March 18, 2011
PHILADELPHIA -- University of Iowa 125-pound sophomore Matt McDonough advanced to his second-straight NCAA Championship final Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center with his 3-1 semifinal win over Northwestern's Brandon Precin. The Hawkeyes are in third place in the team race with 74 points, trailing second-place Cornell by one. Penn State leads the team race with 92.5. All three teams have five wrestlers still alive in the tournament.
McDonough, who is the defending NCAA Champion at 125, collected his 16th straight victory with his win over Precin. After a scoreless first period, Precin escaped in the second frame to take a 1-0 lead. McDonough, who posted a 3-1 decision over Precin for the 2011 Big Ten title, responded with a takedown to take a 2-1 lead. After starting down in the third period, McDonough added one more escape for the win. The Hawkeye sophomore will face top-seeded Anthony Robles of Arizona State in the NCAA finals. It will be the first collegiate meeting between McDonough and Robles.
Hawkeye junior Montell Marion (141) and sophomore Grant Gambrall (184) lost their semifinal bouts and will wrestle in the consolation bracket Saturday morning. Marion lost a 3-3 decision to top-seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan in the second tiebreak period, based on Russell's accumulated riding time advantage. Gambrall trailed #9 seed Quentin Wright of Penn State, 8-0 in the second period before Wright took the Hawkeye sophomore to his back and recorded the fall in 3:53. Marion will face #10 seed Todd Schavrien of Missouri in the consolation semifinals, while Gambrall will wrestle #5 seed Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming. Gambrall knocked LeBlanc into the consolation bracket with an 8-3 victory in their second round match.
Iowa senior Luke Lofthouse (197) and redshirt freshman Derek St. John (157) went 2-0 Friday night to advance to Saturday's consolation semifinals and earn their first All-America honor. Lofthouse recorded his 55th career win with a 3-1 decision over #11 Jerome Ward of Iowa State, and then posted a 10-2 major decision over #8 Matt Powless of Indiana. St. John opened the night with a 3-1 decision over Buffalo's Mark Lewandowski, and followed with a 9-4 win over #7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy. Both Hawkeyes will face Big Ten opponents in their consolation semifinal. Lofthouse will wrestle #3 Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin, while St. John will face #8 Jason Welch of Northwestern.
After solid runs in the consolation bracket, Hawkeye redshirt freshman Tony Ramos (133) and senior Aaron Janssen (165) were eliminated from the tournament one match shy of All-America status. Ramos lost an 8-7 decision to #5 Lou Ruggirello of Hofstra in the consolation fourth round, while Janssen lost 9-6 to #7 Shane Onufer of Wyoming. Ramos scored three third-period takedowns to tie the score 7-7, but Ruggirello converted his 4:30 of riding time into the winning point. Janssen led 5-3 after the first period, but Onufer responded with two second-period takedowns and rode Janssen the entire third period for the win. Ramos ends the season with a 25-6 record, while Janssen ends the season with a 28-9 record and his Hawkeye career with a 57-23 mark.
Hawkeye fans can follow Saturday's NCAA Championships action via radio, internet and television broadcasts. Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time All-American Mark Ironside will call the action live on AM-800, KXIC and hawkeyesports.com. Saturday's morning session will be aired live at 10 a.m. (CT) on ESPNU HD, and the championship finals will be aired live at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN HD. Live results can be found on the wrestling schedule page at hawkeyesports.com and on twitter@TheIowaHawkeyes.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION FOUR (Top 10 Teams)
Place Team - Points
1. Penn State - 92.5
2. Cornell - 75
3. Iowa - 74
4. Oklahoma State - 65.5
5. American - 56
6. Lehigh - 53.5
7. Arizona State - 52.5
8. Boise State - 52
9. Minnesota - 49.5
10. Wisconsin - 44.5
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
125 - #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) dec. #3 Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 3-1
141 - #1 Kellen Russell (Michigan) dec. #5 Montell Marion (Iowa), 3-3 TB-2
184 - #9 Quentin Wright (Penn State) pinned #12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 3:53
NCAA CONSOLATION RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
133 - #5 Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra) dec. #6 Tony Ramos (Iowa), 8-7
157 - #6 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo), 3-1
157 - #6 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. #7 Bryce Saddoris (Navy), 9-4
165 - #7 Shane Onufer (Wyoming) dec. #11 Aaron Janssen (Iowa), 9-6
197 - #5 Luke Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. #11 Jerome Ward (Iowa State), 3-1
197 - #5 Luke Lofthouse (Iowa) maj. dec. #8 Matt Powless (Indiana), 10-2