Sorensen 2nd, Iowa matmen 4th
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa wrestling team finished outside of the top-three at the Big Ten Championships for the first time since 2006, crowning no champions on Sunday at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.
The Hawkeyes finished in fourth place with 90.5 points and had just one finalists, as Brandon Sorensen fell 2-0 to Penn State’s Zain Retherford in the 149-pound title bout.
Ohio State won its second-straight Big Ten team title, led by four champions, with 164.5 points. Penn State was second with 148 points and three titlists. Michigan was third overall with 118 points and two champions.
The Hawkeyes sent nine wrestlers to the podium, each of them earning automatic national tournament berths. The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are March 15-17 in Cleveland.
“It’s a (national) qualifier and we have to work to do better regardless of where we ended up in each individual weight class,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “I think we fell off, obviously. Our seeds didn’t hold a lot of places, and we need to get there. We have to go forward.”
The fourth-place team finish was the first in Brands’ 12 seasons as head coach. The Hawkeyes placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in Jim Zalesky’s last two years in Iowa City.
Iowa 125-pounder Spencer Lee was named Freshman of the Year after placing third in his bracket. He’s the sixth Hawkeye to win the award and first since Matt McDonough in 2010.
Vince Turk joined Lee with a third-place finish at 141, Sam Stoll was fourth at 285, while sixth-place finishes went to Michael Kemerer (157), Alex Marinelli (165), Joey Gunther (174) and Cash Wilcke (197).