On Tuesday the University of Iowa released some sorry news regarding Michael Kemerer needing season ending surgery, effectively ending the junior’s season even before it began. A two-time All-American for the Hawkeyes, the loss of Kemerer is a big blow to the team’s scoring potential. Prior to the announcement of the surgery Kemerer was ranked #6 overall by The Open Mat.
That means while Kemerer will spend the entirety of the 2018-19 season on the shelf, hopeful of a medical redshirt, and Iowa will need to rely on someone else to fill the void left by their junior standout. Most recently that has been redshirt freshman Myles Wilson, but the Hawkeyes may have another wrestler enter the fray in the next couple weeks.
Enter the possibility of Mitch Bowman, who according to our sources did certify at the 174-pound weight class. A redshirt senior out of North Scott high school, Bowman will be looking to make his way down to a weight class that he hasn’t seen since his redshirt freshman season.
Before we get too far into this break down, I must clarify that at this time there has been no official statement regarding whether or not Bowman is in fact headed down. Right now the only facts are #1) Bowman is certified at the weight and #2) according to Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter KJ Pilcher, Bowman weighed in at 182.5 last Saturday.
Again this is still unconfirmed at this time, but that weight puts Bowman a pound under the 184-pound scratch weight he needed to make for the Purdue dual. Further sleuthing by Pilcher (and by our own math as well) revealed that with a 1.5% descent plan, Bowman would be able to make weigh in at 174 before next month’s Midlands Championships held in Evanston, Illinois.
To this point Bowman has had a solid career in an Iowa singlet, having his break out year a season ago where he went 14-13 while competing at 184 pounds. Bowman ended the year by qualifying for the NCAA tournament, where he won two matches and both of his losses came to eventual All-Americans. This season he has competed at 197 pounds on two occasions for Iowa and is 2-0. Last weekend he upset the then #9 ranked Christian Brunner of Purdue.
Prior to that Bowman had spent the previous season as the chief backup at 184 and 197 pounds. Bowman even made a spot start at heavyweight during the 2016 Iowa City Duals where he pinned Amari Latimer.
Presently the 174-pound spot is being manned by Wilson who has put together a 2-2 record to start the year. This weekend could pose as Wilson’s toughest test yet as he would be scheduled to face Iowa State freshman Marcus Coleman.
Brands also hinted that the team has several 157-pound wrestlers that could make the shift up the lineup, which could mean that junior Jeremiah Moody may try and make the move up after losing his wrestler off with Kaleb Young.
Given his resume, its unquestionable that Bowman is the most experienced option the Hawkeyes could use at 174 going forward, we just might have to wait a few weeks before the opportunity materializes.