Steveson Wins Big; #11 Gophers Fall to Top-Ranked Iowa 35-4
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 11 Gopher wrestling team (2-2) dropped its home opener to top-ranked Iowa (2-0), 35-4, on Friday night at Maturi Pavilion. Heavyweight Gable Steveson finished the dual with a 14-6 major decision against third-ranked Tony Cassioppi.
Steveson jumped out to an early 4-1 lead with a pair of early takedowns against the Hawkeye sophomore. With a 5-2 after two periods, he dominated the third with four more takedowns to earn the bonus point. Steveson improved to 3-0 against Cassioppi after earning a pair of decisions last season. He extended his win streak to 21 matches and improved to 54-2 in his career.
With all 10 of its wrestlers ranked in the top seven in the country, including three rated No. 1, the Hawkeyes took control early with a pin, technical fall and major decision to start the match. The rest of the dual was highlighted by strong performances from Gopher newcomers.
True freshman Andrew Sparks dropped a 7-4 decision against three-time All-American and No. 2 ranked Alex Marinelli at 157 pounds. It was his third ranked foe in his first four career matches as he fell to 3-1 on the season. Fellow rookie Isaiah Salazar made his first start for Minnesota at 184 pounds. The four-time Colorado state champion fell by a 10-6 decision against No. 6 Nelson Brands.
The Golden Gophers will head east next weekend for their second Big Ten tri-meet of the season. Minnesota will face Purdue and host Rutgers on Sunday in Piscataway, N.J.
#1 Iowa 35, #11 Minnesota 4
125: #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) pinned #9 Patrick McKee (Minnesota), 1:53
133: #5 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) tech. fall #18 Boo Dryden (Minnesota), 21-2
141: #1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) maj. dec. Marcos Polanco (Minnesota), 22-9
149: #6 Max Murin (Iowa) dec. #17 Michael Blockhus (Minnesota), 5-1
157: #7 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. #6 Brayton Lee (Minnesota), 4-3 TB1
165: #2 Alex Marinella (Iowa) dec. #16 Andrew Sparks (Minnesota), 7-4
174: #1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) maj. dec. #16 Jake Allar (Minnesota), 12-3
184: #6 Nelson Brands (Iowa) dec. Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota), 10-6
197: #3 Jacob Warner (Iowa) maj. dec. Garrett Joles (Minnesota), 13-2
HWT: #1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) maj. dec. #3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa), 14-6
133: Cullan Shriever (IA) maj. dec. Jake Gliva (UM), 14-5
149: Jake Bergeland (UM) dec. Carter Happel (IA), 5-4
157: Cael Carlson (UM) dec. Bretli Reyna (IA), 5-4
174: Patrick Kennedy (IA) dec. Sam Skillings (UM), 10-4
197: Zach Glazier (IA) dec. Dylan Anderson (UM), 10-3
*Extra Matches: Due to only wrestling within the conference, the Big Ten will permit schools to hold extra matches on competition dates. Though they will not count towards dual scoring, they will count towards an individual’s varsity record for purposes of seeding for the conference and national tournament.
Photos by Jeff Beshey