Aaron Costello
Aaron Costello, along with Max Murin and Jacob Warner are scheduled to be in the open division

Surprise, Hawkeye wrestling fans, it looks like your team’s season is officially beginning six days earlier than originally planned. We have already been given a glimpse of this team through wrestle offs, which were brought back for the first time in five years, but this weekend in Decorah, Iowa fans will be given the opportunity to watch several Hawkeye wrestlers against live competition. Iowa announced this week that the team would be sending potentially 17 wrestlers to the Luther College Open.

As Tom Brands said in his press conference this week, this is a team of unknowns. Not only did Brands acknowledge the fact that he is considering pulling the redshirts on both Spencer Lee and Jacob Warner, but he also reiterated that his starting lineup will likely be a fluid situation until much later in the season.

All ten weight classes were contested at wrestle offs, but Brands’ comments seem to indicate that there are still several weights up for grabs. Of the 10 weight class winners last Saturday, four will be headed to the Luther Open for competition. Of that group only 133 pounds had both wrestlers who competed in the finals listed as attending the open at weight that is truly up for contention.

So we’ll start there.

Paul Glynn surprised fans last Saturday when he upset senior Phil Laux in the closing seconds to win his weight. Many expected Laux to win the spot outright after he spent all of last season as the primary backup and fill in for Cory Clark. Glynn had plans otherwise and at media day he wants to be in the lineup, not just “in the mix“. With the Iowa City Duals competition featuring a top ten ranked wrestler (#7 Bryan Lantry of Buffalo) and a returning NCAA qualifier (Cam Sykora of NDSU) Brands is likely wanting to have a more definitive starter with two tough matchups next weekend.

At 125 pounds both Perez Perez and Justin Stickley will be headed to Luther. While its true those two both competed in the finals at 125 pounds, the weight always appeared to be Stickley’s given the fact he won by major decision and technical fall. This weekend should give Stickley the opportunity to compete before making his college Carver-Hawkeye debut*.

Several other true freshmen will get their first taste of college competition this weekend: Max Murin, Myles Wilson, Jacob Warner, and Aaron Costello. We’re expecting that Murin, Warner, and Costello will compete in the “Open” division, while the rest of the true freshmen will compete in the “freshman” division.

Warner, who won the 197-pound wrestle off is starting the year in redshirt, so it’s no surprise to see him listed as attending this event this weekend.

The only other wrestle off winner competing is Logan McQuillen at 165 pounds. Alex Marinelli is the expected starter at that weight for Iowa despite the fact he did not appear at wrestle offs.

Projected Attendees for Iowa at the Luther Open:

Perez Perez (125), Justin Stickley (125)
Paul Glynn (133), Phillip Laux (133)
Carter Happel (141), Aaron Meyer (141), Danny Murphy (141), Max Murin (141)
Stephen Alvarez (149), Jeren Glosser (149), Pat Lugo (149)
Keegan Shaw (157)
Logan McQuillen (165)
Myles Wilson (184)
Connor Corbin (197), Jacob Warner (197)
Aaron Costello (285)

*Yes, we are taking credit for Stickley’s Carver debut to be back in 2015 when he competed at our dual event, the Night of Conflict.

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle