Looking Back At How Iowa Performed At U23 & Junior Nationals


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When the world shut down in March due to COVID-19, so did college wrestling. The majority of college wrestlers and programs had not been able to compete since their respective conference tournaments. However, that all changed last weekend with U23 & Junior Nationals, and perhaps no team had more intrigue or excitement around them than the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

So, I decided to take a look back and see how the preseason #1 team performed in their first tournament action since March. I know it was not their full stating lineup, but five returning starters were in action and several blue-chip recruits. 

U23 Results

Austin DeSanto - 61kg -  4th Place   

It was a tale of two days for the two-time All-American in Omaha. On the opening day, he was dominant outscoring his opponents 25-2 on his way to two tech falls and a pin. All three wins also came against wrestlers that have previously qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Day two began with, in my opinion, one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when DeSanto was knocked off in the semifinals by Penn's Michael Colaiocco. While Colaiocco was ranked in the top 25 at 125 most of the year, and debuted at #22 in our preseason rankings, he was just 1-2 at the EIWA Championships earlier this year. DeSanto even lead 2-0 with under two minutes remaining in the match before Colaiocco scored 8 of the next 11 points to punch his ticket to the finals. In his third-place match, the offensive dynamo was held without a takedown by Iowa State's Ian Parker, who broke the match open with a four-point flurry near the end of the first period.

Match By Match Recap

Austin DeSanto VSU1 Todd Small, 11-1 4:45

Austin DeSanto VSU1 Dominic La joie, 12-2 4:01

Austin DeSanto VPO Drew Mattin, 2-0

Michael Colaiocco VPO1 Austin DeSanto , 8-5

Austin DeSanto VPO1 Josh Kramer, 14-9

Ian Parker VPO1 Austin DeSanto, 6-1

Max Murin - 65kg - 3rd Place

While DeSanto's performance was up and down, Max Murin was consistent with three of his four wins coming by tech fall, and the lone match that didn't end early in his favor was a nine-point win for the Hawkeye.

Murin's lone setback of the weekend came to the eventual champion, Brock Mauller in the semifinals. Murin was actually winning the match on criteria until Mauller came up clutch in the final 20 seconds scoring exposure points during a scramble. This weekend showed that Murin will be just fine making the move up to 149 this season. The Hawkeye beat #13 Kizhan Clarke and has I already mentioned nearly knocked off the third-ranked Mauller.

Match By Match Recap

Max Murin VSU1 Hunter Marko, 13-2 5:23

Max Murin VPO1 Luke Kemerer, 10-1

Brock Mauller VPO1 Max Murin, 3-1

Max Murin VSU1 Parker Filius, 11-1 1:49

Max Murin VSU Kizhan Clarke, 10-0 5:28

Carter Happel - 65kg - 8th Place

The Hawkeyes flexed their depth at 141/149 as Carter Happel found his way onto the podium as well. Most notably, Happel split with Purdue starter and preseason #21, Parker Filius. On most teams around the country, Happel is capable of starting and being a top 25 guy.

Match By Match Recap

Carter Happel VPO1 Parker Filius, 2-2

Carter Happel VPO1 Cole Manley, 4-3

Kizhan Clarke VSU Carter Happel, 10-0 2:24

Carter Happel VPO1 Hunter Marko, 6-4

Parker Filius VPO1 Carter Happel, 10-5

Luke Kemerer VPO1 Carter Happel, 4-2

Kaleb Young - 70kg - 2nd Place

Much like he was most of last season, Kaleb Young was solid, but not spectacular. The only ranked wrestler he saw on the way to the finals was Jonathan Millner who is currently #19 at 149. 

In the finals, he squared off with a familiar foe, Will Lewan, who he beat in their lone meeting last season. However, he wasn't able to replicate the result this weekend. Lewan, a Cadet world champion and Fargo champion, is known for his freestyle prowess and added another title to his resume in Omaha.

Match By Match Recap

Kaleb Young VPO1 Cory Crooks, 7-2

Kaleb Young VPO1 Jonathan Millner, 7-3

Kaleb Young VPO1 Parker Kropman, 9-6

Kaleb Young VSU Garrett Model, 10-0 1:02

Will Lewan VPO1 Kaleb Young, 5-4

Nelson Brands - 79kg - 2nd Place

Nelson Brands got the attention of wrestling fans all over the country a few weeks ago when he dominated his teammate Abe Assad at the Hawkeye Wrestling Club Showdown Open, 9-0. In my opinion, Brands continued to impress this weekend on his way to a runner-up finish.

