Iowa's Spencer Lee earned a 13-4 major decision over ISU's Alex Mackall in last year's dual meet in Iowa City (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
On Sunday the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to Ames to take on the No. 9 Iowa State Cyclones. The Cy-Hawk match remains one of the highlights of the college wrestling season even though Iowa has dominated the series recently. Iowa State will bring one of their best lineups from the last few seasons into this match and are probably hoping the home advantage pushes them over the top. The following is a weight-by-weight preview of the dual.
125: No. 1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. No. 7 Alex Mackall (Iowa State)
Lee's debut match last weekend against Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) started off as a vintage performance. He scored an early takedown and went to work from the top position. Later in the match he seemed to slow, and Gutierrez put a few points on the board. The final result was a major decision, but the two-time NCAA champion is held to a very high standard. Many Iowa fans were expecting a more dominant performance.
Last year Mackall qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time and finished up in the round of 16. This year he has gotten off to a 4-0 start that includes a first-place finish at the Cyclone Open and a 10-3 dual decision win over Brandon Seidman (Bucknell). The Iowa State situation at 125 pounds was very hectic for an extended period of time, but Mackall has more than settled things down.
In the Cy-Hawk dual last year, Lee's performance against Mackall was the first sign that he was not simply going to tech and pin his way through the season. He still won via a dominant 13-4 major decision, but Mackall did a solid job of keeping more bonus points off the board in what turned out to be a very close team match. Look for Lee to turn up the pace early and put on a similarly strong performance. If Mackall can keep this to a regular decision, the Cyclones might consider that a victory.
Prediction: Lee (Iowa) major decision over Mackall (Iowa State)
133: Paul Glynn/No. 2 Gavin Teasdale/Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. Todd Small (Iowa State)
In their first dual of the season, Iowa sent Glynn out to face Wade Cummings of UTC. Glynn fell behind early, but he managed to turn up the volume and walked away with an 11-7 victory. Teasdale's season got started on Saturday at the Luther Open. The former Penn State wrestler finished third with a 6-3 decision loss against No. 4 (DIII) Kristian Rumph (Wartburg).
Small redshirted last season and finished 18-5 during the exhibition campaign. He has been starting in place of returning near All-American No. 5 Austin Gomez, who is reportedly coming down in weight. The former NJCAA champion won the Cyclone Open with three straight victories but dropped a 3-1 match against Darren Miller in the dual against Bucknell.
Following the UTC match, Brands said that DeSanto "weighed in as basically a 33-pounder," so perhaps he is on the way down to 133. In his debut, he wrestled up a weight at 141 pounds. If he goes here, Iowa could be looking for bonus points. If Glynn or Teasdale goes, it should be a win for Small. The Cyclone owns a 7-3 victory over Glynn from last season, and Teasdale did not look particularly sharp last weekend.
Prediction: Small (Iowa State) decision over Glynn (Iowa)
141: Austin DeSanto/No. 8 Max Murin (Iowa) vs. No. 12 Ian Parker/Austin Gomez (Iowa State)
As previously stated DeSanto bumped up to 141 pounds for the Hawkeye's season opening dual. He took a 23-4 technical fall over Aiden Murphy (UTC). Murin, last year's starter at this weight, made his debut at the Luther Open. He won his opening bout over Lee Stevie (Loras) and then defaulted out of the tournament.
Parker won the wrestle-off against Gomez and got the start for the season opening dual against Bucknell. In that match, he took home a 6-2 decision. Gomez is likely on the way back down to 133 pounds, so this will probably be Parker's weight for the rest of the year. He will be looking to make it onto the podium after qualifying for the first time last year.
Once again the result at this weight will depend heavily on who gets the nod. DeSanto would likely be the favorite over Parker, but Murin might struggle to score against the Cyclone. Look for Iowa to stick with a lineup similar to their opening night squad, which means DeSanto coming forward with his aggressive style.
Prediction: DeSanto (Iowa) decision over Parker (Iowa State)
149: No. 5 Patricio Lugo (Iowa) vs. No. 4 Jarrett Degen (Iowa State)
In his first season as a starter for the Hawkeyes, Lugo put together a 23-10 record and finished eighth at the NCAA tournament to become an All-American for the first time. He made his debut this year in the dual against Chattanooga and picked up a 9-4 victory.
Degen also broke through and become an All-American for the first time last year. He finished the season with a 29-8 record. So far this season, he is 4-1 with his only loss coming against No. 3 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa).
Going into the Cy-Hawk match last year, many favored Lugo in this bout. However, Degen broke through with an overtime victory. They met again in the seventh-place match at the NCAA tournament, and Degen picked up his second victory over the Hawkeye. He might simply have Lugo's number at this point.
Prediction: Degen (Iowa State) decision over Lugo (Iowa)
157: No. 2 Kaleb Young (Iowa) vs. No. 11 David Carr (Iowa State)
Young was a revelation for the Hawkeyes last year. After wrestling up at 165 pounds and even 174 pounds, he moved down to 157 pounds. At the new weight he went 24-7 and finished fifth at the NCAA tournament. That performance as well as some graduations pushed him into the No. 2 spot in the country. Last weekend he scored a major decision victory over former Penn State wrestler George Carpenter (UTC).
The 2019 Junior world gold medalist redshirted last season at Iowa State. He went 23-1 with his only defeat coming against Peyton Mocco (Missouri). In his only action this season, Carr scored an 18-3 technical fall over Jordan Fisher (Bucknell). The former blue chip recruit is expected to be a player in the 157-pound division this season.
