Hawkeyes Send 2 to NCAA Semifinals  

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two University of Iowa wrestlers – Drake Ayala (125) and Michael Caliendo (165) – advanced to Friday night’s semifinals during Session III of the 2024 NCAA Championships at the T-Mobile Center.

The wins clinched All-America honors for the Hawkeye duo. They are the 364th and 365th All-America honors in Iowa history.

Ayala is a first time All-American and Caliendo earned his second All-America honor and first at Iowa.

Along with the two semifinalists, the Hawkeyes have four wrestlers alive on the consolation side of the bracket. Iowa is fifth in the team standings with 41.5 points, while Penn State is leading the team race with 86.5 points. Michigan (50.5) is second, Arizona State (44.5) is third and Iowa State (42.0) is fourth.

Ayala opened quarterfinal action with a 4-1 sudden victory decision over Oklahoma State’s Troy Spratley at 125.

Spratley earned an escape after choosing to begin the second period in the down position. Ayala responded with an escape in the third period. A takedown with 53 seconds remaining gave the Fort Dodge, Iowa, native his second overtime win over Spratley.

Ayala will face Wisconsin’s 10th-seeded Eric Barnett in tonight’s semifinals in a rematch of the 2024 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals (Ayala won via decision 8-1).

Caliendo earned a spot in the semifinals for the first time with a 9-4 decision over Cornell’s Julian Ramirez at 165. Caliendo used a first period takedown and a second period reversal, penalty point and a takedown to take a 9-3 lead into the third period where he would ultimately win, 9-4.

The win gives Caliendo his second career All-America honor and moves his record to 27-4 this season. Caliendo will face Penn State’s second-seeded Mitchell Messenbrink (Messenbrink and Caliendo have met twice this season with Messenbrink winning both meetings.)

No. 3 seed Real Woods and No. 10 seed Jared Franek both fell to the Round of 12 with quarterfinal losses.

Woods matched up with Lachlan McNeil of North Carolina and the two had a tight match at 141. McNeil broke a 1-1 tie with a third-period takedown and three near fall points before the buzzer to win, 7-1.

Franek dropped a 5-2 decision to second-seeded Jacori Teemer of Arizona State. Teemer got a reversal to tie things at 2-2 and then a takedown with 31 seconds remaining to advance to the semifinals.

No. 15 seed Brody Teske stayed alive with a 2-0 session. In his first match, Teske won via major decision over Maryland’s Braxton Brown before following with an 3-1 victory in tiebreakers over Army’s No. 25 seed Braden Basile. He had a reversal in the first tiebreaker period to advance to the round of 12.

No. 12 seed Patrick Kennedy advanced with a 2-0 performance in the morning session. He defeated No. 11 seed Austin Murphy of Campbell, 5-3, before defeating Central Michigan’s No. 19 seed Alex Cramer, 5-2.

Caleb Rathjen (149), Zach Glazier (197), and Bradley Hill (285) had their tournament runs come to an end during Session III.

Rathjen fell 7-2 to Ohio State’s No. 14 seed Dylan D’Emilio at 149, Glazier lost in sudden victory to No. 9 seeded Stephen Little of Little Rock, 4-1, and Hill lost via major decision to Virginia Tech’s Hunter Catka, 11-2.

Rathjen finished the year 20-7, Glazier went 25-4, and Hill went 21-9.


125 | #3 Drake Ayala (Iowa) dec. #6 Troy Spratley (OK State), 4-1 SV1
141 | #6 Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) dec. #3 Real Woods (Iowa), 7-1
157 | #2 Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) dec.  #10 Jared Franek (Iowa), 5-2
165 | #6 Michael Caliendo (Iowa) dec #3 Julian Ramierez (Cornell), 9-4


133 | #15 Brody Teske (Iowa) major dec. #17 Braxton Brown (Maryland), 14-6
149 | #14 Dylan D’Emillio (Ohio State) dec. # 13 Caleb Rathjen (Iowa), 7-2
174 | #12 Patrick Kennedy (Iowa) dec. #11 Austin Murphy (Campbell), 5-3
197 | #9 Stephen Little (Little Rock) dec. #7 Zach Glazier (Iowa), 4-1 SV1
285 | #26 Hunter Catka (Virginia Tech) major dec. #25 Bradley Hill (Iowa), 11-2

133 | #15 Brody Teske (Iowa) dec. #25 Braden Basile (Army), 3-1 TB1
174 | #12 Patrick Kennedy (Iowa) dec. #19 Alex Cramer (Central Michigan), 5-2

125 | #3 Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. #10 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)
165 | #6 Michael Caliendo (Iowa) vs. #2 Mitchell Mesenbrink (Penn State)

133 | #15 Brody Teske (Iowa) vs. #4 Dylan Shawver (Rutgers)
141 | #3 Real Woods (Iowa) vs. #7 Cael Happel (UNI)
157 | #10 Jared Franek (Iowa) vs. #5 Ryder Downey (UNI)
174 | #12 Patrick Kennedy (Iowa) vs. #1 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)

Session IV of the 2024 NCAA Championships will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) and it will be televised live on ESPN.