No. 1 Sebastian Rivera was wrestling for Northwestern against Iowa’s Perez in 125 lbs. and it was clear to all 1,787 spectators in the new Welsh-Ryan Arena Sunday afternoon that Rivera was the better wrestler. He dominated Perez in the third period to earn an 11-1 win to improve his record to 18-0 on the season.
Rivera’s win was symbolic of the dual meet as a whole, as the favorites won overwhelmingly. The fourth ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (10-0, 5-0 B1G) came to Evanston as heavy favorites and easily took care of Northwestern (3-7, 1-4 B1G) 33-7. Iowa controlled most of the matches throughout the afternoon, winning every matchup where they had a wrestler ranked.
Northwestern had three wrestlers ranked heading into the match and two of them won while the third, Conan Jennings withdrew due to injury. The Wildcats only other win came in 157 lbs., where No. 3 Ryan Deakin (19-2) defeated Iowa’s Jeren Glosser 6-1.
There was one other close opportunity for the Wildcats to score when Yahya Thomas took No. 13 Pat Lugo to overtime in a defensive battle at 149 lbs. Lugo escaped Thomas in the first 30 second tiebreaker and Thomas was not able to earn a point for escaping in the second tiebreaker, giving Lugo the 2-1 victory after three extra periods.
Northwestern will face another elite opponent Sunday at noon when No. 2 Ohio State comes to Welsh-Ryan Arena.