Hawkeyes Wrap Up NCAA Team Title
March 19, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. -- The two-time defending NCAA champion University of Iowa wrestling team wrapped up its third-straight team title Friday night in Omaha, crowning eight all-Americans and sending all five semifinalists to Saturday night's championship finals. The Hawkeyes lead the team race with 120.5 points, collecting their 23rd national title. Cornell is in second with 75 points (two finalists), and Iowa State is in third with 67 (three finalists).
Hawkeye seniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174), sophomore Montell Marion (141) and redshirt freshman Matt McDonough (125) all won their semifinal matches to advance to the NCAA finals. Metcalf will be making his third-straight finals appearance, while the other four Hawkeyes are appearing in their first. Four of the five Iowa finalists will be facing the #1 seed in their weight classes. It is the first time that Iowa has advanced five finalists since sending six in 1997.
Iowa seniors Ryan Morningstar (165), Phillip Keddy (184) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) each earned all-America honors with their wins in the consolation fifth round, but all three lost their quarterfinal bouts and will be wrestling for seventh place Saturday morning. It is the third career all-America honor for Keddy and the second for Morningstar and Erekson. It is the first time Iowa has crowned eight all-Americans since 1997, and the 12th time in school history that Iowa has had eight or more wrestlers earn the national honor in a season.
"When you win an NCAA title on Friday night, you are obviously doing something right, and for that we are very pleased," said Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. "I'm not really happy with the way we ended the session, but I'm awfully proud of the five finalists and our mindset is now on producing five champions. They are all capable and that is what they expect. We've got eight matches left in the tournament (five going for titles and three going for seventh-place), and our objective - just like it has been for the entire tournament - is to win those eight matches. I'm extremely pleased that we were able to produce eight all-Americans and that is something we can look back on with pride."
The Hawkeyes went 8-4 Friday night, starting off with McDonough's 14-3 major decision over unseeded Cashé Quiroga of Purdue in the semifinals. The second-seeded Hawkeye redshirt freshman dominated the bout, scoring two takedowns, two three-point nearfalls and a reversal, while accumulating 4:43 of riding time. McDonough will face #5 seed Andrew Long of Iowa State, who is also a redshirt freshman in his first NCAA final. McDonough, who is 36-1, is 3-0 against Long in collegiate competition. He won a 13-7 decision at the dual in Ames in December, a 9-7 decision in sudden victory atin the 2009 Midlands finals and a 9-8 decision at the 2010 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January. Long has a 21-6 record, and it is the first time in recent NCAA history that two redshirt freshman have met in a championship final in any weight class.
Dennis needed an extra two minutes, but got the takedown in sudden victory to defeat #3 seed Franklin Gomez of Michigan State in the semifinals. Neither wrestler scored in the first period, but Gomez was warned for stalling. Dennis chose down to start the second period and escaped within the first 10 seconds. Gomez, who is the defending NCAA champion, immediately scored a takedown, but Dennis escaped to tie the score at 2-2. Gomez was warned again for stalling, giving Dennis a 3-2 lead to end the second period. Gomez chose down to start the third period and scored an escape to tie the score at 3-3. Neither wrestler scored in regulation, forcing the bout to overtime. Dennis only needed 23 seconds to score his takedown and hand Gomez his third loss of the season. The second-seeded Hawkeye senior will face #1 seed Jayson Ness of Minnesota in the championship finals. Ness enters the bout with a 21-0 season record, while Dennis is 22-3. Dennis is 2-2 against Ness, but the Minnesota seniors won the two meetings this season - an 8-4 decision at the February dual in Minneapolis and a 9-3 decision atin the 2010 Big Ten finals.
Marion earned his spot in the finals with a 7-6 decision over #10 seed Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh in the semifinals. The sixth-seeded Hawkeye sophomore scored two first-period takedowns to take a 4-1 lead, but Nauman rolled off four straight points on two escapes and a takedown to go up 5-4. Marion escaped to tie the score at 5-5, and scored a reversal in the third period to seal the victory. He will face #1 seed Kyle Dake of Cornell in the championship finals. It will be the first collegiate meeting between Marion, who is 27-5 this season, and Dake, who is a true freshman with a 31-2 record.
