Bennett earns first win as a Hawkeye

Another Big Ten victory for fellow ex-Dodger Ayala at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Fort Dodge state champion Drew Bennett.

The Dodger graduate saw his first action as a Hawkeye and also picked up his first career victory in a double dual weekend for Iowa.

Fellow FDSH graduate, 12th-ranked Drake Ayala, earned his third straight victory over a ranked opponent.

“This weekend was a great experience,” Bennett said. “It was my first time traveling to a dual with the Hawkeyes, so it was nice to see how they do things and get ready to go for a double-dual weekend.”

On Sunday Bennett helped lead the second-ranked Hawkeyes to a 36-3 victory over No. 21 Illinois.

Bennett cruised to a 10-1 major decision victory over Josh Contreras at 141 pounds.

“Friday wasn’t what I wanted, but after talking with (Coaches) Tom (Brands) and Terry (Brands), they got me in the right state of mind to turn it around on Sunday and I felt great.”

The 2018 Dodger state champion scored takedowns in the first and third period and controlled the top position.

Bennett scored a four-point tilt in the second period and totaled three minutes, 41 seconds of riding time to earn the win.

On Friday, in his first match as a Hawkeye, Bennett lost 10-6 to 32nd ranked Frankie Tal-Shahar of Northwestern. The Hawkeyes won the dual 33-6.

“The plan moving forward is to work hard everyday,” Bennett said. “I have to be ready to go whenever I’m called upon.”

Ayala opened the dual with a 7-4 decision over 26th ranked Justin Cardani.

Fort Dodge’s three-time prep state champion rallied from a 4-3 deficit heading into the third period. Ayala opened the third with an escape and added a takedown. He had nearly two minutes of riding time to finish the victory.


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