Meyer, bonus point victories give Iowa win over Cavaliers


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Coming into Iowa’s National Dual Regional meet with Virginia, Hawkeye Alex Meyer was called to wrestle at 174 pounds in place of normal starter Mike Evans.

Iowa was up 17-6 in the eventual 30-6 win when he took the mat. It wasn’t an unprecedented move; Meyer has twice filled in this season — once at 197-pounds against Michigan State and, of course, his stunning pin of Illinois’ 11th-ranked Zac Brunson on Jan. 16.

Against Virginia, however, Meyer faced sixth-ranked Blaise Butler and beat him 9-8, gaining over a minute of riding time in the third period to win the match.

“I did see, at one point, that a ride out would win. So, either I’d have to cut him and take him down or ride him out,” Meyer said. “I knew he was getting tired, and if we got on our feet, he was going to back away and keep me at a distance.

“I knew he didn’t have a stall call, and I was putting a good ride on him, and my corner wasn’t telling me anything different.”

It was a good win for Meyer and the Hawkeyes went on to win eight of 10 bouts Sunday.

Meyer’s victory may have been the most impressive of the day from an upset perspective, however, Iowa also grabbed 4 bonus-point victories over the Cavaliers.

“Bonus points are good, and in a dual meet like this, especially when you’re wrestling three backups, though it turns out we didn’t need them, but that’s not what you’re really talking about, anyways,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “You always talk about bonus points and separation.”

Three of those four bonus-point victories came consecutively — Cory Clark and Josh Dziewa both got majors, and Brandon Sorensen put on a takedown clinic against Virginia’s Gus Sako, eventually getting a pin 6:09 into the match. The other came at 184, in which Sammy Brooks picked up a 20-7 win over Tyler Askey.

For Clark, it was the first time since the Midlands Championships that he has put together back-to-back victories with both coming in bonus-point fashion.

“A lot of it is me finding my hot spot, and just getting my mind right, and just a lot of thought going into my preparation,” Clark said. “Wrestling, getting into the right state of mind to wrestle my best.”

It was an important win for Clark. His opponent, George DiCamillo, was ranked No. 14, and it also provided perhaps a spark of something greater after an uneven start to the season.

This was a meet that Iowa had to win if it wanted to be in the later rounds of the National Dual Tournament. The Hawkeyes were completely superior on paper and without three normal starters, they still won handily.

“You just want to go put on a show; it doesn’t really matter who the opponent is,” Meyer said. “If he’s maybe not as good, you score a ton of points and put on a show. If he’s good, you still put on a show and score a ton of points.”

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