Metcalf secured his third-straight trip to the NCAA finals with a 6-2 win over #3 seed Kyle Terry of Oklahoma in the semifinals. Tied 2-2 after two periods, Metcalf scored an escape and takedown in the third period, as well as a point for 1:47 of riding time to improve to 35-1 this season. The second-seeded Hawkeye senior will face #1 seed Lance Palmer of Ohio State in the finals. Metcalf is 4-1 against the Buckeye senior, but Palmer won the last meeting (9-3) at the 2010 Big Ten finals. Palmer brings a 28-2 record to the match, with one of the losses coming to Metcalf (3-1) at the Iowa vs. Ohio State dual in February.
Borschel had the Hawkeye crowd on the edge of their seats with his come-from-behind 10-9 victory over #3 seed Christopher Heinrich of Virginia in the semifinals. Heinrich scored a takedown off the whistle and collected three quick nearfall points to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Borschel scored a reversal, but Heinrich escaped and added another takedown to go up 8-2. The second-seeded Hawkeye senior escaped before the end of the first period to make the score 8-3. Heinrich chose down to start the second period and escaped to take a 9-3 lead, but a Borschel takedown pulled him within four (9-5). Borschel started down to start the third period and escaped to make the score 9-6. He was awarded a point when Heinrich was warned for stalling and scored a takedown with less than a minute remaining in the match to tie the score at 9-9. Borschel rode Heinrich out to tally 1:03 of riding time and win the match by one point. The Hawkeye senior, who enters the championship final with a perfect 36-0 record, will face #1 seed Mack Lewnes of Cornell, who is also undefeated at 38-0. It will be the first collegiate meeting between Borschel and the Big Red junior.
The Hawkeyes went 3-4 in Friday night's first round of consolation matches. Morningstar recorded a reversal as time expired in his 25th career overtime match to beat Cornell's Justin Kerber, 3-2. Keddy recorded six takedowns en route to a 14-5 major decision over Andrew Saunders of North Carolina Greensboro. Erekson scored a 4-1 decision over #6 seed Nate Everhart of Indiana a 2010 Big Ten finals rematch. The only loss was senior Chad Beatty's 7-4 decision to #5 seed Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin. Beatty ended his Hawkeye career with a 50-25 record, wrestling between 174 and 197 pounds. He was 17-5 this season, making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Morningstar, Keddy and Erekson each lost their consolation quarterfinal bouts by two-point margins. Morningstar was defeated by Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui (2-0), Keddy lost to #5 seed Clayton Foster of Oklahoma State (5-3) and Erekson lost a 3-1 decision to defending NCAA champion Mark Ellis of Missouri in sudden victory. Morningstar is 1-0 against his opponent in Saturday morning's seventh-place match (unseeded Chris Brown of Old Dominion), while Keddy (#3 seed Dustin Kilgore of Kent State) and Erekson (#7 seed Jarod Trice of Central Michigan) have not faced their opponents in previous collegiate competition.
Saturday morning's consolation and placing matches are set to start at 10 a.m. (CT) and Saturday evening's championship finals will begin at 6 p.m. at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Fans can follow competition 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 www.hawkeyesports.com. Web audio broadcasts are available using the XXL All-Access subscription ($14.95 per month or $119.95 per year). Saturday's morning session will be aired live on ESPNU HD, and Saturday evening's championship finals will be aired live on ESPN HD. Matches from Saturday's morning session will also be available on www.ESPN360.com. All tickets for the event have been sold out.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION FOUR (Top 10 Teams)
IOWA'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
IOWA'S NCAA FRIDAY EVENING CONSOLATION RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
IOWA'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL MATCH-UPS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
IOWA'S NCAA SEVENTH PLACE MATCH-UPS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)