Holy stalling, Batman
Following Real Woods defeat of Beau Bartlett, the remainder of the matches in the dual from 149 to 285 were filled with a metric ton of stalling.
And I’ll be the first to admit it was on both sides.
However, Iowa stalled their faces off (if this is even possible) and I have no idea what the lead official was doing.
Murin was the first Hawkeye to do nothing on the mat as Van Ness took shot after shot in the first period. At this point the official could have set the tone by giving Max a stall warning. But he didn’t.
Then in the Haines/Siebrecht match, Levi was the aggressor in the opening period as Cole kept going backwards. No stall warning.
Next in the second period, Haines escaped from bottom position and continued to shoot for the next minute and a half. Siebrecht continued backing off and not wrestling. He should be have been slapped with a second stall warning and Haines should have gotten a point. But this didn’t happen.
Then in the final period, Levi finally landed a shot and Cole escaped with 52 seconds remaining in the period. Knowing he had the 3-2 lead and the fact the referee was not factoring in any stalling, Haines stalled his butt off for those final 52 seconds.
While the next match at 165 did have some action in the first two periods, the third period was a proverbial stall-fest.
Facundo earned the early escape in the third to knot the score at 1-1. He then had plenty of time to get to his offense and try to get the winning takedown. But Patrick Kennedy wanted no part of wrestling and Alex couldn’t come through.
Then after Kennedy earned an escape four seconds into the first TB, Facundo and the Penn State coaching staff correctly made the call for Alex’s TB to start at neutral. Facundo needed a takedown as there was pretty much no chance he could get an escape in less than four seconds.
But what Cael Sanderson and Alex Facundo weren’t expecting was for Patrick Kennedy to run around the mat and not even get remotely near his opponent. I don’t care how good you are at wrestling, but for athletes of this caliber in folkstyle, it is literally impossible to get a takedown if your counterpart isn’t actively wrestling.
So Kennedy ran around for 30 seconds, the official remained consistent in his virtual no-calls for stalling, and Iowa continued to win the toss up matches.
The icing on the cake was no doubt the Starocci/Brands match at 174. For the life of me I have no idea what the Iowa coaching staff was thinking in this one. Was their strategy really “Hey Nelson, don’t wrestle for a single second and give any openings up to Carter. Maybe in the third period he will slip on a banana peel and we’ll get a lucky takedown and win.”
This match was far from fun to watch. And I also get it, for as immensely talented as he is, Carter Starocci is not an all out offensive minded wrestler. He can be very defensive at times and he uses counters to get his opponent to the mat. With this said, I would take Starocci every day of the week and twice on Sunday to pull out a close match against a good grappler. And that’s exactly what he did to his Iowa counterpart who did virtually nothing on the mat.
Well outside of acting like a complete fool following the final whistle. He did a great job doing that.
Hey Nelson, I think you need to pull off those antics in from of a full length mirror, that way the full effects of it will maybe hit home.
To finally tie a bow on top of my very long, and somewhat whiny commentary, I present to you Max Dean’s third period ride out of Jacob Warner.
Dean is very tough on top and he proved that once again Friday night. But Warner was flat out on his stomach with his face grinding into the Resilite for much of the time because stalling was the only way he could prevent Max from either cinching in a bow and arrow or somehow turning him and pinning him.
And as before, the official didn’t really do anything.
There was a fan in the BJC who at one point yelled out “Get him a pillow!”. That was funny. And pretty accurate.
However at the end of the day, the lead official was consistent throughout. There’s nothing worse than inconsistent calls. But man, this stuff needed to be dealt with swiftly and from the get go because it was clear that Iowa’s main strategy was to stall.
I leave you with one last tidbit. Iowa scored an offensive point in the 149 match, and this was their last offensive point won for the rest of the dual meet.
I rest my case.