Six Hawks in Midlands semifinals
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois — Seven Hawkeyes advanced to the semifinals following the quarterfinal round of the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Friday night at the Sears Centre Arena.
Defending champion Michael Kemerer pinned his fourth straight opponent to advance at 157, and Brandon Sorensen (149) and Sam Stoll (285) both recorded major decisions. Alex Marinelli (165) and Cash Wilcke (197) both won by decision. Those attached wrestlers are still scoring points for the Hawkeyes on the top side of the bracket.
Iowa leads the team race with 91 points. Arizona State (75) and Rutgers (74) are in second and third, respectively.
True freshmen Spencer Lee and Jacob Warner also moved on with victories. Lee scored 12 first-period points before finishing a 15-0 technical fall against Edinboro All-American Sean Russell. Lee is seeded 10th. Warner, the No. 7 seed at 197, scored a takedown in the final second to upset No. 2 Jacob Smith of West Virginia, 3-1.
Warner will meet Wilcke in the 197 semifinals. Warner defeated Wilcke, 4-3, in the wrestle-offs on Nov. 6. Lee will meet Oregon State’s Ronnie Bresser, the No. 3 seed, in the semis.
Marinelli, the No. 2 seed, will meet Rutgers’ third-seeded Richie Lewis in the semis. Marinelli defeated Lewis, 6-4, in sudden victory on Dec. 8.
Stoll, the No. 2 seed, meets Northwestern’s sixth-seeded Conan Jennings. Stoll pinned Jennings in their only previous meeting in January, 2016.
“We’re still wrestling,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “We have the semis tomorrow morning and we have to get ready. We have to keep building. We have a head-to-head to ’97. That’s what you want to see. You want to see it in the finals, but they’re seeded on the same side and they’re going to meet. Let the best guy win.”
Iowa lost two 12-seeds on the top side of the bracket. Carter Happel lost 11-3 at 141, and Mitch Bowman fell, 6-1 in the first tiebreak period. Bowman had a takedown as time expired in the first sudden-victory period, but it was waved off after an official review. Paul Glynn, at 133, fell, 6-1, and was bounced to the backside of the bracket.
“We have guys on the back side doing well,” said Brands. “We have four unattached still wrestling, so you look at the present, you’re building for the immediate future — Sorensen and Kemerer leading the charge there — you have the future with Lee. He could be the immediate future. Then you have Murin and Lugo and Warner. There are some good things happening there. But the most important thing is being ready to wrestle tomorrow.”