Iowa wrestling notebook: Luther Open sheds light on 149-, 157-pounders


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With the first weekend of competitive — though that’s a loose term — wrestling in the books, a bit of information can be taken from the results of the Luther Open.

Specifically, the 149- and 157-pound contenders are starting to take shape. During the meet, Brody Grothus beat Edwin Cooper in a 9-6 decision in the 149-pound finals, while Mike Kelly won the 157-pound bracket.

“You go to a tournament and are supposed to win 10 weights, and you win them, I think there were some things that were a bit close there, but we dug ourselves out of some holes — Grothus with the Wartburg kid,” head coach Tom Brands said. “We’re moving forward.”

While both Grothus and Kelly are seemingly in the driver’s seat for positions in the starting lineup, there is no shortage of contenders behind them.

Cooper and Brandon Sorenson will threaten both of them, and there is potential for one or both to move up to 157-pounds.

“Going forward, I’m going to go out there and capitalize and improve on last weekend’s performance,” Grothus said. “I don’t think a lot of people outside my family and friends were giving me a shot to win last weekend, and you take personal and use it to motivate you.”

Telford and Clark look good in opener

Returning All-Americans Bobby Telford (heavyweight) and Cory Clark (133) looked the part over the weekend as they pinned their way to titles. Telford grabbed three falls on the day, while Clark recorded four.

Both were also champions in last year’s tournament as well. If Luther was any indication, both can be dominate forces throughout the year — assuming they can stay healthy. Health has been a thorn in Telford’s side over the past couple years.

“When he feels good, we feel like we can really throttle him and I think he feels good about that,” Brands said. “Maybe instead of when he doesn’t feel good and you’re trying to get blood out of a turnip type thing — let’s get turnip juice out of a turnip.”

First home dual Friday

The annual Iowa City Duals will take place Friday starting at 9 a.m.

Iowa’s scheduled to wrestle three schools in the event — Baker University, Cornell College, and Iowa Central.

While not exactly marquee opponents, it is an opportunity for those on the bubble of a starting spot to show their stuff and also a first shot for many in Carver to see the team for the first time this season.

“It’s a competition, and we’re not looking past it, but we are looking to Iowa State too,” Josh Dziewa said. “It’s another weigh-in and time to get things under control, it’s good for the team to go out there and compete in front of the fans.”

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

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