Date: Saturday, December 3rd
Time: 9AM
Location: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls, IA
Video: Flowrestling
Stats: TrackWrestling

UNI Open 2014
Action from the UNI Open in 2014

The Northern Iowa Panthers are set to host the annual UNI Open in the Dome once again this Saturday. UNI has been hosting the open since the 2008-09 season, except in the 09-10 season, where they did not host a tournament. The tournament generally has been a hodge-podge of teams from around the Midwest; not very many DI schools bring their varsity guys, but it does garner a nice variety of wrestlers from different divisions.

The open will be a bit stronger this season, as Missouri and Illinois are bringing their entire rosters with them, which includes the two-time NCAA Champion Isiah Martinez for the Illini. Martinez has yet to wrestle collegiately this year, as he was attempting to make the non-Olympic World Team at 70kg, but announced on Twitter recently that he’ll be wrestling in Cedar Falls on Saturday.

Speaking of Martinez, 165 looks to be the most stacked weight at the Open this year. UNI’s Bryce Steiert, currently ranked #13 at 165 pounds, will be in the field, as well as Missouri’s #3 Daniel Lewis. If Iowa freshman Alex Marinelli enters the filed as well, we’ll all know exactly what weight fans will be watching all day. The Hawkeyes are expected to bring their freshmen and backups to the event.

Iowa State will also be bringing in several wrestlers, and as of right now some starters are registered as well. Gabe Moreno, Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, and Dane Pestano are all registered for the Open, despite other members of their squad going to the Cliff Keen event in Las Vegas. The Cyclones are on a bit of a rough patch right now, though it is fairly early in the year. ISU is just 1-3, with their only win coming over Northern Colorado last Saturday, and they have Iowa in a dual meet in Iowa City next Saturday night.

The Panthers are looking to get some answers at a couple different weights. 184 pounds continues to be a good problem to have, as both Jacob Holschlag and Taylor Lujan have looked good there for UNI this (and last) season. 141 is a bit undecided as well, but we’ll see if Jake Koethe can go this Saturday, as Coach Schwab mentioned on the On Press Row show Wednesday that he might be a little banged up. They also hope to work 157 pounds out as Steiert has moved up to 165 now. Schwab will look to Paden Moore to take a hold of the weight permanently, but Dan Kelly, the transfer from Iowa State, might push Moore for that spot.

Missouri is scheduled to bring 29 wrestlers to the tournament, including the two-time National Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist J’Den Cox. Overall the Tigers will bring three All-Americans: Cox, Lewis, and 149 pounder Lavion Mayes.

Some other familiar faces to Iowa wrestling fans are coming in from South Dakota State. Josh and Justin  Portillo make their return to their home state since leaving for the Jackrabbits last year.

Overall there are 25 squads with men signed up for the UNI Open, including 15 ranked squads across three NCAA Divisions, the NAIA, and the NJCAA. All the teams with wrestlers signed up can be found below, and there might be more on the way. All the rankings below are from Intermat.

Teams At the UNI Open:

  • #9 (NJCAA) Ellsworth CC
  • #1 (NAIA) Grand View
  • #8 Illinois
  • #2 Iowa
  • #5 (NJCAA) Iowa Central CC
  • #2 (NJCAA) Iowa Lakes CC
  • #18 Iowa State
  • #1 (NJCAA) Iowa Western CC
  • Luther
  • #2 (DII) Maryville
  • Michigan State
  • Millikin University
  • #17 Minnesota
  • #6 Missouri
  • Modesto Junior College
  • #23 North Dakota State
  • North Iowa Area CC
  • #21 Northern Iowa
  • Northwestern
  • Purdue
  • #20 South Dakota State
  • Southern Illinois – Edwardsville
  • Southwest Minnesota State
  • #1 (DII) St. Cloud State
  • Waldorf
  • #11 Wisconsin