Not only did he pick up two tech falls, but he also got a big win over U23 World team member and fifth-place finisher at the U23 World Championships, Muhamed McBryde. Despite losing in the final to four-time All-American, David McFadden, I was impressed with the way that Brands was able to stay in the handfight and score on McFadden who just placed top six at Senior Nationals last month up at 86kg. At Senior Nationals, McFadden tech falled Taylor Lujan who would go on to take second in FloWrestling's 195 lbs 8-man bracket. 

Match By Match Recap

Nelson Brands VSU Jordan Bushey, 10-0 2:56

Nelson Brands VPO1 Michael Battista, 4-2

Nelson Brands VSU1 Dakota Howard, 12-2 3:46

Nelson Brands VPO1 Muhamed McBryde, 4-1

David McFadden VPO1 Nelson Brands, 12-5

Myles Wilson - 79kg - 6th Place

Wilson took the hard route to the podium, losing his first match and then battling all the way back for a top six finish. Just another example of how deep the Hawkeye practice room is.

Match By Match Recap

Victor Marcelli VPO1 Myles Wilson, 9-8

Myles Wilson VSU Luke Ewing, 11-0 1:02

Myles Wilson VSU Kyle Briggs, 11-0 1:17

Myles Wilson VPO1 Maxwell Southard, 6-4

Myles Wilson VPO1 Kenny O'Neil, 12-5

Myles Wilson VSU Dakota Howard, 11-0 2:03

Jake Allar VSU1 Myles Wilson, 11-1 1:27

Demetrius Romero VSU Myles Wilson, 10-0 2:41

Jacob Warner - 92kg - 2nd Place

While Jacob Warner fell short in the final, I wouldn't call his performance a disappointment. Three of his four matches on the weekend came against top 15 ranked 197-pounders, and it's always going to be tough to navigate a field like that flawlessly. Warner impressively rolled past Nino Bonaccorsi and Nathan Traxler to set up a rubber match with Jacob Woodley. The two had met twice in 2017 while they were both redshirting and had split matches. Woodley scored the decisive takedown early in the second period and would shut Warner out the rest of the way.

Match By Match Recap

Jacob Warner VSU1 Andrew Davison, 12-1 5:07

Jacob Warner VSU Nathan Traxler, 11-0 1:24

Jacob Warner VPO1 Nino Bonaccorsi, 9-3

Jakob Woodley VPO1 Jacob Warner, 6-4

Anthony Cassioppi - 125kg - 2nd Place

Anthony Cassioppi was great throughout his first season in the black and gold, and I thought he picked up where left off last season in Omaha this weekend. "Big Tone" was the Hawkeyes fourth U23 finalist and earned his way there with three tech falls and a big win over Jordan Wood in the semifinals.

In the finals, I thought Cassioppi more than held his own against U23 World silver medalist and top-six finisher at Senior Nationals, Youssif Hemida. Cassioppi even took a 7-6 lead at one point in the second period after digging himself out of a 4-0 first period hole.

Match By Match Recap

Anthony Cassioppi VSU Trent Ragland, 10-0 0:35

Anthony Cassioppi VSU Jayden Woodruff, 10-0 0:38

Anthony Cassioppi VPO Isaac Reid, 3-0

Anthony Cassioppi VSU Gannon Gremmel, 11-0 2:35

Anthony Cassioppi VPO Jordan Wood, 2-0

Youssif Hemida VPO1 Anthony Cassioppi, 8-7

Aaron Costello - 125kg - 8th Place

Costello's eighth-place finish meant that the Hawkeyes had three different weights where they had multiple wrestlers finish in the top 8. Again, the depth in Iowa City is insane. Like Happel, Costello is another guy that would start at a lot of programs around the county and likely be a top 25 guy. 

Match By Match Recap

Ethan Laird VPO1 Aaron Costello, 6-1

Aaron Costello VSU Michael Burchell, 11-0 3:12

Aaron Costello VPO1 Gabriel Beyer, 2-1

Aaron Costello VPO1 Francis Duggan, 8-2

Brian Andrews VFA Aaron Costello, 4-0 0:51

Luke Luffman VPO Aaron Costello, 5-0

Junior Results

Jesse Ybarra - 57kg - 5th Place

The potential heir apparent to Spencer Lee, Jesse Ybarra, performed well in his first action highlighted by a win over Wisconsin's starting 125-pounder, Eric Barnett. Ybarra also gave Angelo Rini, who won 25 matches at 133 last year for Columbia, everything he wanted, and lost a barn burner to UNI's Brody Teske. The freshman from Arizona looks to be on the path to a great career in the black and gold.

