IOWA CITY – Tomasello. Sorensen. Snyder. Kemerer. Moore.
There will be no shortage of familiar names in the lineups for today’s dual between Iowa’s fourth-rated wrestling team and second-ranked Ohio State.
The 2:30 p.m. dual at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, is expected to include five matches between wrestlers rated in the top six in their weight classes and eight matches will feature at least one undefeated wrestler.
But, there is a significant amount of unknown between the two 9-0 teams looking to add to their 4-0 starts in the Big Ten race.
Nine of the dual’s 10 match-ups feature wrestlers who will be meeting their opponent for the first time.
The exception is at 197 pounds, where the Hawkeyes’ fifth-rated Cash Wilcke brings a 13-1 record into his match against the Buckeyes’ top-rated Kollin Moore, a sophomore with a 15-0 record.
The pair met twice last season, with Moore winning by a 19-7 major decision and a 10-5 decision.
Everything else is a clean slate and coming off of a 20-12 win over an Oklahoma State team which was ranked third, Iowa coach Tom Brands doesn’t mind that at all.
“This is the next step,’’ Brands said. “That’s why Oklahoma State was so important. This one follows quickly. I am not the type of guy who shoots from the hip or goes back to the drawing board. I believe in steady progress with a nose-to-the-grindstone type of mentality.’’
Brands said it has been easier for the Hawkeyes to move forward building off of the win over Cowboys, preparing for dual that will be filled with challenges.
“There’s no reason that if we prepare right, that we can go out and compete with them and walk out of Ohio State with a win,’’ said 184-pound junior Mitch Bowman, a former North Scott prep who is expected to face the Buckeyes’ second-ranked and 19-0 Myles Martin.
Looking to build on a collection of three victories over top-20 opponents as part of a 10-3 record, Bowman’s focus will remain on his own game.
“Ideally, the way it should work is that every match is about what I do. The idea is to go out and dictate the pace and the style,’’ Bowman said. “When I’m able to do that, things have gone well.’’
Bowman’s match against a wrestler who won the 174-pound national title in 2016 is like a number of the challenges that Iowa faces today.
For example, sixth-rated Spencer Lee will face top-rated Nathan Tomasello at 125 and second-rated Brandon Sorensen meets sixth-ranked Ke-Shawn Hayes at 149.
At 157, second-rated Michael Kemerer takes on sixth-rated Micah Jordan and third-ranked Sam Stoll at 285 will get his first chance to face top-rated Kyle Snyder.
“All you can do is prepare the same way, get yourself ready to go,’’ Lee said. “Every match, you need to put yourself in a position to go out and compete like it is for the national championship. That’s the only way I know how to approach it.’’
Another recent addition to the Hawkeye lineup, redshirt freshman Alex Marinelli, returns to his home state and will look to add to an 8-0 record in his match at 165 against the Buckeyes’ Te’Shan Campbell, a 13th-rated junior with a 14-4 record.
Marinelli, who grew up less than two hours away from Columbus, is trying to approach the dual no differently than he did in last Sunday’s match-up with Oklahoma State.
“It’s another team on our schedule. I’m just ready to go and show what I have. I’m excited to go fight beside my brothers, my teammates,’’ Marinelli said. “… I’m where I need to be, where I’m in the right fit for the way I wrestle. I’m looking forward to going out there. It’s the next step.’’