IOWA CITY, Iowa. (KCRG) - The top-ranked Iowa Hawkeye wrestling team defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 35-6 on Saturday to clinch the Big Ten regular season title. Iowa (12-0) have won or shared the Big Ten dual championship 12 times since the conference started recognizing dual meet champions in 1999.
Owen Webster (Minnesota) started off the dual with a 3-2 decision over Iowa's Cash Wilcke. Jacob Warner then put the first points on the board for Iowa with a 12-4 major decision over Hunter Ritter.
One of the most anticipated match ups of the night was in 285 as #3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) faced off against #1 Gable Steveson. Steveson topped Cassioppi 7-5 with a late takedown in the third period to give the Gophers a 6-4 lead. The loss was Cassioppi's first at Carver-Hawkeye arena.
The Hawkeyes then retook the lead with top-ranked Spencer Lee receiving a forfeit, followed by Austin DeSanto winning on a tech fall over Boo Dryden.
In the second half, sophomore Max Murin made his return to the mat in style with a 6-4 overtime decision over Mitch McKee. Pat Lugo's first period takedown was enough to propel him to a 3-2 victory over Brayton Lee in 149.
In 157. Kaleb Young (Iowa) and Ryan Thomas stayed tied at four a piece through the overtime period. Young was able to escape quickly in the second of the two 30-second tiebreaker periods to give the Hawkeyes a 24-6 lead.
In the final two matches, Alex Marinelli and Michael Kemerer ended the dual with a tech fall and fall respectively. Marinelli took down Kasper McIntosh 21-6 in 4:04 and Kemerer ended the dual with a pin over Devin Skatzka.
The Hawkeyes finish the regular season against Oklahoma State on Sunday, February 23rd.