four matches with falls in 2:13, 1:26, 1:28 and 0:53 for a grand total of 5:20 of mat time. He notched his fifth first-period fall in Iowa’s 27-12 road win at Chattanooga.
• It was the second time in his career he has pinned four consecutive opponents. In 2020-21 during his sophomore season, Cassioppi had four straight falls and six pins in a seven-match stretch.
• Cassioppi is 7-0 with six bonus-point victories in 2022-23. He posted back-to-back wins over ranked foes, downing Penn’s 15th-ranked Ben Goldin, 9-0, on Nov. 26 before beating Iowa State’s Sam Schuyler, 9-2, to clinch Iowa’s 18 straight victory over the Cyclones.
After winning four matches with bonus points during the 2021-22 season, redshirt senior Max Murin matched that total in his first four bouts of 2022-23.
• Murin has two major decisions and two technical falls this season. The Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, native is 5-1 and is ranked as high as No. 6 in the national rankings.
PK PUTS ON A SHOW
• Sophomore Patrick Kennedy has scored 107 points — 17.8 points per match — in his six matches this season. The Minnesota native is 5-1 with three technical falls and two majors this season.
THE YOUNGEST BRANDS
Senior Nelson Brands made his 2022-23 season debut against No. 21 Penn, where he produced a 5-1 victory over No. 19 Nick Incontrera at 174 pounds.
• The Iowa City, Iowa, native followed it up with his first bonus point win — a 13-5 victory over Iowa State’s MJ Gaitan. He is 2-1 this season.
• During his Hawkeye career, Brands has wrestled at 165, 184, 174 and 184 before settling in at 174 this season.
SIEBRECHT NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Junior Cobe Siebrecht was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 30 after defeating the highest ranked opponent of his career, pinning No. 10 Anthony Artalona of Penn to cap the Hawkeyes’ 26-11 dual victory on Nov. 26. Siebrecht got caught in a headlock early in the second period before rolling through and sticking Artalona in 4:02. It was his second pin and fourth bonus point victory of the season.
IOWA AT OPEN TOURNAMENTS
• Sophomore Cullan Schriever and freshman Jace Rhodes both won 133-pound titles at the Luther Open on Nov. 12 in Decorah, Iowa. Schriever, who was competing unattached, won the elite division, while Rhodes won the silver (freshman-only) bracket.
• The Hawkeyes won two more titles at the Lindenwood Open when Rhodes (133) and Joel Jesuroga (149) won the black (freshman) brackets.
• Freshman Kolby Franklin led a group of five Hawkeyes that placed at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, as he finished as runner-up at 197 pounds.
• Sophomore Drake Ayala went 2-0 to claim the 125 pound title at the UNI Open. He posted major decisions in both matches.
The Hawkeyes have six past All-Americans on the 2022-23 roster in three-time NCAA Champion Spencer Lee (125), Real Woods (141), Max Murin (149), Abe Assad (184), Jacob Warner (197) and Tony Cassioppi (285).
• Iowa has crowned at least one All-American in 51 consecutive tournaments, dating back to 1972.
• Iowa finished third at the 2022 NCAA Championships with 74 points with five All-Americans. The Hawkeyes were also third at the Big Ten Championships with 129.5 points.
The Hawkeyes have 17 newcomers on the 2022-23 roster, including three transfers.
• Real Woods was a two-time All-American at Stanford University (2020, 2022). He finished sixth at 141 last season.
• Brody Teske was a two-time NCAA qualifier at Northern Iowa after beginning his career at Penn State. Teske is one of three Fort Dodge, Iowa, natives on the 2022-23 roster (Drake Ayala, Drew Bennett).
• Aidan Harris spent two seasons at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, where he was a two-time national qualifier. The Utah native placed fourth at 125 in 2021, winning six consecutive wrestle-back matches.
CASS EARNS WORLD BRONZE
Senior Tony Cassioppi won his second world age-group medal, earning a bronze at the 2022 U23 UWW World Championships on Oct. 23 in Spain. Cassioppi also won a gold medal at the 2021 UWW World Championships.
KENNEDY WINS U23 TITLE
Sophomore Patrick Kennedy went 7-0 at the 2022 World Team Trials to win the 74 kg title in June. Kennedy posted three victories over All-Americans and two more over NCAA qualifiers during the tournament.
