No. 2 Iowa bested No. 3 Oklahoma State Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 24-6.
By Danny Payne
Through five matches in last season’s dual, Iowa was on top of rival Oklahoma State 12-3. But after the Hawkeyes strong first half showing, they lost the next five matches to fall to the Cowboys by a score of 18-12. This time around, things were different.
The nation’s second-ranked team avenged that collapse in the form of four decisions after recess to defeat the No. 3 Cowboys, 24-6. The lone two Iowa losses came from Josh Dziewa at 141 pounds and Mike Evans at 165.
After No. 14 Anthony Callica upset Dziewa — ranked ninth —, it looked like Iowa may head into 157 pounds tied or even down to the visiting Cowboys. But Brody Grothus had other ideas and didn’t let that situation potentially materialize. The sophomore upset No. 3 Josh Kindig, 9-5.
It was after this upset that upset that the most highly anticipated bout of the evening took place — No. 1 Derek St. John’s fight with No. 2 Alex Dieringer.
The defending NCAA Champion at 157 wasn’t interested in allowing his team to suffer a loss before the intermission, and used a second-period reversal to edge out his opponent, 2-1. Dieringer, a native of Port Washington, Wisc., picked up a point for 1:12 of riding time.
“[Reversals] are the kinds of things you fall into,” the Iowa City West product said, “I’m always trying to get to my feet … I got to my feet a couple times and got stopped. You just keep wrestling.”
After the intermission, St. John’s high school teammate, Nick Moore, pulled an upset of his own, topping No. 2 Tyler Caldwell in a 3-1 decision. Moore used an escape in the third period to push the tilt into overtime, where he took down Caldwell 15 seconds in for the victory. The junior’s efforts seemed to spark his team to close out the dual in a strong manner.
When asked what was different about this year’s edition of the match, Moore gave the obvious answer, saying he won. He then went on to attribute his win — rather than the 3-2 defeat he suffered last season in Stillwater, Okla. — to self-confidence.
“I was just a little bit more sure about myself as a wrestler this year, not that I wasn’t sure about myself last year.” Moore said.
His head coach praised him after the match, saying he was impressed with his penetration on shots, but also said he would have liked to see more separation in the match.
“There’s some good things when you’re winning those matches, but I don’t know that it has to be that close,” head coach Tom Brands said.
After Moore’s match, No. 6 Mike Evans dropped a decision to second-ranked Chris Perry, 5-4. Redshirt freshman Sammy Brooks, wrestling in place of a banged-up Ethen Lofthouse, defeated Nolan Boyd, 7-1. The Oak Park-River Forest product used two takedowns, a two-point near-fall, and 1:13 of riding time to improve to 14-6 on the season.
Thomas Gilman and Tony Ramos won their matches by decision at 125 and 133, respectively, and Nathan Burak and Bobby Telford put the icing on the cake for the Hawkeyes with 8-3 and 2-1 decisions of their own.
After the dual, Oklahoma State head coach John Smith was disappointed with his team and said they were not ready to go. However, he also gave credit to Brands and company.
“Bottom line, they just punched us in the mouth and we laid down when it got real critical,” Smith said.