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Alex Marinelli

MINNEAPOLIS — Although Iowa's wrestling team couldn't grab a Big Ten team title Sunday, Alex Marinelli emerged a champion.

The Iowa sophomore won the 165-pound conference championship, defeating two-time national champion Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State 9-3 in the finals of the conference tournament at Williams Arena.

Marinelli used a six-point move in the second period to gain control of the match, grabbing a 6-1 lead. He added a takedown in the third period to improve to 23-0 and grab his first Big Ten title.

Marinelli shared the tournament's most outstanding wrestler award with Penn State's Jason Nolf. Marinelli was 3-0 this week with wins against the No. 1 and No. 3 wrestlers in the country.

Marinelli is the 10th Hawkeye to win the award, first since Brent Metcalf won it in 2009. His Big Ten title is the 200th Big Ten individual title in school history.

Iowa finished third in the team race with 107.5 points, behind champion Penn State (157.5) and Ohio State (122.5). Illinois finished 11th with 39.5 points.

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Marinelli was one of eight Hawkeyes to place at the tournament. Spencer Lee finished second at 125, dropping a 6-4 sudden victory to Northwestern's Sebastian Rivera.

Pat Lugo (149) and Jacob Warner (197) finished third while Austin DeSanto (133) and Kaleb Young (157) finished fourth.

Cash Wilcke (184) placed fifth and Max Murin (141) was seventh.

Emery Parker (184) took third for the Illini.

All eight Iowa wrestlers earned automatic bids to the national tournament in Pittsburgh on March 21-23.

The NCAA is expected to announce the tournament qualifiers on Tuesday and the entire brackets will be released Wednesday.

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