SOLD OUT X 2
Iowa wrestling season tickets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena are sold out for a second straight season. The Hawkeyes have led the nation in attendance every year since 2006-07. Iowa set an NCAA record, averaging 14,905 fans in 2021-22.
Nine Iowa duals will be televised during the 2022-23 season. The Hawkeyes will have eight duals televised on BTN and one on ESPNU.
• Iowa’s BTN appearances include home duals against Iowa State (1:30 p.m. (CT)), Nebraska (8 p.m.), Michigan (8 p.m.) and Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.) and road duals at Purdue (1 p.m.), Wisconsin (TBA), Penn State (7:30 p.m.) and Minnesota (8 p.m.).
• The Hawkeyes’ home dual against Northwestern will be televised on ESPNU.
TRUE FRESHMEN IN VARSITY LINEUP
Three true freshman have competed in the varsity lineup this season. Drake Rhodes won his Hawkeye debut against California Baptist at 174 pounds, while Carson Martinson competed at 174 at Army and Joel Jesuroga at 149 at Chattanooga.
Nine Hawkeye freshman have competed as attached competitors during the 2022-23 season. Under new NCAA guidelines, freshmen can compete in five dates of competition during the student-athlete’s initial year of collegiate enrollment without using a season of competition.
• Here is a list of competitions for Iowa’s freshmen in 2022-23: Jace Rhodes (4), Gage Marty (4), Kolby Franklin (3), Easton Fleshman (3), Joel Jesuroga (3), Bradley Hill (2), Drake Rhodes (1), Mickey Griffith (1), Carson Martinson (1), Carter Martinson (1), Aiden Riggins (1) and Jude Link (1).
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
The Hawkeyes have won 24 national titles and 37 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 55 NCAA Champions have won a total of 85 NCAA individual titles, crowning seven three-time and 16 two-time champions.
• The Hawkeyes’ 117 Big Ten champions have combined for 208 conference titles. There have been eight four-time, 18 three-time and 31 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa.
• Iowa’s 161 All-Americans have earned All-America status 357 times, including one five-time, 24 four-time, 38 three-time and 40 two-time honorees.
SPENCER LEE TARGETS FOURTH TITLE
• Senior Spencer Lee won the 125-pound NCAA Championship in 2021, becoming the seventh three-time national champion in program history and putting an exclamation point on the Hawkeyes’ 2021 NCAA team title. Lee was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and won the Dan Hodge Trophy for the second straight season.
• Lee is the seventh three-time NCAA champion in program history, joining the ranks of Ed Banach (1981, 81, 83), Barry Davis (1982, 83, 85), Jim Zalesky (1982-84), Tom Brands (1990-92), Lincoln McIlravy (1993, 94, 97) and Joe Williams (1996-98).
• Only four wrestlers in NCAA history have won four Division I national titles: Oklahoma State’s Pat Smith (‘90-92, ‘94), Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson (‘99-02), Cornell’s Kyle Dake (‘10-13), and Ohio State’s Logan Stieber (‘12-15).
• Iowa’s three-time champions include:
1. Ed Banach (177, 177, 190) 1980-81, 1983
2. Barry Davis (118, 126, 126) 1982-83, 1985
3. Jim Zalesky (158) 1982-84
4. Tom Brands (134) 1990-92
5. Lincoln McIlravy (142, 150, 150) 1993-94, 1997
6. Joe Williams (158, 158, 167) 1996-98
7. Spencer Lee (125) 2018-19, 2021
LIGHTING JOE EARNS HOF NOD
Three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American Joe Williams will be inducted into the Class of 2023 for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Williams will inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 46th Honors Weekend on June 2-3, 2023, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Williams finished his Hawkeye career with a 129-9 overall record and helped Iowa to back-to-back NCAA team titles in 1996 and 1997. He was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
HAWKEYES AND CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa is 122-13 (.904) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Tom Brands took over the program prior to 2006-07. The Hawkeyes are 272-26 (.912) all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. Iowa finished 5-1 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2021-22.
• Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted two United States Olympic Team Trials, four Big Ten Championships (1983, 1994, 2005, 2016) and four NCAA Championships (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The Hawkeyes have won five tournament titles on their home mat, including the 1983 and 1994 Big Ten Championships, and the 1986, 1991 and 1995 NCAA Championships.
• In 2018, the University of Iowa hosted the UWW World Cup, an international dual tournament featuring eight of the top countries in the world.
The Hawkeyes open Big Ten competition on Jan. 6, hosting Illinois at 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.