Hawkeyes Lead Big Ten Team Race
March 7, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA -- The top-ranked Hawkeye wrestling team took a big step toward defending their conference team title Saturday morning at the Big Ten Championships at University Park, PA. The Hawkeyes went 13-1 in the first session and advanced nine wrestlers to Saturday night's semifinals. Iowa leads the team standing with 81 points. Illinois is in second place with 53.5. A crowd of 4,075 cheered on the competitors at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center.
Hawkeye juniors Brent Metcalf (149), Jay Borschel (174), Phillip Keddy (184) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) went 2-0 in the first session, while seniors Charlie Falck (125) and Alex Tsirtsis (141), and juniors Daniel Dennis (133), Ryan Morningstar (165) and Chad Beatty (197) each collected one win.
Defending Big Ten champion Brent Metcalf opened the tournament with two first-period pins, extending his winning streak to 63 matches. Metcalf, the top seed at 149, stuck Michigan State's David Cheza in 2:46 in the preliminary round to collect his 65th career win and his 25th season victory. He then pinned #8 Eric Terrazas of Illinois in 2:31 in the quarterfinals. With his 17 season falls, Metcalf only needs one more to break into Iowa's all-time top 10 list for pins in a season. The Hawkeye junior will face #4 Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin in the semifinals. Metcalf is 2-0 against Ruschell, pinning him in 2:12 at the dual in January.
At 174, second-seeded junior Jay Borschel improved to 25-2 with his first session wins. Borschel beat Wisconsin's Travis Rutt, 6-1, in the preliminary round before scoring a 13-3 major decision over #7 Robert Kellogg of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. Borschel will take his 10-match winning streak to the semifinals where he will face #3 Quentin Wright of Penn State. This will be the pair's first meeting.
Hawkeye junior 184-pounder Phillip Keddy posted his 70th career victory Saturday morning. He posted a 19-5 major decision over Penn State's Jack Decker in the prelims before recording a 7-3 win over #6 Anthony Biondo of Michigan in the quarterfinals. The third-seeded Hawkeye will face #2 Mike Pucillo of Ohio State in the semifinals. Keddy is 0-3 against Pucillo.
At heavyweight, Iowa junior Dan Erekson improved to 20-6 with his first session wins. He opened the tournament by pinning Michigan State's Alan O'Donnell in 2:40, and then followed with a 6-0 victory over #8 Chris Kasten of Purdue. The top seed at heavyweight, Erekson will face #4 John Wise of Illinois in the semifinals. Erekson scored a 9-8 victory over Wise at the dual in January.
Hawkeye senior 125-pounder Charlie Falck posted his 20th win of the season with his 4-2 decision over #7 Michael Watts of Michigan in the quarterfinals. Falck, who is the second seed, will face #3 Angel Escobedo in the semifinals. Falck has a 3-2 career record against Escobedo, winning the last meeting 3-1 in sudden victory at the dual last month.
Top-seeded Hawkeye 133-pounder Daniel Dennis posted his 11th straight win with a 16-7 major decision over #8 Carson Beebe of Purdue. Dennis will face #5 Reece Humphrey of Ohio State in the semifinals. Humphrey pinned Dennis in 6:51 in the pair's only meeting at the 2006 Big Ten Championships.
Hawkeye senior Alex Tsirtsis opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over #6 Keith Sulzer of Northwestern. Tsirtsis, who is seeded third at 141, will face #2 Kellen Russell of Michigan in the semifinals. It will be the first meeting between the two.
Iowa junior Ryan Morningstar posted a 3-2 win over #6 Dan Vallimont of Penn State in the 165-pound quarterfinals to record his sixth straight victory. The third seed, Morningstar will face #2 Colt Sponseller of Ohio State in the semifinals. It will be the first meeting between the two.
Hawkeye junior Chad Beatty scored an 11-5 victory over #6 Matt Powless of Indiana in the 197-pound quarterfinals. Beatty, who is seeded third, will face #2 Tyrel Todd in the semifinals. It will be the first meeting between the two.
Saturday night's championship semifinals and consolation matches will start at 5 p.m. (CT). Sunday's consolation matches will start at 11 a.m., with the finals and placing matches at 1 p.m. The finals will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION ONE
IOWA'S SESSION I PRELIMINARY RESULTS
IOWA'S SESSION I QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
IOWA'S SESSION II SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS