Hawkeyes Send Three To Midlands Finals
Dec. 30, 2009
EVANSTON, IL -- The University of Iowa wrestling team holds a 15-point lead over Iowa State at the 47th annual Midlands Championships team race going into Wednesday night's championship finals and placing matches. The Hawkeyes, who have 154.5 team points, and three point-scorers in the championship finals and six in the consolation matches, are vying for their 21st overall and third straight Midlands team title. Iowa State is in second with 139.5 points, and has four wrestlers in the championship finals and three in the placing bouts. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus.
McDonough, who is the #3 seed at 125, upset #2 seed Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech with a 15-7 major decision in the semifinals. He will face #4 seed Andrew Long of Iowa State in the finals in the first of two head-to-head match-ups with the Cyclones. McDonough, who is 14-0 on the season with team bonus point wins in all but two matches, won the previous meeting with Long - 13-7 - at the Iowa vs. Iowa State dual in Ames earlier this month.
Metcalf, who is the top seed and two-time defending Midlands champion at 149, pinned unseeded Eric Albright of Pittsburgh in the semifinals in 3:51. Metcalf, who remains undefeated at 14-0, picked up his 10th pin of the season in the match. He has scored team bonus points in 13 of his 14 season wins. Metcalf will face #2 seed Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin in the finals, which is a rematch of the 2008 Midlands 149-pound finals. Metcalf, who won that match by a 14-5 major decision, has a 3-0 career record against Ruschell, scoring two major decisions and a pin last season.
Borschel scored his fourth career victory over Iowa State's Duke Burk in the semifinals, posting a 9-3 win over the #5 seed. The top-seeded Hawkeye, who is undefeated a 13-0 this season, will be wrestling in his second Midlands finals. He placed second in 2007 and third in 2008. Borschel will face #2 seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in the finals. It will be the first career meeting for the pair.
Five Hawkeyes lost their semifinal bouts, but four of them - seniors Joe Slaton (#4 seed at 141), Ryan Morningstar (#3 seed at 165), Phillip Keddy (#3 seed at 184) and Chad Beatty (#5 seed at 197) - will be wrestling for third place. Four other Hawkeyes - sophomore Montell Marion (#9 seed at 141), redshirt freshmen Nate Moore (133) and Grant Gambrall (184), and true freshman Derek St. John (157) - will wrestle for fifth place. Slaton and St. John are both competing unattached. Moore will have the other head-to-head match-up with Iowa State, taking on #1 seed Nick Fanthorpe.
The championships finals and placing matches will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. Fans can listen live on AM-800 KXIC or www.hawkeyesports.com. The Big Ten Network will air the finals Sunday at 7 p.m. (CT). Updated team standings and brackets are available throughout the tournament at www.nusports.com.
MIDLANDS TOP 10 TEAM STANDINGS - AFTER SESSION THREE
IOWA'S MIDLANDS CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL MATCH-UPS
IOWA'S MIDLANDS CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
IOWA'S MIDLANDS SESSION III CONSOLATION RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)