It was not the start the Buckeyes envisioned for senior day. Holding a 7-3 advantage in the individual rankings, Iowa needed upsets to have a shot, and an upset is what they got out of the gate.
Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State's senior and former 125-pound NCAA champion, faced off against a highly-regarded freshman in No. 6 Spencer Lee, the top recruit in the Class of 2017. The young gun showed by he is the first true freshman to start for Tom Brands, upsetting Tomasello in a shocking 3-2 decision.
After an evenly-matched and scoreless opening frame, Tomasello made what proved to be a fatal tactical decision, choosing to start down. Lee proved that he is a hammer on top, riding the elder statesman for the entire period, soaking up the riding time and managing a couple of bone-jarring mat returns.
With Tomasello in a theoretical one-point riding-time hole to open the third, he chose the optional start, effectively giving Lee the 2-0 advantage with two minutes to wrestle. Tomasello grabbed a late takedown and nearly got Lee into a cradle for some back points, but Lee managed the escape, and despite his best efforts, that was how the match ended, a 3-2 decision, giving Iowa hope for an upset.
The Hawkeyes would go on to win four additional matches, holding serve through the strongest part of their lineup: 149, 157 and 165. Beyond that, the night was all Buckeyes, and Iowa would settle for only a dozen points, tying the season-high output for an Ohio State opponent (Arizona State also scored 12 in early November).
For three members of the Buckeye roster, Sunday was their final match in front of the home crowd (not counting the NCAA tournament in Cleveland, that is). Seniors Nathan Tomasello, Bo Jordan and Kyle Snyder are three of the most successful wrestlers in school history, and a large part of the reason the Buckeyes are considered serious contenders to disrupt Penn State's national championship dynasty this season.
Snyder, true to form, reeled in the day's only tech fall, abusing substitute heavyweight Steven Holloway, normally a 197-pounder pressed into service once it was clear Iowa would not pull off the upset outside of pinning the best pound-for-pound wrestler on the planet.
Joey McKenna and Myles Martin each pulled off major decisions, electrifying the home crowd with a flurry of offense. Luke Pletcher, Bo Jordan and Kollin Moore each earned decisions, leading to the final tally of 22-12 in favor of the Buckeyes.
|125||No. 6 Spencer Lee, decision over No. 1 Nathan Tomasello (3-2)||0||3|
|133||No. 2 Luke Pletcher, decision over Paul Glynn (8-2)||3||3|
|141||No. 11 Joey McKenna, major decision over Carter Happel (13-2)||7||3|
|149||No. 2 Brandon Sorenson, decision over No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (4-2)||7||6|
|157||No. 2 Michael Kemerer, decision over No. 6 Micah Jordan (8-4)||7||9|
|165||No. 8 Alex Marinelli, decision over No. 13 Te'Shan Campbell (4-1)||7||12|
|174||No. 3 Bo Jordan, decision over Kaleb Young (10-5)||10||12|
|184||No. 2 Myles Martin, major decision over No. 20 Mitch Bowman (17-8)||14||12|
|197||No. 1 Kollin Moore, decision over No. 5 Cash Wilcke (6-3)||17||12|
|HWT||No. 1 Kyle Snyder, victory by tech fall over Steven Holloway (24-9)||22||12|
Eleven Warriors will have more on the Buckeye victory. Ohio State is back in action Sunday, Jan. 28 versus Purdue at St. Paris Graham High School in Champaign County. Kyle Snyder, meanwhile, will wrestle later this week at the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Tournament in Russia.