OMAHA, NE -- A 9-1 record during Thursday's first session of competition has the University of Iowa wrestling squad leading the NCAA Championships team race. The Hawkeyes scored 21.5 team points on one technical fall, two major decisions and six decisions during the tournament's opening round. Oklahoma State is in second place with 16 points, while Central Michigan, Lehigh and Wisconsin are tied for third with 15. Thursday night's second session of competition is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. (CT) at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE.
Advancing to Thursday night's championship second round with their morning wins are Iowa seniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149), Ryan Morningstar (165), Jay Borschel (174), Phillip Keddy (184) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.), junior Jake Kerr (157), sophomore Montell Marion (141) and redshirt freshman Matt McDonough (125). Iowa's only loss of the morning was at 197 when Hawkeye senior Chad Beatty lost a 4-2 decision in the first tiebreak period to unseeded Alan Gelogaev of Oklahoma State. Iowa is the only school with nine wrestlers still in the championship bracket. Oklahoma State has seven, while Central Michigan, Lehigh and Cornell have six.
"We won nine out of 10 matches, and everything at this point is premature," said Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. "I'm happy that we won nine matches, but we need to keep doing what we do best and keep the pressure on our opponents. I need for my wrestlers to not be happy about getting one win. They need to think about getting a string of wins."
Because McDonough's first round opponent wrestled in a preliminary match, Dennis was the first Hawkeye to take the mat. He scored Iowa's first takedown of the tournament 15 seconds into his first round match with unseeded Kevin Smith of Buffalo, adding an escape and takedown in the second period and a point for 1:55 of riding time for the 6-2 win. Dennis, who is seeded second, will face unseeded Kelly Kubec of Oregon State in Thursday night's second round. It will be the first collegiate meeting between the two.
Marion and McDonough took at the mat for their first NCAA Championships at the same time, both recording first round wins. McDonough, who is seeded third, scored Iowa's first bonus points of the round when he recorded a 15-0 technical fall in 6:31 over unseeded Jason Lara of Oregon State. Marion, who is seeded sixth, scrambled through some dangerous situations to record an 11-8 decision over unseeded Cole VonOhlen of Air Force. McDonough will face unseeded Anthony Zanetta of Pittsburgh Thursday night, while Marion will wrestle unseeded Conor Beebe of Central Michigan. McDonough has not faced Zanetta in collegiate competition, while Marion posted an 11-6 win over Beebe at the 2008 Midlands.
Metcalf kept Iowa's streak going with a 15-6 major decision over unseeded Trenton Washington of Northern Iowa in the first round. He built a 6-3 first-period lead on three takedowns, and scored an escape and takedown to take a 9-4 lead into the third period. The second-seeded Hawkeye scored two more takedowns in the third period, as well as single points for stalling and 3:29 of riding time for the win. Metcalf will face unseeded Kyle Borshoff of American Thursday night in the pair's first collegiate meeting.
Kerr started off his first NCAA appearance with an exciting 8-7 victory over unseeded Tejovan Edwards of Arizona State. Edwards scored the first takedown of the match, but Kerr's reversal tied the score at 2-2. Edwards escaped near the end of the first period to take a 3-2 lead. Kerr scored another reversal in the second period, but trailed 7-5 going into the last two minutes. Choosing the down position to start the third period, Kerr escaped to make the score 7-6 and scored a takedown with one minute left to take an 8-7 lead. Edwards made several scoring attempts, but Kerr fought them off to preserve the win. Kerr will face top-seeded J.P. O'Connor of Harvard Thursday night in the pair's first collegiate meeting.
Taking the mat for the first time since an injury forced him to default out of the Big Ten Championships, Morningstar scored a 4-2 decision in sudden victory over unseeded Donald Jones of West Virginia. After a scoreless first period, Jones reversed Morningstar in the second period to take a 2-0 lead. The seventh-seeded Hawkeye senior escaped once in the second period and once in the third to tie the score at 2-2. Jones was in on a shot with 30 seconds left in the match, but Morningstar held him off to send the match to overtime. The Hawkeye senior scored a takedown with 10 seconds left in sudden victory to post the 4-2 win, recording his 13th career win in sudden victory. Morningstar will face #10 seed Alex Meade of Oklahoma State Thursday night. Meade won the pair's only previous collegiate meeting - a 5-3 decision at the dual in Iowa City in January.
