Looking for middle weight clarity


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Going into the season, the two biggest question marks in the Iowa wrestling team’s lineup are at the 149- and 157-pound weight classes.

This weekend’s Luther Open may shed some light and clarify who the contenders to wrestle at those spots this year will be.

“We’ll know more [at Luther]. But where we are at those weights is [Brody] Grothus is a returner at 49; 57, we have a veteran there, Mike Kelly. Those two guys will factor in,” head coach Tom Brands said. “But there’s some exciting new names in there as well, with Edwin Cooper and Brandon Sorensen.”

Currently, 149 is a logjam. Grothus, Cooper, and Sorenson all gave some indication during Iowa’s media day that they expected to wrestle at that weight.

“In my mind, it’s wherever I want to go and I’m feeling 149 right now,” Sorenson said.

That confidence might stem from Sorenson’s having beaten Grothus at the Midlands Tournament last year for third place, though it’s important to note that was early on last season.

In fact, after the loss to Sorenson, Grothus went on something of a tear and beat three current top-six 149-pounders — No. 1 Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern, No. 4 Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State, and No. 6 David Habat of Edinboro. He also gave Iowa its first postseason win at 149 since Brent Metcalf graduated.

This year, there is a thought that either he or junior-college transfer Edwin Cooper will bump up a spot to 157 and challenge Kelly, which will only add intrigue to how things shake out in the Luther Open.

“Coach hasn’t said anything, but I don’t think we’re having official wrestle-offs this year, but I think he likes to see guys go out there and who can beat the competition,” Grothus said. “It’s not who’s going to beat those guys in the room, it’s who’s going to beat those guys out there.

“I think a lot of us guys will run into each other, and that’s good.”

Outside of the 149- and 157-pounders, the only other place in the lineup where there is an inkling of controversy is at 141.

Josh Dziewa, who is returning after an up-and-down junior year might just have to hold off sophomore Topher Carton.

Brands was full of praise for Carton at the team’s media day.

“I’ll tell you, if you look at somebody you’d give a most-improved award to in the wrestling room, it would probably be him,” Brands said.

Luther will be a good place for either Dziewa or Carton to prove himself and tell a bit more about that part of the lineup.

Even though the meet is against predominantly lower-tier teams and serves as a de facto wrestle off for Iowa, it’s still competitive wrestling, and Brands is ready to get the season in gear.

“I’m always fired up, and it’s one of those things where it’s fall, it’s time,” he said. “We have a roomful of guys that I think are ready to go, as well, and so you’re always fired up.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa wrestling team.

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.