UNI scores Senior Day win over Wisconsin

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The 100th regular season in UNI's storied wrestling history concluded on Sunday afternoon as the Panthers scored a 27-11 dual victory over the Wisconsin Badgers, 27-11 inside the McLeod Center.

Recording its first win over the Badgers since 2020, UNI finishes the regular season with an 8-6 dual record and 6-2 against Big 12 challengers. Northern Iowa secured victories in seven weight classes and notched major decision wins in each of the dual's final four bouts.

Prior to competition, the Panthers also honored their two senior student-athletes in Garrett Moll and Tyrell Gordon.

Trever Anderson opened the afternoon against No. 6 Eric Barnett at 125 pounds, but would fall behind and ultimately come up short after being ridden out in a 6-1 loss. Julian Farber (133 pounds) put the Panthers on the board with a commanding 9-4 victory against Nicolar Rivera. Farber opened the match with a quick takedown and rode out his opponent in the first period before grabbing another takedown in the second and holding on for a 9-4 win.

Cael Happel dominated Felix Lettini at 141 pounds with the first of seven takedowns just seven seconds into the match. Happel would make quick work of his opponent and secure a 22-6 technical fall in just two minutes, 36 seconds for his fifth tech fall of the season.

Battling against No. 16 Joseph Zargo, Adam Allard (149 pounds) kept himself in a great position to draw a scoreless first period. Allard would give up a reversal to Zargo in the second period but later escape, but could not avoid the riding time in his opponent's favor in a narrow 3-1 loss.

Ryder Downey put together an impressive performance for the Panthers at 157 pounds, facing off against Luke Mechler. After a scoreless first frame, Downey notched an escape in the final minute of the second period and scored the winning takedown with 25 seconds to go in the final stanza to pick up a 5-3 decision. Downey has now won ten consecutive matches on the season.

After a tough 18-2 technical fall win for No. 5 Dean Hamiti over Jack Thomsen at 165 pounds, Jared Simma (174 pounds) put UNI back on the board against No. 12 Max Maylor. After scoring a takedown in the first period and getting hit with a technical violation for locked hands, Simma swung momentum decisively in his favor with eight total back points on consecutive four-point near falls, helping catapult the Panther to a 12-6 win. The victory is Simma's fourth against a top-30 challenger this season and his the highest ranked win of his career.

Top-ranked Parker Keckeisen (184 pounds) secured his second straight undefeated dual record against No. 17 Shane Liegel, opening the match with a late first period takedown. Keckeisen would turn on the jets in the third frame with another pair of takedowns to cruise to an 11-3 major decision, his ninth of the year. Marching into the postseason with a perfect 23-0 record, Keckeisen has won 34 straight regular season matches dating back to last year, and has notched bonus point wins in 20 appearances.

At 197 pounds, Wyatt Voelker secures another bonus point win in a 12-2 major decision against Josh Otto. Leading with a takedown and cut, Voelker entered the second period ahead 3-1 and went on the attack in the third frame with another takedown, plus additional points coming his way with a stalling call and riding time.

In the final home match of his collegiate career, Tyrell Gordon would go out on top in style in a heavyweight clash with Gannon Rosenfeld With powerful suplex, Gordon grabbed a late takedown headed into the second period and would control Rosenfeld for much of the match, adding on an escape, plus another takedown and riding time for the 8-0 major decision.

UNI returns to action March 9-10 at the 2024 Big 12 Championships at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

125 | (3) #6/4 Eric Barnett (UW) dec. (25) #26/23 Trever Anderson (UNI), 6-1
133 | (18) #25/21 Julian Farber (UNI) dec. Nicolar Rivera (UW), 9-5
141 | (7) #6/8 Cael Happel (UNI) tech falls Felix Lettini (UW), 22-6 TF [2:36]
149 | (14) #16/15 Joseph Zargo (UW) dec. Adam Allard (UNI), 3-1
157 | (9) #14/9 Ryder Downey (UNI) dec. Luke Mechler (UW), 5-3
165 | (4) #5/5 Dean Hamiti (UW) tech falls Jack Thomsen (UNI), 18-2 [6:35]
174 | (29) #29/30 Jared Simma (UNI) maj. dec. (12) #12/14 Max Maylor (UW), 16-6 MD
184 | (1) #1/1 Parker Keckeisen (UNI) maj. dec. (16) #17/17 Shane Liegel (UW), 11-3 MD
197 | (24) #24/21 Wyatt Voelker (UNI) maj. dec. Josh Otto (UW), 12-2 MD
HWT | (19) #16/13 Tyrell Gordon (UNI) maj. dec. Gannon Rosenfeld (UW), 8-0 MD