This weekend some of the greatest high school talent will be traveling to the Walsh-Ironman wrestling tournament in Ohio. Some of the teams that will be vying for a team title are: #2 Oak Park River Forest – IL, #4 St. Paris-Graham – OH, #10 Franklin Regional – PA, and of course #1 Blair Academy – NJ. If you are not up to date on your high school power houses, the first three schools listed in that group each contain a recruit that has already given their verbal to the University of Iowa. Today we will examine Graham’s Alex Marinelli and the 160 pound weight class.
The common theme that is going around in these posts is that all of these are must see weights, and I don’t just say that because there are Iowa guys in these weights. The competition is truly one of a kind.
For instance you need only to look at the #1 seed at this weight and you can already see the star power. That wrestler is the #2 ranked junior, a cadet world champion, and recent Penn State commit Mason Manville.
Some of the other big names at this weight are #4 ranked Josh Shields, an Arizona State commit, and #8 Chris Weiler, a Lehigh commit.
Now that you can see the competition, the top four seeds go: Manville, Shields, Marinelli, and Weiler. Meaning that Marinelli would have to go through both Shields and Manville if seeds hold all the way through the tournament.
The good news is that Marinelli loves to seek a challenge and when he announced his commitment with us he even specifically said that being able to wrestle Manville was one of the reasons he was really looking forward to this Ironman tournament.
If you stretch the seeds all the way to eight (to look at quarterfinalist) you will see that Marinelli’s most likely quarterfinals opponent will be #14 ranked Matt Rundell of Oak Park River Forest. On the opposite side of the quarterfinal could be Shields and Iowa State commit Colston DiBlasi, who checks in as the tournament’s 7 seed.
DiBlasi’s weight has been fluctuating as he wrestled last season and Fargo at 152, and during the preseason he bumped all the way up to 170, which is where he was for Super 32. Now that the season is underway he back down to 160. DiBlasi’s path will be one of the toughest. I don’t think anyone would envy a wrestler that would have to beat Shields, Marinelli, and Manville, but that’s the task that is in front of DiBlasi at the moment.
So this is a big weekend for both Iowa and Iowa State fans. For Iowa State fans they can look for DiBlasi to make his way back into the national rankings as he fell out when he failed to notch any quality wins at the Super 32. For Iowa fans they have an opprotunity to watch three of their recruits climb the rankings. Renteria looking for a signature win at a new weight, Turk looking to move into the top ten, and Marinelli has a shot to go from #6 all the way to #2 if he beats both Shields and Manville.
The Ironman tournament takes place this weekend starting Friday 12/12 and goes through Saturday 12/13. If you have a FloPro subscription, you can catch all of the Ironman action, including Alex’s matches. Competition starts at noon central time today.