Big Ten Champs!

March 8, 2004

COLUMBUS, OH – The University of Iowa wrestling team won its 31st Big Ten team title in school history Sunday at the 2004 Big Ten Championships in Columbus, OH. The Hawkeyes scored 129.5 points in their winning effort. Runner-up Minnesota made a late charge at the title, but their 124.5 points fell short. Hawkeye Head Coach Jim Zalesky was named 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the meet. It was the second time that Iowa won the conference team trophy under Zalesky and the second time that he earned the coach of the year honor – both happening in 2000.

The Hawkeyes qualified all 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1997, and the first time in Zalesky’s tenure as head coach. Iowa was the only team at the Big Ten meet to qualify its entire team.

Iowa crowned one champion from its five finalists. Senior Cliff Moore won his second consecutive Big Ten title with a 6-2 win over unseeded Doug Withstandley of Purdue. Seniors Luke Eustice (125), Tyler Nixt (174) and Ryan Fulsaas (197) and sophomore Paul Bradley (184) all placed second. Eustice lost a 5-3 decision to Wisconsin’s Tom Clum, while Nixt lost a 5-3 decision in the second tiebreak period to Purdue’s Ryan Lange in the rematch of the 2003 Big Ten finals. Bradley lost a 3-2 decision to Penn State’s Eric Bradley and Fulsaas lost a 7-2 decision to three-time Big Ten champion and defending NCAA Champion Damion Hahn of Minnesota.

Other Iowa placewinners were sophomores Ty Eustice (3rd-149), Joe Johnston (4th-157), Cole Pape (6th-165), Trent Goodale (7th-133) and redshirt freshman Ryan Fuller (7th-Hwt.)

The Hawkeyes will compete at the 2004 NCAA Championships March 18-20 in St. Louis, MO. The tournament will be held at the Savvis Center. Tickets to the event are still available from the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS.

1. Iowa 129.5
2. Minnesota 124.5
3. Illinois 98.5
4. Michigan 96
5. Penn State 90
6. Purdue 89
7. Wisconsin 85
8. Ohio State 74
9. Indiana 53.5
10. Michigan State 36
11. Northwestern 33.5

125 Tom Clum (WIS) dec. Luke Eustice (I), 5-3
141 Cliff Moore (I) dec. Doug Withstandley (PUR), 6-2
174 Ryan Lange (PUR) dec. Tyler Nixt (I), 5-3 tb2
184 Eric Bradley (PSU) dec. Paul Bradley (I), 3-2
197 Damion Hahn (MINN) dec. Ryan Fulsaas (I), 7-2

Consolation Semifinals
149 Ty Eustice (I) dec. Darren McKnight (MSU), 7-3
157 Joe Johnston (I) dec. Matt Nagel (MINN), 4-1
165 Ben Hay (ILL) dec. Cole Pape (I), 5-3 sv
Third-Place Matches
149 Ty Eustice (I) dec. Jeff Ratliff (OSU), 7-6
157 Brad Harper (PUR) dec. Joe Johnston (I), 2-0
Fifth-Place Matches
165 Kelly Flaherty (WIS) won by injury default over Cole Pape (I)
Seventh-Place Matches
133 Trent Goodale (I) dec. Jesse Leng (OSU), 6-3
Hwt. Ryan Fuller (I) dec. Michael Little (NW), 4-1