Jan. 11, 2009
CEDAR FALLS, IA -- The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won its fifth Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals tournament title Sunday, beating Cornell 23-13 in the championship finals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. It is the first time that the Hawkeyes - who won the team title in 2008 - won back-to-back National Duals titles since 1995 and 1996. The Hawkeyes improved to 14-0 on the season, and have won their last 28 matches. Cornell falls to 4-1. ESPNU will air a taped-delay broadcast of the championship finals on Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. (CT).
Cornell jumped out to a 6-0 start with decisions at 125 and 133. Two-time all-American Troy Nickerson posted a 4-0 win over Hawkeye redshirt freshman J.J. Krutsinger at 125. Krutsinger wrestled all four National Duals matches for injured starter Charlie Falck. Cornell's Mike Grey then upset Hawkeye junior Daniel Dennis at 133, scoring a takedown with three seconds left on the match to post a 4-3 win and snap Dennis' 10-match winning streak.
Iowa fought back with major decisions at 141 and 149 to take an 8-6 lead. Hawkeye senior Alex Tsirtsis posted a 10-2 win over Cornell's Corey Manson at 141 to pick up his fourth win of the tournament and improve to 12-0 in dual competition. Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf picked up his 51st straight victory and improved to 19-0 on the season with an 18-6 win over Cornell's D.J. Meagher. Metcalf won all four of his National Duals matches with team bonus-point victories - one pin, two technical falls and one major decision.
Cornell took back a 13-8 lead with wins at 157 and 165. Fourth-ranked Jordan Leen scored a 13-5 major decision over Hawkeye sophomore Matt Ballweg at 157. Top-ranked Mack Lewnes handed Hawkeye junior Ryan Morningstar his second loss of the season - a 3-2 decision at 165. Lewnes improved to 25-0 on the season with the win.
The Hawkeyes sealed the team victory with wins at the final four weights. Junior Jay Borschel got the Hawkeye roll going by scoring a takedown as time expired to beat Cornell's Steve Anceravage, 7-3, at 174. Iowa junior Phillip Keddy followed at 184 with his fourth win of the tournament - a 6-2 win over Cornell sophomore Justin Kerber. Kerber, an Emmetsburg, IA, native, is the son of former Hawkeye Jeff Kerber, who was a three-time all-American and Big Ten champion at Iowa in the early 1980's. Keddy remains undefeated in dual competition at 13-0. Hawkeye junior Chad Beatty posted a 4-3 win over Cornell's Cam Simaz at 197 to give Iowa a 17-13 lead. Hawkeye junior heavyweight Dan Erekson closed out the dual with his ninth pin of the season and his fourth tournament win, decking Cornell's Taylor Moore in 1:46.
Up next for the top-ranked Hawkeyes (14-0) is a trip to Stillwater, OK, Jan. 18 to face Oklahoma State (11-3). The match will be held at 2 p.m. at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and hold a 12-5-1 advantage in Stillwater.
Iowa 23, Cornell 13
125 - Troy Nickerson (C) dec. J.J. Krutsinger (I), 4-0
133 - Mike Grey (C) dec. Daniel Dennis (I), 4-3
141 - Alex Tsirtsis (I) maj. dec. Corey Manson (C), 10-2
149 - Brent Metcalf (I) maj. dec. D.J. Meagher (C), 18-6
157 - Jordan Leen (C) maj. dec. Matt Ballweg (I), 13-5
165 - Mack Lewnes (C) dec. Ryan Morningstar (I), 3-2
174 - Jay Borschel (I) dec. Steve Anceravage (C), 7-3
184 - Phillip Keddy (I) dec. Justin Kerber (C), 6-2
197 - Chad Beatty (I) dec. Cam Simaz (C), 4-3
Hwt - Dan Erekson (I) pinned Taylor Moore (C), 1:46