March 16, 2012
ST. LOUIS -- The University of Iowa wrestling team advanced four wrestlers to the semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championship today inside the Scottrade Center. Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos, Montell Marion and Derek St. John earned quarterfinal wins to guarantee All-American status and advance to the final four of their respective weights.
McDonough and Ramos each earned bonus point victories in their matchups. McDonough (125) advanced to his third semifinal in as many years with a 13-3 major decision over Stanford's Ryan Mango. He erased an early takedown and rattled off nine straight points, building 4:21 of riding time to pick up the bonus-point victory. He pinned his way to the quarterfinals and has scored bonus points in all three bouts. McDonough will face Kent State's Nicholas Bedelyon in the semis. It will be the first career meeting between the two.
Ramos (133) ran to a 5-0 first period lead against 11th-seeded Steven Keith (Harvard) before scoring his first pin of the tournament at the 1:57 mark. He's secured his first career All-American honor and will wrestle for a spot in the finals against Ohio State's second-seeded Logan Stieber. Ramos lost to Stieber, 5-2, in the 2012 Big Ten finals.
Marion (141) battled back from deficits in the first and second periods to score a 7-6 win over Cal-Poly's Borislav Novachkov. Marion trailed 5-3 entering the third period before scoring an escape and takedown to grab a 6-5 advantage. He gave up a late escape to the sixth-seeded Novachkov but used 1:25 of riding time to advance to the semis and guarantee All-America honors for the third straight year. Marion will face Oklahoma's second-seeded Kendric Maple. Maple topped Marion 5-3 in their only career meeting, the 2011 Midlands finals.
St. John (157) earned his eighth straight win with a 3-1 decision over Penn State's seventh-seeded Dylan Alton. A fourth-place NCAA finisher last year, St. John traded escapes with Alton before breaking the 1-1 tie with a takedown with 38 seconds on the clock. The victory sets up a Big Ten finals rematch against Northwestern's third-seeded Jason Welch. St. John is undefeated in four career meetings with Welch.
Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Bobby Telford (285) each fell into the consolation bracket following quarterfinal losses. Lofthouse gave up a late takedown to Minnesota's Logan Storley to drop a 3-1 decision. Telford was blanked, 2-0, by defending NCAA champion Zachary Rey (Lehigh). Rey scored a second period reversal to record the only points of the bout.
Lofthouse and Telford each need one victory in the wrestle-backs to secure All-America honors. Lofthouse will face Michigan's 11th-seeded Justin Zeerip. Telford will face Arizona State's ninth-seeded Levi Cooper.
In the consolation bracket, Grant Gambrall defeated Victory Avery (Edinboro) before falling to Missouri's Mike Larson to end his All-America hopes. Mike Evans (165) was eliminated from the tournament by Wisconsin's Ben Jordan. Jordan scored the only takedown of the match and used 1:44 of riding time to top Evans, 3-2.
The Hawkeyes sit in third place with 58.5 points. Penn State leads the team race with 78.5 points. Cornell is in second with 61.5, Minnesota is in third (56) and Oklahoma State is in fifth (50). Iowa and Cornell have four wrestlers in the championship bracket. Penn State has five.
Competition resumes at 6 p.m. tonight inside the Scottrade Center. Session IV will be televised by ESPNU and streamed online on ESPN3. Fans can follow the championships on AM-800 KXIC or listen to the audio stream via Hawkeye All-Access. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action live from the Scottrade Center.
IOWA'S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) major dec. #8 Ryan Mango (Stanford), 13-3
133 - #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) pinned #11 Steven Keith (Harvard), 1:57
141 - #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #6 Borislav Novachkov (Cal-Poly), 7-6
157 - #2 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. #7 Dylan Alton (Penn State), 3-1 (OT)
174 - #4 Logan Storley (Minn) dec. #5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa), 3-1
285 - #4 Zachary Rey (Lehigh) dec. #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa), 2-0
IOWA'S CONSOLATION RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
157 - Ben Jordan (Wis.) dec. Mike Evans (Iowa), 3-2
184 - Grant Gambrall (Iowa) major dec. Victor Avery (Edinboro), 13-4
184 - Mike Larson (Mizz) dec. Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 5-3
IOWA'S SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. #5 Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent)
133 - #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
141 - #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) vs. #2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma)
157 - #2 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. #3 Jason Welch (Northwestern)
TEAM STANDING AFTER SESSION III (Top five teams)
1. Penn State 78.5
2. Cornell 61.5
3. IOWA 58.5
4. Minnesota 56
5. Oklahoma State 50