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TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week – December 2nd, 2019

DeSanto_Austin

original photo courtesy of Cam Kramer

There isn’t much debate about who the College Wrestler of the Week for December 2nd should be. Austin DeSanto wrapped that honor up in the second match of top-ranked Iowa’s dual with number four Wisconsin. DeSanto, who entered the match ranked second in the country, faced the only wrestler that was above him in the national rankings, Seth Gross. Gross was a 2018 NCAA champion that missed almost all of the 2018-19 season due to injury, but recently won the Bill Farrell Memorial in freestyle at 57 kgs. Before Sunday, Gross’ most recent loss at 133 lbs was March 18th, 2017. That was in the NCAA finals and also came to a Hawkeye, Cory Clark. During Sunday’s dual, DeSanto nullified early offensive attempts by Gross before scoring a first-period takedown of his own. Opting to start the second period on his feet, DeSanto added two more takedowns to lead 6-2. Throughout the match, Austin had little trouble getting into the former champion’s legs and avoided coming out on the wrong end of scramble situations, a strong part of Gross’ game. In the third period, the Badger took top, which was another position that favored him. Despite getting rode out for the third period, DeSanto did not surrender any further points and got his hand raised after a 6-2 win. Tomorrow, when the new national rankings are released, DeSanto will take over the number one spot at 133 lbs for the first time in his career. Austin finished fifth in the nation last year at this weight class and scored a win over the eventual NCAA champion, Nick Suriano (Rutgers). This could be the first of many meetings between the two favorites at 133 lbs. Both Iowa and Wisconsin are slated to attend the Midlands Championships, along with the Big Ten Championships and NCAA’s in Minnesota. Before the Midlands, DeSanto and the Hawkeyes have a date with #11 Princeton (1-0) on Sunday.

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