Even though Tom Brands didn't want to talk about it or admit it at the conclusion of Friday night's semifinal round, ESPNU reported during their broadcast that the Hawkeyes have clinched the 2008 National Championship. Joey Slaton (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Mark Perry (165) will wrestle for titles tomorrow night, while four other Hawkeyes have already clinched All American status as well...
ST. LOUIS, MO -- The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team still leads the team race with 102 points after two days of competition at the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, MO. The Hawkeyes advanced three wrestlers to Saturday night's championship finals and are guaranteed seven all-Americans. It is the first time that Iowa has had that many NCAA finalists and all-Americans since the 2000-01 season when they had four finalists and seven all-Americans. OhioState is in second place with 71 points, and IowaState is in third with 68. Iowa and OhioState are the only schools with three finalists, while Iowa and IowaState have the most wrestlers still alive in the competition (7).
"The team race is not over as far as I'm concerned," said Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. "We have to keep our edge and our sense of urgency. We have to stay competitive, and all seven guys have to get ready to go."
Hawkeye sophomores Joe Slaton (133) and Brent Metcalf (149), and senior Mark Perry (165) all won their semifinal matches Friday night to advance to the finals. Perry is the defending NCAA champion at 165 and his making his third finals appearance. Slaton and Metcalf will wrestle for their first national title.
Slaton scored a takedown in sudden victory to upset top-seed Franklin Gomez of MichiganState, 3-1, in the 133-pound semifinal. The fourth-seeded Hawkeye will face third-seeded Coleman Scott of OklahomaState in the finals. Scott won the only meeting between the two with an 8-6 decision at the dual in Iowa City in January.
Metcalf extended his winning streak to 31 matches with an 8-4 victory over fourth-seeded Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska in the 149-pound semifinal. The top-seeded Hawkeye will face sixth-seed Bubba Jenkins of PennState in the finals. Metcalf is 2-0 against Jenkins this season, pinning him in 5:33 at the dual in Iowa City in January and posting a 15-3 major decision in the Big Ten semifinal earlier this month.
Perry scored a takedown with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to beat third-seeded Nick Marable, 4-2, in the 165-pound quarterfinal. Perry, the second seed and defending NCAA champion, picked up his 95th career victory with the win. He will face top seed Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan in the finals, which is a rematch of the 2008 Big Ten finals. Perry lost that bout, 3-2, but won the previous two meetings (4-1 at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January and 5-2 at the 2007 Big Ten Championship finals). Perry is 2-2 in collegiate competition against Tannenbaum.
Hawkeye junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomore Jay Borschel (174) lost their semifinal matches and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals Saturday morning. Falck lost a 4-1 decision to top-seeded Angel Escobedo of Indiana in the semifinal, and will face PennState's Mark McKnight in the wrestlebacks. Falck is 4-0 against McKnight, posting the most recent win (5-2) in Thursday's NCAA second round. Borschel lost a close 3-2 decision to top-seeded and undefeated Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh in the semifinal. He will face Cornell's Steve Anceravage in the consolation semifinal. Borschel won the only meeting between the two - a 10-4 decision at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January.
Iowa's other two all-Americans are senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) and sophomore Phillip Keddy (184). Both went 2-0 Friday night. Fields picked up his 30th season win with a last second reversal to defeat Michael Spaid of Bloomsburg in the first wrestleback match. He then scored a takedown in sudden victory to beat Central Michigan's Ryan Gritter, 3-1. Fields will face third-seeded Ed Prendergast of Navy in the consolation semifinals. Keddy posted a 5-3 win over West Virginia's Kurt Brenner and a 6-1 victory over OklahomaState's Jack Jensen. He will face fourth-seeded Christian Sinnott of Central Michigan in the consolation semifinals. Keddy is 0-3 against Sinnott, losing a 5-3 decision and a 3-2 bout at the 2007 Midlands and a 9-7 match at the 2007 NCAA Championships.
Saturday's competition will feature the consolation semifinals and placing matches at 10 a.m. (CT) and the championship finals at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at the ScottradeCenter. ESPNU will air Saturday morning's competition live, while ESPN will air the championship finals live.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS - TOP 10 TEAMS AFTER DAY TWO
1. Iowa102 3/7
2. Ohio State 71 3/4
3. Iowa State 68 1/7
4. PennState 63 2/4
5. Central Michigan61.5 1/4
6. Michigan 61 2/4
7. Nebraska 58 0/5
8. Oklahoma State 58 1/4
9. Cornell 57.5 1/4
10. Minnesota 56.5 1/4
IOWA'S NCAA SESSION IV RESULTS
125 - #1 Angel Escobedo (Indiana) dec. #5 Charlie Falck (Iowa), 4-1