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Iowa Wrestling Rolls at Illinois

Hawkeyes Post 36-3 Victory in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – The University of Iowa wrestling team extended its dual winning streak to 28 straight with a 36-3 win at No. 21 Illinois on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes won nine-of-10 matches and added bonus points in four bouts to register their most lopsided win at Illinois in 37 years.

Drake Ayala opened the dual with a 7-4 decision at 125. He trailed 4-3 after two periods but opened the third with an escape and added a takedown and nearly two minutes of riding time to finish with his third straight win, all against ranked opponents.

Drew Bennett scored takedowns in the first and third period and controlled the top position in a 10-1 major decision at 141. Bennett scored a four-point tilt in the second period and totaled three minutes, 41 seconds of riding time to earn his first career dual win.

Max Murin controlled the pace in a 9-3 decision at 149. Murin earned a point for stalling in the first period, finished a takedown in the final minute of the second period and added two more takedowns in the third.

Kaleb Young dominated the top position to a tune of five minutes, 11 seconds of riding time at 157. Young scored a takedown 33 seconds into the match and closed the first period with a four-point nearfall. He added another four-point tilt in a second-period ride and closed the third with a pair of takedowns to finish with a 16-1 technical fall.

Iowa led 15-3 at the break and rattled off five more wins after intermission.

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Alex Marinelli scored a takedown in the opening 20 seconds and went on to a 4-1 decision at 165. Michael Kemerer completed a takedown with just over a minute left in the first and finished his match with a fall in two minutes, 35 seconds at 174. The pin was his second of the weekend.

Abe Assad scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the second and opened the third with an escape to win 5-2 at 184. Jacob Warner made it seven straight for the Hawkeyes with a 6-0 shutout at 197. Warner scored takedowns in the first and third periods, added an escape in the second and tacked on two minutes, 55 seconds of riding time.

Tony Cassioppi closed the dual with a pin at 285. Cassioppi led 9-0 before terminating the match with 18 seconds left in the third.

“We love the way this thing ended,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “Guys are wrestling well. I think the next step is bonus points. When it’s 5-0 make it 8-0. And when it’s 8-0 make it 15-0 and when it’s 15-0 get the fall. Keep making progress. There is a lot of wrestling left in the season. We have a lot of work to do. We’re going to Columbus, Ohio.

UP NEXT
The No. 2 Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face No. 7 Ohio State on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) inside the Covelli Center. The dual is televised live on BTN.

NOTABLES
• Iowa has won 28 straight duals.
• Iowa has won 27 straight conference duals, its longest streak since winning 39 straight from 2007-12.
• Iowa has won the last 11 meetings against the Illini.
• The win was Iowa’s largest at Illinois since winning 48-6 in 1985.
• Ayala improved to 6-3 against ranked opponents.
• Bennett earned his first career dual win and first career Big Ten win.
• Kemerer registered his second fall of the weekend. He pinned Northwestern in 2:36 and Illinois in 2:35.

#2 IOWA 36, #21 ILLINOIS 3
125 #12 Drake Ayala (IA) dec. #26 Justin Cardani (ILL), 7-4; 3-0
133 #6 Lucas Byrd (ILL) dec. Cullan Schriever (IA), 5-0; 3-3
141 Drew Bennett (IA) major dec. Josh Contreras (ILL), 10-1; 7-3
149 #12 Max Murin (IA) dec. Christian Kanzler (ILL), 9-3; 10-3
157 #12 Kaleb Young (IA) tech. fall Joe Roberts (ILL), 16-1; 15-3
165 #1 Alex Marinelli (IA) dec. #27 Danny Braunagel (ILL), 4-1; 18-3
174 #2 Michael Kemerer (IA) pinned Baan Rachal (ILL), 2:35; 24-3
184 #18 Abe Assad dec. (IA) dec. #19 Zac Braunagel (ILL), 5-2; 27-3
197 #5 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. #29 Matt Wroblewski (ILL), 6-0; 30-3
285 #6 Tony Cassioppi (IA) pinned #17 Luke Luffman (ILL), 6:47; 36-3
Records: Iowa (10-0, 4-0), Illinois (2-2, 0-2)
Date: Jan. 16, 2022
Attendance: 1,310