What We Learned

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For the first time this season all three Division I schools in the state of Iowa were in action with more or less the full squad competing. Not only that, but the first official high school practices for the season are in the books, which means the season is finally here!

IOWA

  • We discussed this topic at length yesterday, but there is no harm in mentioning it again. This past weekend star recruit Spencer Lee weighed in at 125 pounds, but he didn’t see action in any of Iowa’s three duals. Right now it seems as though the plan will be for Lee to travel with the team like he is the starter and if/when Brands decides to pull the redshirt, Lee will already have a little bit of a feel for his role.
  • While Flowrestling’s tweet about Lee weighing in on Friday set the wrestling community buzzing, Lee’s roommate decided to up the ante. To say Jacob Warner put on a show at the Lidenwood Open would be putting it mildly. The bracket wasn’t as tough as some were hoping, but Warner’s 16-7 dismantling of Missouri’s Willie Miklus was all anyone really needed to see. Ranked #3 by Flowrestling, I don’t need to tell you how big of a win this was for Warner. The goods news for Iowa fans is that Brands also listed Warner as a wrestler that he intends to “bring along” this season, just like Lee.
  • We knew coming into the Iowa City Duals that presumed 165-pound starter wasn’t going to see the mat, but hearing Brands say that Young may receive the team’s next two starts is a development. The head Hawkeye keeps referring to Marinelli as this weight’s starter, so there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern. Probably the biggest disappointment is the feeling that Marinelli facing #6 Chad Walsh of Rider isn’t happening, but color me curious to see how Young holds up against the returning All-American this weekend.

Photo: Iowa State Communications

IOWA STATE

  • Heading into the Lindenwood Open it appeared that Iowa State had settled their lineup battles at 133 (Ian Parker), 157 (Chase Straw), and 285 pounds (Marcus Harrington) leaving just 149 and 174 as the last two weights that needed sorting out. Taking the torch and running with it this weekend was redshirt freshman Jarrett Degen, who not only beat his teammate Dante Rodriguez 5-3 in the semifinals, but Degen also scored a pretty big win over #15 Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma in the quarterfinals. We don’t expect the competition to be over, but Degen’s performance is very encouraging.
  • Speaking of Iowa State freshmen, both Parker and Storr had their tournament end on a sour note with both of wrestlers winding up pinned in their final match. That’s not to say they had a bad day. Parker made it to the finals, but was caught by #9 John Erneste. Storr got a little more roughed up taking fourth at 141 pounds. He was upset in the semifinals by #17 Michael Longo of Oklahoma and then pinned by Oklahoma State true freshman Kaden Gfeller.
  • Continuing our trend of redshirt freshmen is Sammy Colbray who bounced back in a good way at 197 pounds to take third at Lindenwood. Losing by fall at home against Drexel was a tough pill to swallow for a lot of Iowa State fans who were hoping for a breakout season from the upper-weight. This weekend was the first step back in that direction as the only loss Colbray had was to SIUE’s Christian DuLaney, and he technically avenged that loss in the third place match (DuLaney had to injury default out of the match).

NORTHERN IOWA

  • Wouldn’t you know it, Taylor Lujan is still fun to watch. This past weekend the sophomore was a Panther hero, first on Friday night against Cornell and then again with his bonus point victory on Sunday against NDSU. Cornell boasted the #7 ranked Brandon Womack, but Lujan was able to notch the upset and win 5-3. Then on Sunday with his team trailing 9-3 against the Bison Lujan answered NDSU’s fall with one of his own which pulled UNI to within one at 10-9. Those bonus points were critical in the Panthers 21-19 victory, which will go down as the team’s first victory as members of the Big 12 conference.
  • Rebounding is nice and three Panthers were able to do just that against the NDSU opponents. Jay Schwarm, Josh Alber, and Drew Foster found themselves victims of upsets on Friday, but the pair were back to their regular form in the West Gym. Schwarm came back with a major decision, Foster won by a large margin as well, and Alber won the dual for the Panthers with a 19-4 tech fall.
  • The redshirt freshmen took a hit for the Panthers with Jack Wagner and Carter Isley combining to go 0-4 on the weekend, which was a bit surprising. The Panthers are now entering a bit of a layoff with their next competition almost two weeks away (Las Vegas Invitational). With both of these wrestlers still acclimating to being starters look for these two to take this time to regroup and hopefully put together a strong showing in Vegas.

With three wrestlers in IAwrestle’s Fab 50 2A 285 is without a doubt one of the more interesting weights to watch this season.

HIGH SCHOOL

  • It’s Thanksgiving week so for Iowa high school wrestling fans that means two things: 1) Good food and 2) IAwrestle preseason rankings. Be on the look out for those this week!
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