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No. 2 Iowa wins seven bouts to beat No. 12 Oklahoma State, 23-9 at Bout at the Ballpark at Globe Life Field

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kaleb Young (Iowa) rides Wyatt Sheets (OSU) at Bout at the Ballpark. Photo by Larry Slater.

ARLINGTON, Texas - You really don’t need to hype the big match between Iowa and Oklahoma State in wrestling. They are the winningest schools in wrestling history with 58 NCAA team titles between them (OSU with 34 and Iowa with 24). They are meeting for the 55th time, so they absolutely do not avoid each other, rather look forward to the challenge on a regular basis.

But it was very cool that this year’s showdown came at the Bout at the Ballpark, held at Globe Life Field, the MLB stadium for the Texas Rangers. The USA vs. International All-Stars international event was held right before their showdown. It was a fitting showcase for one of the greatest rivalries in all sports.

No. 2 Iowa won seven of 10 bouts, including two by major decision, to defeat No. 12 Oklahoma State, 23-9.

Oklahoma State had an exciting win to open the bout, as No. 7 Trevor Mastrogiovanni scored a takedown on the buzzer to edge Jesse Ybarra, 6-5 at 125 pounds. Ybarra scored takedowns in the second and third periods to lead 4-1, but Mastrogiovanni scored two clutch takedowns to get a stunning victory.

No. 2 Daton Fix of Oklahoma State won his second match of the night with a 5-3 win over No. 3 Austin DeSanto. Fix scored a takedown in the first period to take the early lead, then added a duck-under takedown on the edge in the third period for the victory. Fix scored a technical fall over Guesseppe Rea of Ecuador earlier in the day during the USA vs. International All-Star bout, a historic double win in the first college-international competition.

Iowa broke through at 141 pounds, as No. 2 Jaydin Eierman controlled the action on the way to a 6-1 win over No. 21 Carter Young. Eierman had takedowns in the first and third periods, but was not able to score late in an attempt for a major decision.

Iowa tied up the dual at 6-6 after No. 10 Max Murin wrestled a crafty match to defeat No. 13 Kaden Gfeller, 5-2. Murin lead 3-2 after one period, but rode out Gfeller in the second period to get 2:04 in riding time. Murin added an escape and riding time for the margin of win.

Iowa took a 9-6 lead into the intermission after No. 12 Kaleb Young beat No. 18 Wyatt Sheets, 4-1. After a scoreless first period, Young went up 3-0 in the second with an escape and takedown. Although Sheets escaped in the third, Young held position on the feet and added a riding time point for the win. Young now leads the career series with Sheets, 3 matches to 1.

Iowa came out strong after the intermission, winning four of the final five matches to secure a big win.

At 165 pounds, No. 5 Alex Marinelli was solid in all positions to secure a 3-2 win over No. 8 Travis Wittlake (OSU), 3-2. Marinelli scored a first period takedown, with Wittlake getting an escape to make it 2-1. Both wrestlers got an escape the rest of the way, with Marinelli getting the one-point win.

The Hawkeyes kept up the heat at 174 pounds, as No. 2 Michael Kemerer stopped No. 10 Dustin Plott, 6-1. Kemerer scored the only takedowns of the match, getting one in the first period and one in the second period, and also added a riding time point.

The only win for the Cowboys in the second half of the bout came at 184, when No. 11 Dakota Geer stopped 15 Abe Assad, 9-2 at 184 pounds. Geer scored takedowns in each period and also secured riding time, but only a last second escape by Assad kept Geer from a major decision.

The Hawkeyes clinched the dual meet at 197 pounds, when No. 4 Jacob Warner scored a major decision over Gavin Stika, 11-3. Stika has filled in for NCAA champion AJ Ferrari, who remains out while recovering from a car accident. Warner led 6-1 after the second period, then scored two takedowns and riding time in the third to get the major.

With the meet already decided, No. 4 Tony Cassioppi used his advantage on the feet to secure a 9-1 major decision over No. 31 Luke Surber. Cassioppi led 3-0 after two periods, but added two third-period takedowns, a stalling point against Surber and riding time to get his bonus point win.

Iowa extended its record to 13-1 for the season, while Oklahoma State fell to 11-4. For the Cowboys, it was their fourth straight dual meet loss this season.

While the Cowboys lead the all-time series 29-24-2, Iowa has won six of the last eight meetings between these legendary programs.

Prior to the match, the USA won 15 of its 16 bouts against the International All-Star Team, with competition in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman as part of the historic first Bout at the Ballpark.



125: No. 7 Trevor Mastrogiovanni (OSU) dec. Jesse Ybarra (Iowa), 6-5

133: No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU) dec. No. 3 Austin DeSanto (Iowa), 5-3

141: No. 2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) dec. No. 21 Carter Young (OSU), 6-1

149: No. 10 Max Murin (Iowa) dec. No. 13 Kaden Gfeller (OSU), 5-2

157: No. 12 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. No. 18 Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 4-1

165: No. 5 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec. No. 8 Travis Wittlake (OSU), 3-2

174: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) dec. No. 10 Dustin Plott (OSU), 6-1

184: No. 11 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. No. 15 Abe Assad (Iowa), 9-2

197: No. 4 Jacob Warner (Iowa) maj. dec. Gavin Stika (OSU), 11-3

HWT: No. 4 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) maj. dec. No. 31 Luke Surber (OSU), 9-1

Records: Iowa (13-1), Oklahoma State (11-4)

Attendance: 12,028

Notes, from Chris Brewer, University of Iowa

• Iowa has won six of the last eight meetings.

• Head coach Tom Brands is 8-7-1 against Oklahoma State.

• Eierman improved to 42-14 all-time against ranked opponents.

• Murin defeated a top 20 opponent for the third time this season.

• Kaleb Young won his seventh straight and second in a row against a ranked opponent.

• Marinelli improved to 19-0 in his career in nonconference duals. His last three wins have been against top 11 opponents.

• Kemerer improved to 17-0 in nonconference duals.

• Warner wrestled his ninth straight match against a ranked opponent (8-1)