This might be the biggest match of the weekend. Carr could announce his presence in the weight with a victory over the No. 2-ranked wrestler. Young has shocked more heralded wrestlers in the past, but this will be a tough task. Carr's best wins have come in freestyle, but he has all the talent to pull this one out.
Prediction: Carr (Iowa State) decision over Young (Iowa)
165: No. 2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. Chase Straw (Iowa State)
Marinelli had a stellar regular season and conference tournament last year. He entered the NCAA tournament as the undefeated No. 1 seed. Things did not really go his way in the bracket, and he ended up finishing seventh. Despite that he is once again one of the top contenders in the weight this year. He currently holds the No. 2 ranking, and he has wins over everyone ranked in the top five.
Straw is moving up to 165 pounds after spending the last two seasons at 157 pounds. Last year he was an NCAA qualifier and finished with a 22-12 record. Straw started this year with a first place finish at the Cyclone Open but dropped a decision last weekend against Zach Hartman (Bucknell).
Marinelli is the clear favorite in this match. Straw is 1-7 for his career against Iowa wrestlers, and his only victory came over current teammate Skyler St. John. The only real question here is if Marinelli can put up bonus points. Last year he significantly increased his bonus rate, but he was unable last weekend to hit bonus over Drew Nicholson (UTC).
Prediction: Marinelli (Iowa) decision over Straw (Iowa State)
174: No. 4 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) vs. Marcus Coleman (Iowa State)
After missing an entire season due to injury, the 174-pound experiment for Kemerer finally got started last weekend against UTC. The competition was not particularly strong, but he dominated en route to a shutout technical fall victory. He appeared to be filled out at the new weight, but it remains to be seen if the former 157-pound wrestler will struggle against larger competition.
After a very strong redshirt season for his first year in Ames, Coleman joined the starting lineup last year at 174 pounds. He finished with a 28-14 record and qualified for the NCAA tournament. He dropped a decision against No. 6 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) at the Cyclone Open, but he bounced back last weekend with a fall over Frankie Guida (Bucknell).
On paper Kemerer is the much more accomplished wrestler, and he should be able to take the bout. However, Coleman is really his first real test at 174 pounds. If the weight is going to be an issue for the Iowa wrestler this year, it will certainly show here.
Prediction: Kemerer (Iowa) decision over Coleman (Iowa State)
184: No. 9 Cash Wilcke/Nelson Brands (Iowa) vs. No. 7 Samuel Colbray (Iowa State)
Brands surprisingly got the start for Iowa against UTC last weekend. After spending last season at 165 pounds, he bumped up to 184 pounds and knocked off Matthew Waddell via 8-4 decision. Last year's starter at 184 pounds and three-time NCAA qualifier, Wilcke went instead to the Luther Open where he took the tournament title with two technical falls and two falls over DII/DIII competition. Following the match against UTC, the Iowa coaching staff indicated that Wilcke was sent to the open "for a reason."
In his third year wrestling for the Cyclones, Colbray finally broke through and qualified for the NCAA tournament last year. He came up short of becoming an All-American as he fell in the round of 12. For his senior year, Colbray is looking to make it on the podium and is currently ranked in the top 10.
Colbray won a close match over Wilcke last year, and that is likely going to happen again. Wilcke is a hard hand fighter, but he has struggled to score takedowns when he needs them. If Colbray is able to handle the pace, he should be able to salt away this victory with a late takedown. If Iowa send out Brands, it is hard to see Colbray's size not being too much for the former 165-pounder.
Prediction: Colbray (Iowa State) decision over Wilcke (Iowa)
197: No. 3 Jacob Warner (Iowa) vs. Joel Shapiro (Iowa State)
Warner went 22-6 during his first season in the starting lineup for the Hawkeyes. He became an All-American for the first time with a seventh-place finish at the NCAA tournament. Warner's two losses at the tournament came on a combined three points with one loss coming in overtime. In his season debut last season, he scored a 5-4 decision over Rodney Jones (UTC).
Shapiro joined the starting lineup this year for the Cyclones after redshirting last year. He has gone 3-2 to start the year. His losses have come against Drew Phipps (Bucknell) and former NJCAA champion Tyree Sutton (Grand View).
Throughout his collegiate career, Warner has knocked off many strong opponents. However, he has often played it close and put himself into seemingly unnecessary trouble. Warner should be able to put points on the board against Shapiro, but this one might be closer than expected.
Prediction: Warner (Iowa) decision over Shapiro (Iowa State)
285: No. 12 Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa) vs. No. 16 Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State)
Cassioppi went 20-2 last year during his redshirt campaign. Of those 20 wins 14 came via fall. Not surprisingly, he started his first season as a starter with yet another fall. He needed less than two minutes to stop Grayson Walthall (UTC) in his only match this year.
Gremmel was an NCAA qualifier last year, but he went 1-2 in the tournament and failed to place. His season this year got off to an interesting start as he was disqualified for multiple unsportsmanlike penalties. Despite the DQ he should be allowed back in the lineup for Sunday's match.
In the Cy-Hawk match last year, Sam Stoll came off the bench to score a much-needed victory over Gremmel to secure the team victory. If it comes down to heavyweight this year, Iowa will once again have the advantage. While Cassioppi was redshirting, he also picked up a second-period fall over Gremmel.
Prediction: Cassioppi (Iowa) fall over Gremmel (Iowa State)
Dual Meet Predicted Score: Iowa 22, Iowa State 12