The Grapple on the Gridiron finally came to fruition as the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling team hosted top ranked Oklahoma State inside Kinnick Stadium. They wanted to re-claim the attendance record for a wrestling dual that was taken by Penn State, and they did just that. They set the new record at a number of 42,287.
Not only that, but it's always good to get a win to start the season, especially against the top team in the country. The Hawkeyes did that, too. Iowa won their opener by a score of 18-16, narrowly defeating the Cowboys in a thriller.
Thomas Gilman got things rolling out of the gate in the 125 lb. weight class. The 4th ranked wrestler recorded a major decision (4 points) over 7th ranked Eddie Klimara, winning 9-1. Gilman earned the riding time advantage and also rode to victory on three takedowns.
The 133 lb. weight class also provided Iowa with a win as second ranked Cory Clark got the decision over Gary Wayne Harding by a score of 8-2. Clark notched a takedown, a 4-point nearfall, and riding time advantage of 1:25 en route to the win.
Logan Ryan was an underdog to top ranked Dean Heil of Oklahoma State in the 141 lb. weight class and took a loss, but prevented Heil from corralling any bonus points which was one of the keys to the Hawkeyes' victory. Heil got the win 7-1.
Third ranked Brandon Sorensen responded with a decision in the 149 lb. weight class by defeating eighth ranked Anthony Collica 6-1. Sorensen had a takedown and a 2-point nearfall. That put the Hawkeyes up 10-3.
Oklahoma State rallied back to tie it at 10, using a major decision by the #1 wrestler in the 165 lb. weight class, Alex Dieringer, over Patrick Rhoads of Iowa and a decision by 15th ranked Chance Marsteller over Edwin Cooper in the 157 lb. weight class. Dieringer defeated Rhoads 17-5 while Marsteller knocked off Cooper 14-11.
The Cowboys continued the momentum, taking a 13-10 lead on Iowa after #4 Kyle Crutchmer defeated #6 Alex Meyer of Iowa in the 174 lb. weight class, 11-10. It was one of the better matches of the day and a late takedown by Crutchmer sealed the deal.
The difference in the dual was the next match. The #12 ranked wrestler in the 184 lb. weight class, Sammy Brooks of Iowa, earned a tech. fall over Jordan Rogers of Oklahoma State by a score of 17-2. That gave the Hawkeyes a 15-13 lead and it was followed by a decision from fourth ranked Nathan Burak in the 197 lb. weight class. Burak gave the Hawkeyes an 18-13 lead.
Sammy Brooks' tech. fall really was the difference, and that was echoed by head coach Tom Brands.
"That was big-time," head coach Tom Brands said. "That's the bonus points. That's actually two bonus points. That's a five point win team-wise. That's big. The way he was wrestling, how hard he was hitting those holds, how hard he's finishing, that's what we want. (Sammy Brooks) can do that againt anyone. He's that good."
Sam Stoll of Iowa held onto the lead in the final match, only losing 6-1 and avoiding a fall. Fifth ranked Austin Marsden of the Cowboys got the win but couldn't bring home the team victory.
The Hawkeyes defeated Oklahoma State 18-16.