IOWA CITY – In the Iowa wrestling room, it’s all about business this week.
Coach Tom Brands said Wednesday the Hawkeyes put a 27-12 loss at Oklahoma State in their regular-season finale in the rearview mirror almost immediately and are focusing on what’s left on the Iowa schedule.
"There are still two championships out there, two trophies to go get, and getting that done is what our guys are focused on. We’re looking ahead not back," Brands said.
The Big Ten Championships begin Saturday at 10 a.m. at Minnesota’s Williams Arena, and the meet that is a qualifier for the NCAA Championships two weeks later in Pittsburgh has Iowa’s attention.
"This is the time of the year that we work toward," 285-pound senior Sam Stoll said. "Everything up to this point, the good, the bad, that’s history. This is when you have to perform."
Seven Hawkeyes will be working to bounce back following losses in the Oklahoma State dual.
Brands said there was some disappointment in the Iowa locker room following the loss to the Cowboys, but that quickly turned to motivation to move forward.
He has seen his team embrace that mindset over the past two weeks.
"It’s been a very business-like approach," Brands said. "This group has been good with that. They know what they’re after, and they come ready to work toward that every day."
All 10 Hawkeyes have been awarded pre-seeds for the Big Ten tourney, led by second seeds for Spencer Lee at 125, Austin DeSanto at 133 and Alex Marinelli at 165.
Two other Hawkeyes, Pat Lugo at 149 and Jacob Warner at 197, have been given third seeds.
Brands sees a chance for several Iowa wrestlers to have their seeds adjusted during the pre-tournament coaches meeting on Friday but said nothing is certain.
"Will the votes be there to open things up at some weights? Perhaps, maybe not, we’ll see," Brands said. "The big thing for our guys is just to get ready to wrestle."
The Big Ten has been awarded 78 qualifying spots for the NCAA Championships, including nine at 125, 141, 157 and 165 and eight at 133, 174 and 184 pounds. The league has only five assured spots at 197, six at 149 and seven at 285 where Stoll has a pre-seed of eight.
"Doesn’t matter. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at those things. Just get ready to go," Stoll said.
That’s the approach Brands wants from his lineup.
"Our best wrestling has to be now," he said.