Match By Match Recap

Jesse Ybarra VSU1 Joshua Sarpy, 15-4 1:09

Jesse Ybarra VPO1 Antonio Lorenzo, 11-5

Jesse Ybarra VPO1 Ryan Miller, 5-2

Jesse Ybarra VPO1 Noah Surtin, 8-5

Angelo Rini VPO1 Jesse Ybarra, 6-5

Brody Teske VPO1 Jesse Ybarra, 11-9

Jesse Ybarra VFA Eric Barnett, 2-2 1:18

Cobe Siebrecht - 65kg - 8th Place

On day one of action, Siebrecht was one of the biggest stories of the tournament when he upset top-seeded Josh Saunders in the round of 32. Siebrecht followed that up with a win over Iowa State freshman and two-time Pennsylvania state finalist Cam Robinson. 

Siebrecht's run on the front side would come to an end when he ran into Rutgers' Sammy Alvarez, but he bounced back nicely knocking off Wisconsin freshman Joey Zargo. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to finish the tournament after that match, but his performance shows just how deep and talented the Hawkeyes middleweights are.

Match By Match Recap

Cobe Siebrecht IVFA Arturo Acosta, 5-0 0:07

Cobe Siebrecht VPO1 Joshua Saunders, 7-3

Cobe Siebrecht VPO1 Cameron Robinson, 18-12

Sammy Alvarez VFA Cobe Siebrecht, 6-4 3:33

Cobe Siebrecht VPO1 Joseph Zargo, 10-6

Anthony Ferrari VFO Cobe Siebrecht

Victor Voinovich VFO Cobe Siebrecht

Patrick Kennedy - 79kg - 2nd Place

Patrick Kennedy lived up to the hype dominating his way into the finals with four tech falls and a nice win over Wisconsin's starter at 174 at the Big Ten Championships, Jared Krattinger. 

Although Drexel's Michael O'Malley put an end to Kennedy's bid for a title early in the first period with some slick upper body technique, don't panic Hawkeye fans. O'Malley was a national qualifier last year and is currently #17 at 174. Kennedy is legit and going to be a hammer for years to come in Iowa City.

Match By Match Recap

Patrick Kennedy VSU Jackson Boles, 10-0 0:44

Patrick Kennedy VSU Jesse Dejames, 10-0 1:10

Patrick Kennedy VSU Alexander Hernandez, 11-0 1:33

Patrick Kennedy VSU1 Jackson Turley, 12-2 4:13

Patrick Kennedy VPO1 Jared Krattiger, 6-4

Michael O'Malley VFA Patrick Kennedy, 2-0 1:10

Zach Glazier  - 92kg - 5th Place

A one-point loss to Rocky Elam who would go on to make the finals and was top five at Senior Nationals last month is nothing to be ashamed of. However, I think Zach Glazier will tell you he didn't bounce back the way he would have liked to. After dropping to the wrestlebacks, he would drop a second straight match to Virginia Tech's Andy Smith in the consolation semifinals. However, he did end on a high note when he beat Nick Willham who wrestled at 197 for Indiana at the Big Ten Championships last season.

Match By Match Recap

Zach Glazier VSU Brock Sanger, 10-0 1:02

Zach Glazier VPO1 Isaac Trumble, 6-5

Rocky Elam VPO1 Zach Glazier, 3-2

Christopher Smith VPO1 Zach Glazier, 5-1

Zach Glazier VSU Nicholas Willham, 10-0 5:48

Gabe Christenson - 92kg - 8th Place

Like Ybarra and Kennedy this was Christenson's introduction to a step up in competition and he turned in a solid performance. He also hit a few of the same opponents as Glazier along the way. Having two placers at this weight again demonstrates how deep Iowa is from top to bottom.

Match By Match Recap

Gabe Christenson VSU Tristen Wilson, 10-0 4:25

Nicholas Willham VPO1 Gabe Christenson, 3-1

Gabe Christenson VSU Koby Johnson 10-0 1:07

Christopher Smith VPO1 Gabe Christenson, 5-3

Austin Cooley VSU Gabe Christenson, 10-0 4:44

Notable DNP's

Cullan Schriever - 57kg

Schriever picked up a tech fall in his first match, but must have also picked up an injury along the way as well because he defaulted out of the tournament. Hopefully it's nothing serious and we'll see him back on the mat soon. 

Bretli Reyna - 70kg

Another heralded recruit in the class of 2020, Bretli Reyna, turned in a solid 3-2 performance on the weekend beating Tristan Tadeo of Little Rock, Joshua Ogunsanya of Columbia, and Walker Heard of West Virginia. 

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