Hawkeyes Fall to Top-Ranked Penn State

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The third-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won two matches, but top-ranked Penn State claimed eight of 10 bouts to post a 29-6 dual victory on Friday night on Mediacom Mat at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

“We have to score more takedowns,” said head coach Tom Brands. “We have to get off the bottom at five weights. I don’t know how much riding time was combined, but it was a lot.”

Seventh-ranked Drake Ayala put together a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Braeden Davis at 125 to start the dual. Ayala recorded a first period takedown before Davis escaped to make it 3-1 after the first period. The wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third period as Ayala earned his ninth ranked win of the season.

Penn State took the lead at 133 when No. 6 Aaron Nagao used a pair of takedowns and third period nearfall points to major decision No. 20 Cullan Schriever. No. 1 Beau Bartlett followed with a 7-2 decision over No. 2 Real Woods at 141.

The Hawkeyes narrowed the gap with an 11-8 sudden victory win from No. 12 Caleb Rathjen over No. 10 Tyler Kasak at 149.  After Rathjen recorded the first two takedowns of the match, Kasak rallied back with a pair of third period takedowns to send the bout to overtime. With 1:10 remaining in the sudden victory period, Rathjen converted on a single leg to pick up his third ranked win of the season.

Penn State won the final match before intermission when No. 2 Levi Haines pieced together a major decision over No. 5 Jared Franek at 157. Haines used three takedowns to win 11-0 and bring the Nittany Lion lead to 11-6 at the break.

The Nittany Lions closed out the dual winning all five bouts following intermission. Seventh-ranked Mitchell Messenbrink won via a decision against No. 6 Michael Caliendo at 165.

No. 1 Carter Starocci won a 13-5 major decision over No. 7 Patrick Kennedy at 174. Starocci tallied four takedowns, two in the first and two in the second.

Penn State recorded another bonus point victory at 184 when No. 6 Bernie Truax recorded an, 8-0, major decision over Aiden Riggins and the Nittany Lions followed with a 5-1 victory by No. 1 Aaron Brooks over No. 11 Zach Glazier at 197. After a scoreless first period Brooks used a second period takedown to hand Glazier his first loss of the season.

No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet closed out the dual with a 9-1 victory over Ben Kueter at heavyweight.

“They have a high-powered team,” said Brands. “They score a lot of points, and you have to be ready, like, beyond ready. And if you just think you’re ready, and you think it’s normal, it’s not normal. It’s not a normal team, and that’s not me putting them on a pedestal. That’s not me conceding anything. We have to be better when we go out there. We have to be more ready when we go out there.”

#1 Penn State 29, #3 Iowa 6
125 – #7 Drake Ayala (I) dec. #2 Braeden Davis (P), 4-2
133 – #6 Aaron Nagao (P) major dec. #20 Cullan Schriever (I), 11-0
141 – #1 Beau Bartlett (P) dec. #2 Real Woods (I), 7-2
149 – #12 Caleb Rathjen (I) dec. #10 Tyler Kasak, 11-8 SV1
157 – #1 Levi Haines (P) major dec. #5 Jared Franek (I), 12-0
165 – #7 Mitchell Mesenbrink (P) dec. #6 Michael Caliendo (I), 12-6
174 – #1 Carter Starocci (P) major dec. #7 Patrick Kennedy (I), 13-5
184 – #6 Bernie Truax (P) major dec. Aiden Riggins (I), 8-0
197 – #1 Aaron Brooks (P) dec. #11 Zach Glazier (I), 5-1
285 – #1 Greg Kerkvliet (P) major dec. Ben Kueter (I), 9-1

Attendance: 14,847
Officials: Jeron Quincy, Matt Sorochinsky