While Iowa went a disappointing 3-8 in Saturday night's second round of competition, the Hawkeyes still have nine wrestlers competing and have automatically qualified eight competitors for the NCAA Championships, which are set for March 20-22 in St. Louis, MO. The top seven Big Ten placewinners in each weight class automatically advance to the national tournament, so the Hawkeyes could score an additional qualifier in sophomore Ryan Morningstar (157) if he wins his seventh-place match Sunday. The conference coaches will select two additional wild card qualifiers after the conclusion of the meet Sunday.
Metcalf and Perry were two of the bright spots on the night for the Hawkeyes. Metcalf scored a 15-3 major decision over Penn State's Bubba Jenkins in the 149-pound semifinal. The Davison, MI, native will put his 26-match winning streak and his 29-1 season record on the line when he faces two-time Big Ten champion and two-time all-American Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota in the finals. It will be the first collegiate meeting between the two.
"I have to continue to score points by bringing it on the offense," said Metcalf about his finals match. "I want to keep a high pace up so I can keep scoring. I am excited for tomorrow's match. I have been waiting for it all season."
Perry scored a takedown in sudden victory to defeat Illinois' Roger Smith-Bergsrud, 3-1, in the 165-pound semifinal. He will face Michigan's Eric Tannenbaum in the finals - a rematch of the 2007 Big Ten finals. Perry, who is a four-time Big Ten finalist, is 2-1 against the Wolverine, winning a 4-1 decision at the 2008 National Duals and a 5-2 decision in the 2007 Big Ten finals. Tannenbaum won the first meeting between the two - a 6-2 decision in sudden victory at the 2007 dual.
Iowa's third win of the session came when Ryan Morningstar scored an 11-0 major decision over Northwestern's Andrew Nadhir in the 157-pound consolations. It was Morningstar's 45th career victory. He will wrestle Purdue's Nick Bertucci in the seventh-place match to try to secure an NCAA bid.
Sunday's consolation matches will start at noon, with the championship finals, third-place and fifth-place matches starting at 2 p.m. The championship finals will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION II
5. Ohio State 76.5
6. Penn State 68.0
9. Northwestern 65.0
11. Michigan State 30.0
IOWA'S SESSION II SEMIFINAL RESULTS
125 - Angel Escobedo (Indiana) dec. Charlie Falck (Iowa), 6-3
133 - Franklin Gomez (Michigan St.) dec. Joe Slaton (Iowa), 10-8
141 - Kellen Russell (Michigan) dec. Dan LeClere (Iowa), 6-4 SV
149 - Brent Metcalf (Iowa) maj. dec. Bubba Jenkins (Penn St.), 15-3
165 - Mark Perry (Iowa) dec. Roger Smith-Bergsrud (Illinois), 3-1 SV
174 - Gabe Dretsch (Minnesota) dec. Jay Borschel (Iowa), 6-4
184 - Tyrel Todd (Michigan) dec. Phillip Keddy (Iowa), 6-3
Hwt. - J.D. Bergman (Ohio St.) dec. Matt Fields (Iowa), 3-2
IOWA'S SESSION II CONSOLATION RESULTS
157 - Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) maj. dec. Andrew Nadhir (Northwestern), 11-0
157 - Brandon Becker (Indiana) dec. Ryan Morningstar (Iowa), 3-1
197 - Joe Fagiano (Indiana) dec. Chad Beatty (Iowa), 5-3
IOWA'S FINALS MATCH-UPS
149 - Brent Metcalf (Iowa) vs. Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota)
165 - Mark Perry (Iowa) vs. Eric Tannenbaum (Michigan)