IOWA CITY — University of Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands shed some light on which Hawkeyes will compete at the 49th Midlands Championships.
Brands met with media Tuesday afternoon in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, talking about who will represent the top-ranked Hawkeyes in the two-day tournament held at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Montell Marion will compete at 141 and red-shirt freshman Michael Kelly will be at 149, while returning All-American Derek St. John will go but won’t wrestle.
Marion was arrested by UI Police on Friday, Dec. 16 for driving while barred. He was suspended in May 2010, and reinstated about this time last year. Brands declined to comment on the situation.
“My bosses had been informed immediately,” said Brands, who did confirm that Marion will wrestle this week, “and they said there would be no further comment.”
Marion, a two-time All-American who was a 2010 NCAA finalist and top-ranked, sits atop the tournament’s list of top contenders at 141.
St. John suffered a knee injury in the Hawkeyes’ dual against University of Northern Iowa on Dec. 8. If it were necessary, Brands said St. John could compete, but they are taking things slow for a return.
“The biggest thing is continuing to get him stronger and not rush it,” Brands said. “If we had to go, we can go.”
St. John’s former Iowa City West teammate and red-shirt freshman Nick Moore, a four-time state champion at West, will drop to 157 for the Midlands. He had been a backup to 165-pounder Mike Evans.
“This is an opportunity for Moore to compete and he’s in the lineup,” Brands said. “We have to go forward with him, but he’s done a good job.”
Kelly will make his debut for the Hawkeyes at 149, while 149-pound true freshman Brody Grothus will wrestle unattached.