EVANSTON, Ill. – The University of Iowa Wrestling team advanced five wrestlers to the semifinals and leads the team race with 79.5 points at the 49th Annual Midlands Championships. Tournament host Northwestern is in second place with 71 points. Oklahoma (69), Edinboro (56) and Illinois (47.5) round out the top five. Iowa also has five scoring competitors alive in the wrestlebacks.
Matt McDonough (125), Tony Ramos (133), Montell Marion (141), Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Bobby Telford (Hwt.) advanced to Friday’s semifinals with quarterfinal victories Thursday night. McDonough, the tournament’s No. 2 seed at 125 pounds, scored a major decision to earn a berth in the final four. Ramos, the tournament’s top-seeded 133-pounder, defeated teammate and ninth-seeded Tyler Clark to earn a semifinal berth. Marion, Lofthouse and Telford each advanced with decisions.
Clark is still alive in the consolation bracket with teammates Mike Evans (165), Vinnie Wagner (184) and Grant Gambrall (197). All four wrestlers dropped quarterfinal decisions.
Thirteen of Iowa’s 16 Midlands competitors are still wrestling. Michael Kelly (149), Nick Moore (165), Jeremy Fahler (184) and Blake Rasing (Hwt.) each picked up a pair of victories in the second session to advance. Brody Grothus and Mark Ballweg both suffered elimination losses in the consolation round. Ballweg dropped a 6-4 decision and Grothus was bounced by teammate Michael Kelly, 15-7.
Ramos and Lofthouse will each get 2011 rematches in their semifinal bouts. Ramos will face Illinois’ fourth-seeded B.J. Futrell, while Lofthouse faces the Illini’s No. 3 seed Jordan Blanton. Both Hawkeyes scored victories against their opponents in Iowa’s 20-13 dual victory Dec. 2. Ramos earned a 13-5 major decision and Lofthouse picked up a 6-1 win.
McDonough will face third-seeded Jordan Patterson of Oklahoma. Marion will face Princeton’s Adam Krop, the 12th seed, and Telford will face No. 10 seed Mike McMullan of Northwestern. McMullan defeated Rasing 4-3 earlier in the tournament.
Session III of the Midlands Championships begins tomorrow at 12 p.m. inside Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University. Steven Grace will call the action live from Welsh-Ryan Arena on AM-800 KXIC and at hawkeyesports.com via Hawkeye All-Access. Updated team standings and complete tournament brackets are available throughout the tournament at nusports.com.
MIDLANDS QUARTERFINALS RESULTS
125 #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) major dec. #7 Jared Germaine (E. Mich.), 13-4
133 #1 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. #9 Tyler Clark (Iowa), 5-3
141 #1 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. Avery Garner (Utah Valley), 6-1
165 #1 Steve Fittery (DCAC) major dec. #8 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs., 15-7
174 #2 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. #7 J.M. Cannon (UN-Eastern Michigan), 4-3
184 #1 Roberty Hamlin (Lehigh) major dec. #8 Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 16-8
197 #2 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) dec. #7 Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 4-1
Hwt. #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. #11 Quintas McCorkle (Clarion), 2-0
SESSION II CONSOLATION RESULTS
141 Zach Neibert (VA Tech) dec. Mark Ballweg (Iowa), 6-4
149 Mike Kelly (Iowa) major dec. Brody Grothus (Iowa), 15-7
157 Nick Moore (Iowa) pinned Casey Fuller (Edinboro), 5:56
184 Jeremy Fahler (Iowa) major dec. Tim Foley (Wrestling Roots), 10-2
Hwt. #7 Blake Rasing (Iowa) dec. Blayne Beale (UNI), 4-1
141 Mark Ballweg (Iowa) major dec. Colin Shober (Northwestern), 10-1
149 Brody Grothus (Iowa) pinned #10 Kevin Tau (American), 2:12
149 Mike Kelly (Iowa) pinned Frankie Borras (Purdue), 4:43
157 Nick Moore (Iowa) dec. Ramon Santiago (Rider), 4-1
184 Jeremy Fahler (Iowa) dec. Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers), 4-1
Hwt. #7 Blake Rasing (Iowa) dec. Blake Herrin (American), 4-1