Iowa Leads The Pack

March 6, 2004

COLUMBUS, OH – The University of Iowa wrestling team is in first place with 115.5 points after the first full day of competition at the 2004 Big Ten Championships in Columbus, OH. Minnesota is in second place with 97.5 points. The Hawkeyes advanced five wrestlers to Sunday’s finals and have guaranteed 10 Big Ten placewinners and eight NCAA qualifiers. Iowa is the only school in the tournament with all 10 wrestlers still competing.

Hawkeye seniors Luke Eustice (125), Cliff Moore (141), Tyler Nixt (174) and Ryan Fulsaas (197), and sophomore Paul Bradley (184) all advanced to the finals. Nixt will be making his third Big Ten finals appearance, Eustice and Moore will be making their second, and Fulsaas and Bradley will be making their first. Moore is Iowa’s lone returning Big Ten Champion, winning the 133-pound title in 2003.

Eustice was down 5-4 in the third period of his semifinal match against Indiana’s Joe Dubuque, but scored a late takedown to win the match, 6-5, and advance to Sunday’s finals where he will face Wisconsin’s Tom Clum. Eustice is 2-0 against Clum, with the most recent a 7-5 win in sudden victory in the February dual. He takes a 12-match winning streak and a 23-1 season record into the finals.

Moore scored a 3-1 decision over Minnesota’s Tommy Owen in the semifinals. He will take a 13-match winning streak and a 26-2 season record into the finals against unseeded Doug Withstandley of Purdue. Moore is 1-0 against Withstandley, winning a 9-4 decision in the January dual.

Nixt trailed Illinois’ Pete Friedl, 3-1, with 40 seconds left in the match, but scored a takedown and backpoints as time expired to get the 6-3 semifinal win. He takes an 11-match win streak and a 31-1 season record into Sunday’s finals against Purdue’s Ryan Lange. He is 3-1 against Lange, with the lone loss a 4-3 decision in the 2003 Big Ten Championship finals. Nixt won the most recent match-up, 7-5 in sudden victory, in the January dual.

Bradley scored a takedown at the edge of the mat with seven seconds left in the match to defeat Minnesota’s Josh McLay, 5-3, in the semifinals. It will be Bradley vs. Bradley in the finals, as Penn State’s Eric Bradley also advanced. Paul Bradley is 0-2 against the Nittany Lion, losing a 6-4 decision in the January dual and a 7-4 decision at the 2003 Midlands.

Fulsaas recorded a 4-3 decision over Ohio State’s J.D. Bergman in the semifinals, avenging the February dual loss where Bergman pinned Fulsaas in 4:41 in his final appearance in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Fulsaas will face defending NCAA Champion and Damion Hahn in the finals. Hahn, who will be looking for his third straight Big Ten title, is 3-1 against Fulsaas.

Sophomore Ty Eustice (149) and redshirt freshman Cole Pape (165) joined sophomores Joe Johnston (157) and Trent Goodale (133) and redshirt freshman Ryan Fuller (Hwt.) in the consolation bracket after losing their semifinal matches. All five are still alive in the competition, with Eustice, Pape and Johnston fighting for a third-place finish. Goodale and Fuller will be wrestling for seventh place, and could give the Hawkeyes 10 NCAA qualifiers if they win.

Sunday’s consolation matches start at 11 a.m. (CT), and the championship placing matches start at 1 p.m. All matches will be held in St. John Arena.

Place Team Score (Finalists/Remaining Wrestlers)
1. Iowa 115.5 (5/10)
2. Minnesota 97.5 (2/9)
3. Michigan 82 (3/7)
4. Penn State 81.5 (3/8)
5. Illinois 76 (2/8)
6. Purdue 74 (2/8)
7. Wisconsin 68 (1/9)
8. Ohio State 64.5 (2/6)
9. Indiana 37 (0/4)
10. Michigan State 30.5 (0/5)
11. Northwestern 26 (0/6)

125 Luke Eustice (I) dec. Joe Dubuque (IND), 6-5
141 Cliff Moore (I) dec. Tommy Owen (MINN), 6-1
149 Matt Storniolo (PSU) dec. Ty Eustice (I), 2-1
165 Johnny Clark (OSU) tech. fall Cole Pape (I), 18-2 in 6:53
174 Tyler Nixt (I) dec. Pete Friedl (ILL), 6-3
184 Paul Bradley (I) dec. Josh McLay (MINN), 5-3
197 Ryan Fulsaas (I) dec. J.D. Bergman (OSU), 4-3

133 Trent Goodale (I) pinned Nick Spatola (IND), 6:05
133 Rene Hernandez (PUR) dec. Trent Goodale (I), 3-2
157 Joe Johnston (I) dec. Matt Cooper (IND), 6-1
157 Joe Johnston (I) dec. Mike Kimberlin (NW), 8-5
Hwt. Ryan Fuller (I) dec. Mike Keenan (MSU), 5-3
Hwt. Israel Blevins (PUR) dec. Ryan Fuller (I), 4-2