March 3, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The fourth-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team is in second place after the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships. The Hawkeyes have 69 points. Penn State leads the team race with 78.5 points. Both teams have eight wrestlers alive in the championship bracket. Minnesota rounds out the top three with 59 points. Iowa went a perfect 8-0 in the quarterfinals.
"We're winning for the most part, but we have to get these guys to build leads at the end," said head coach Tom Brands. "Some guys looked good and some guys did what they had to do. We're letting guys slow us down and we can't let guys slow us down. But we're getting back now and we're getting ready to go."
The Hawkeyes posted a 2-2 record in the pigtail matches, where junior Matt McDonough got Iowa off to a quick start at 125. The top-seeded McDonough recorded a fall over Nebraska's Shawn Nagel in 1:59. It was the second meeting between the wrestlers and both matches ended in falls by McDonough.
Redshirt freshman Michael Kelly and senior Vinnie Wagner each dropped their preliminary bouts by identical 4-2 scores. Kelly, seeded 10th at 149, fell to seventh-seeded Eric Terrazas from Illinois. Wagner nearly knocked off Minnesota's top-seeded Sonny Yohn. Despite two close takedowns from Wagner late in the match, Yohn held on to stay in the championship bracket.
Redshirt freshman Bobby Telford got Iowa back on the winning track with a preliminary win against Illinois' Pat Walker at heavyweight. Telford, seeded sixth, recorded a 2-0 decision over the 11th-seeded Walker.
In his second match of the day, McDonough began a streak of three-consecutive major decisions for the Hawkeyes. He posted four takedowns against Michigan State's eighth-seeded Brenan Lyon to earn an 11-3 major. McDonough will face Illinois' fourth-seeded Jess Delgado in the semifinals. Sophomore Tony Ramos kept the ball rolling with a 12-2 major over Nebraska's Ridge Kiley. Ramos recorded four takedowns and a two-point near fall while improving to 3-0 against Kiley. Ramos will see Illinois' B.J. Futrell in the semifinals. He's won four straight decisions against the Illini.
Senior Montell Marion also won a 12-2 major decision. With five takedowns, the two-time all-American defeated Illinois' Daryl Thomas. Marion will try to reverse a 4-2 regular season loss against Ohio State's Hunter Stieber in tonight's semifinals. McDonough, Ramos and Marion all recorded takedowns in every period of their respective bouts.
In Iowa's most thrilling match of the first session, sophomore Derek St. John upset Nebraska's third-seeded James Green. St. John, wrestling from the sixth seed, went down early in the match and fought back before earning his first takedown in the second period. The match was knotted up at four apiece at the end of three periods. With 11 seconds left in sudden death, St. John scored a takedown to win the match and advance to face Penn State's Dylan Alton in the semifinals.
No. 2 seed Mike Evans punched Iowa's fifth ticket into the semifinals with a 5-4 decision over Minnesota's Cody Yohn at 165. Evans struck early with a takedown in the first period and never looked back. He'll go against Nebraska's third-seeded Robert Kokesh in the semifinals.
Ethen Lofthouse recorded a 4-1 decision in the quarterfinals of the 174-pound bracket. The third-seeded sophomore avenged a loss to Michigan State's Curran Jacobs from last season and will face second-seeded Logan Storley from Minnesota in the semifinals. He's 1-1 this season against the Gopher.
Junior Grant Gambrall topped Ohio State's C.J. Magrum, 8-1, in the 184-pound bracket. Gambrall used a pair of takedowns in the third period to run away from Magrum and advance to the semis, where he'll face Minnesota sophomore and top-seeded Kevin Steinhaus in the semifinals.
Telford improved to 2-0 on the day with a 6-4 decision over Michigan's second seededed Ben Apland in the quarterfinals. He will face Penn State's Cameron Wade in tonight's semifinals. It will be the first meeting between the two.
BIG TEN TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION ONE
Place Team - Points
1. Penn State - 78.5
2. Iowa - 69
3. Minnesota - 59
4. Illinios - 40.5
5. Ohio State - 36
6. Purdue - 30
7. Northwestern - 25.5
8. Nebraska - 25
9. Michigan - 20
10. Indiana - 11
11. Michigan State - 10
12. Wisconsin - 1
IOWA'S BIG TEN SESSION ONE RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
Preliminary Round Matches
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) pinned Shawn Nagel (Nebraska), 1:59
149 - #7 Eric Terrazas (Illinois) dec. #10 Michael Kelly (Iowa), 4-2
197 - #1 Sonny Yohn (Minnesota) def. Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 4-2
Hwt. - #6 Bobby Telford (Iowa) def. #11 Pat Walker (Illinois), 2-0
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) maj. #8 Brenan Lyon (Michigan State), 11-3
133 - #2 Tony Ramos (Iowa) maj. #7 Ridge Kiley (Nebraska), 12-2
141 - #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) maj. #6 Daryl Thomas (Illinois), 12-2
157 - #6 Derek St. John (Iowa) def. #3 James Green (Nebraska), 6-4 (OT)
165 - #2 Mike Evans (Iowa) def. #7 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 5-4
174 - #3 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) def. #6 Curran Jacobs (Michgian State), 4-1
184 - #4 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) def. #5 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State), 8-1
Hwt. - #6 Bobby Telford (Iowa) #3 Ben Apland (Michigan), 6-4
IOWA'S CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. Jesse Delgado (Illinois)
133 - #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. B.J. Futrell (Illinois)
141 - #3 Montell Marion (I) vs. Hunter Stieber (Ohio State)
157 - #6 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. Dylan Alton (Penn State)
165 - #2 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs. Robert Kokesh (Nebraska)
174 - #3 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) vs. Logan Storley (Minnesota)
184 - #4 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) vs. Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota)
Hwt. - #6 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. Cameron Wade (Penn State)