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CEDAR FALLS — Given perhaps his only opportunity to compete outside of practice in the 2017-18 season, Northern Iowa’s Bryce Steiert took full advantage Saturday.

Steiert earned a dominant 16-0 technical fall over teammate Isaiah Patton to claim first place in the 165-pound weight class at the UNI Open wrestling tournament

Steiert opened the day in dominant fashion with a pin and a technical fall. His stiffest challenge came in the semis, where he was still able to earn a comfortable 13-8 decision against Iowa’s Jeremiah Moody.

Likely to redshirt throughout the season, Steiert admits he was antsy to compete outside of practice and was optimistic his impressive showing would provide a needed confidence boost going forward.

“It felt good to scrap against someone not in a UNI singlet,” he said. “It’s more of a pleasure to go out and do it (at a match) instead of just grinding and practicing all the time. I was able to open it up today and just have fun.”

Steiert was the lone Panther to win his weight class on a day that did little to impress head coach Doug Schwab.

“It was pretty uninspired overall,” Schwab said of the performance. “Some guys competed well, (but) there’s got to be some fight, there’s got to be some effort, there’s got to be some hustle.

“There was a lot of going through the motions out there. We get so few opportunities to compete. There’s got to be more up and down the lineup.”

MAKING WEIGHT: After dealing with weight issues for nearly a year, UNI’s Rudy Yates was finally able to compete at 133, where he finished in the runner-up spot Saturday.

Yates earned 11-7, 13-9 and 11-6 decisions in his first three matches. He then rallied to force a late 3-3 tie in the second period against Iowa State’s Markus Simmons, before Simmons eventually pulled away for a 6-4 win in the finals.

“Conditioning and weight right now is what I’m focusing on,” Yates said. “Having weight issues is a bit of a problem. This past month I’ve just been spending the whole time trying to get down to weight and I haven’t spent a lot of time building my skills for wrestling.”

Yates was one of three Panthers to earn a second-place finish Saturday. Patton was second in 165 and Logan Ryan was second in 157, dropping a 6-2 decision to Markus Scheidel of Columbia in the final.

A SMASHING DEBUT: Wrestling for the first time in eight months, Iowa’s Spencer Lee showed why he was the most coveted recruit in the 2017 class.

The Hawkeye freshman, who is a two-time Junior World Champion, got a first-round bye in the 125-pound class, then proceeded to earn a 16-0 tech fall and two pins that came in 1:16 and 2:53, respectively.

Sidelined after sustaining a serious knee injury in the spring, Lee was understandably eager to return to the mat and only expects to improve as the competition gets tougher.

“In my mind, I’m going to get better every day,” he said “I feel like I’m ready to go. I’m feeling good. There’s no setbacks, no issues. I’m ready to wrestle the very best.

“This is what I love to do. I think it took me a little bit to remember it. But now I’m back. I love it and I’m ready to wrestle.”

Aside from Simmons at 133, Iowa State had two other first-place finishers.

Marcus Coleman defeated teammate Danny Bush 2-1 in the finals of the 174, with Gannon Gremmel earning a 4-2 decision over Wisconsin’s Trent Hilger in the 285 final.

Championship matches

125 – Spencer Lee (Iowa) pinned Skyler Petry (Minnesota), 2:53.

133 – Markus Simmons (Iowa St.) dec. Rudy Yates (UNI), 6-4.

141 – Cole Martin (Wisconsin) dec. Parker Filius (Purdue), 5-1.

149 – Steve Bleise (Minnesota) dec. Dante Rodrigues (Iowa St), 11-8.

157 – Markus Scheidel (Columbia) dec. Logan Ryan (UNI), 6-2.

165 – Bryce Steiert (UNI) tech fall Isaiah Patton (UNI), 16-0.

174 – Marcus Coleman (Iowa St.) dec. Danny Bush (Iowa St), 2-1.

184 – Jacob Raschka (Missouri) dec. Myles Wilson (Iowa), 5-3

197 – Jakob Woodley (Oklahoma) and Jacob Boyd (Oklahoma) didn’t wrestle.

285 – Gannon Gremmel (Iowa St.) dec. Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), 4-2.

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