Gophers wrestling dominated by No. 1 Iowa

The Gophers fell in their fourth dual of the season to the top-ranked Hawkeyes, losing every match except at heavyweight.

Gable Steveson grapples with his opponent at Maturi Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2019. The Gophers lost to Penn State 31-10.

Parker Johnson

Gable Steveson grapples with his opponent at Maturi Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2019. The Gophers lost to Penn State 31-10.

Nolan O'Hara, Sports Editor

Coming off dominant wins over Maryland and Michigan State in a tri-meet on Jan.16, the Gophers wrestling team was faced with a tough test against a daunting Iowa squad on Friday at Maturi Pavilion. This time, it was Minnesota on the losing end of a dominant performance, falling 35-4 to the Hawkeyes in their first home dual of the season.

Iowa, who has top-10 wrestlers in every weight class, jumped ahead right from the first match, when top-ranked Spencer Lee pinned No. 9 Patrick McKee in the first period. Already down 6-0, the Gophers lost eight consecutive matches and fell behind 35-0 moving into the heavyweight bout.

Last season, top-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson handed Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi two of his three losses on the year. Before yet another matchup between the top-three heavyweights on Friday, Steveson made a prediction on Twitter.

And he was right. Steveson jumped out to an early lead before earning a 14-6 major decision over the No. 3 heavyweight. With the win, Steveson remains undefeated with a record of 4-0, and the top-ranked heavyweight hasn’t lost since his freshman season where he finished the year with a 35-2 record.

Minnesota now has a 2-2 record in duals in a conference-only 2021 season. The Gophers will look to get back on track on Jan. 31 when they take on Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the number of Gable Steveson’s wins against Tony Cassioppi.