Borschel used a 7-1 decision over unseeded Scott Giffin of Pennsylvania to remain undefeated at 33-0. Borschel and Erekson are two of the 10 wrestlers to enter the tournament with unblemished records. The second-seeded Hawkeye will face unseeded Daniel Rinaldi of Rutgers in the second round. Borschel scored a 16-3 major decision over Rinaldi in the Iowa vs. Rutgers dual in November.
Keddy collected his 100th career victory in the first round with an 11-3 major decision over unseeded Michael Salopek of Virginia. The ninth-seeded Hawkeye senior led 4-0 after the first two periods before scoring eight third-period points to advance in the championship bracket. Keddy will face #8 seed Louis Caputo of Harvard Thursday night. Keddy has a 4-1 collegiate record against Caputo, winning the last four meetings by three points or less.
Erekson closed out the session for Iowa with an 11-6 decision over unseeded Clayton Jack of Oregon State to remain undefeated at 13-0. Jack scored the first takedown to take a 2-0 lead, but Erekson escaped and scored two takedowns of his own to take a 5-3 lead into the second period. After a second-period reversal, Erekson scored one more takedown in the third period and then added two escapes and a point for 2:57 of riding time for the win. The fifth-seeded Hawkeye senior will face #12 seed Scott Steele of Navy in the pair's first collegiate meeting.
In Beatty's match with Gelogaev, both wrestlers scored an escape in regulation to take a 1-1 bout into overtime. Neither wrestler scored in sudden victory, forcing the match into the first tiebreak period. Gelogaev chose down for the first 30-second tiebreak period. He escaped after three seconds and scored a takedown as time expired to take a 4-1 lead. Beatty escaped during the second 30 seconds and was in on a takedown, but could not finish before time ran out. The ninth-seeded Hawkeye will face unseeded Dennis Drury of North Carolina in the consolation first round Thursday night.
Hawkeye fans can follow competition throughout the NCAA Championships 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). NCAA Sessions III, IV and V will be aired live on ESPNU HD, and the championship finals will be aired live on ESPN HD. Matches from Session II will be broadcast on NCAA.com, and wrestling from sessions III and VI will be available on ESPN360.com. All tickets for the event have been sold out.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION ONE (Top 10 Teams)
Place Team - Points
1. Iowa - 21.5
2. Oklahoma State - 16
3. Central Michigan - 15
Lehigh - 15
Wisconsin - 15
6. Cornell - 14
7. Iowa State - 13
Ohio State - 13
9. Oregon State - 11.5
10. Minnesota - 11
Missouri - 11
Oklahoma - 11
IOWA'S FIRST ROUND NCAA RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
125 - #3 Matt McDonough (Iowa) tech. fall Jason Lara (Oregon State), 15-0 in 6:31
133 - #2 Daniel Dennis (Iowa) dec. Kevin Smith (Buffalo), 6-2
141 - #6 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. Cole VonOhlen (Air Force), 11-8
149 - #2 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) maj. dec. Trenton Washington (Northern Iowa), 15-6
157 - Jake Kerr (Iowa) dec. Tejovan Edwards (Arizona State), 8-7
165 - #7 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec. Donald Jones (West Virginia), 4-2 SV
174 - #2 Jay Borschel (Iowa) dec. Scott Giffin (Pennsylvania), 6-1
184 - #9 Phillip Keddy (Iowa) maj. dec. Michael Salopek (Virginia), 11-3
197 - Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State) dec. #9 Chad Beatty (Iowa), 4-2 TB-1
Hwt. - #5 Dan Erekson (Iowa) dec. Clayton Jack (Oregon State), 11-6
IOWA'S SECOND ROUND NCAA MATCH-UPS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)
125 - #3 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. Anthony Zanetta (Pittsburgh)
133 - #2 Daniel Dennis (Iowa) vs. Kelly Kubec (Oregon State)
141 - #6 Montell Marion (Iowa) vs. Conor Beebe (Central Michigan)
149 - #2 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) vs. Kyle Borshoff (American)
157 - Jake Kerr (Iowa) vs. #1 J.P. O'Connor (Harvard)
165 - #7 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) vs. Alex Meade (Oklahoma State)
174 - #2 Jay Borschel (Iowa) vs. Daniel Rinaldi (Rutgers)
184 - #9 Phillip Keddy (Iowa) vs. #8 Louis Caputo (Harvard)
Hwt. - #5 Dan Erekson (Iowa) vs. #12 Scott Steele (Navy)
197 - #9 Chad Beatty (Iowa) vs. Dennis Drury (North Carolina)