Reiter pins Illinois’ Jayne for title

Mark Jayne, a 133-pound top seed, has lost three times, all to Mack Reiter.

Matt Anderson

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The talk heading into this season was how this year’s redshirt freshman class would bring Minnesota’s wrestling team back to glory.

But more than hyped super-recruits Roger Kish and C.P. Schlatter, it’s been 133-pounder Mack Reiter who has done the most in bringing Minnesota back toward the elite level as a rookie.

Now, he has the Big Ten title to prove it.

Second-seeded Reiter pinned top-seeded Mark Jayne of Illinois for the second time in two weeks in the 133 title match Sunday at the Big Ten Championships at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Coach J Robinson said the key for Reiter in the final match was his intensity.

“He’s so focused on what he does, and he’s such a hard worker,” Robinson said. “He’s a tough kid who loves wrestling. You can go a long way with those kinds of kids.”

Trailing 2-1 in the second period, Reiter rolled Jayne to his back for the fall 1:34 into the period.

It was just Jayne’s third loss of the year, with all of them courtesy of Reiter. Reiter beat Jayne 7-4 Jan. 22 at the NWCA National Duals and pinned him in the first period of the season’s final dual Feb. 20.

Jayne said he was unable to explain Reiter’s dominance over him.

“He just got me with two different pins,” Jayne said. “I don’t know if it’s anything about his style. I haven’t wrestled great against him, and he’s just gotten me so far.”

At the conclusion of the tournament, Reiter was named the championships’ most outstanding wrestler and conference rookie of the year for the regular season.

Despite all his accolades, Reiter said he doesn’t think he has a great advantage heading to St. Louis for the NCAA Championships next week.

“It starts out in St. Louis, everybody’s on the same level,” Reiter said. “This doesn’t carry over at all. I don’t get any extra points for any of this that happened today.”

Reiter’s success at the Big Tens extended through both days of competition.

On Saturday, he opened the tournament with major decisions over unseeded Sean Schmaltz of Purdue and seventh-seeded Bryan Heller of Penn State in the morning session.

In the semifinals Saturday night, Reiter was dominant in his win over sixth-seeded Mark Moos of Michigan, nearly pinning him in the first period before cruising to an 8-2 decision.

And though he won the title at Carver-Hawkeye, which is just an hour from his childhood home in Gilbertville, Iowa, Reiter said the victory didn’t take on any extra meaning because of where it took place.

“It’s just another place,” he said. “Carver’s no different from anywhere else, I guess. I kind of just focus on the match, not really where I’m at.”

Should he make a run in St. Louis, it might be a little harder to ignore the environment.