Iowa In Second Place

March 19, 2004

ST. LOUIS, MO – The University of Iowa wrestling team is in second place with 55 points after the third session of the 2004 NCAA Championships Friday in St. Louis, MO. Oklahoma State leads the team race with 61 points. Four Hawkeyes advanced to tonight’s semifinals, and one wrestler is still alive in the consolation bracket.

Advancing to tonight’s semifinals are seniors Cliff Moore (141), Tyler Nixt (174) and Ryan Fulsaas (197), and sophomore Paul Bradley (184). It will be Moore’s second semifinal appearance, and the first for Nixt, Fulsaas and Bradley. All four are ensured all-America status.

Moore, the five-seed, improved to 31-2 with his 6-4 win over Central Michigan’s Jason Mester. He scored two takedowns in the second period to come from behind and avenge a 3-2 loss to Mester at the 2003 Midlands Championships. Moore will put his 18-match winning streak on the line when he faces top-seed Scott Moore of Virginia, who is undefeated at 49-0 this season, in the semifinals. It will be their first meeting.

Nixt scored a 3-2 victory over Edinboro’s Ben Yetzer in the quarterfinals. He is now 34-2 on the season. Nixt, who is the second-seed will face sixth-seed Ben Asken of Missouri in the semifinals. It will be their first meeting.

Bradley recorded his 25th season win with a 4-3 decision over Purdue’s Ben Wissel in the quarterfinals. The 12 seed, Bradley will face top-seed Chris Jones of West Virginia, who is undefeated at 24-0. It will be their first meeting.

Fulsaas, a 10 seed, scored an upset with a 7-6 win over second seed Chris Skretkowicz of Hofstra in the quarterfinals. He scored two takedowns in the third period and added a riding time point to seal the win. Fulsaas will face Northern Iowa’s Sean Stender in the semifinals, who is seeded third. He is 1-1 against the Panther, winning a 6-5 decision in a 2003 dual and losing a 7-6 decision in the dual earlier this season.

Still competing in the consolation bracket is senior Luke Eustice (125). The second seed, Eustice lost a 3-1 decision in sudden victory to Vic Moreno of Cal Poly in the quarterfinals. He will face third-seed Matt Valenti of Pennsylvania in the consolation fourth round Friday night.

Eliminated from the tournament in the third session were Iowa sophomores Ty Eustice (149), Joe Johnston (157) and Cole Pape (165), and redshirt freshman Ryan Fuller (Hwt.).

Friday’s Session IV starts at 6 p.m. (CT) and includes championship semifinals and another two rounds of consolation matches. Friday’s semifinal matches will be aired on live on Mediacom at 6 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s finals, which start at 5:30 pm., will be aired live on ESPN2.

TEAM STANDINGS (Top 10 After Session III)
1. Oklahoma State 61
2. Iowa 55
3. Nebraska 44.5
Oklahoma 44.5
5. Illinois 42
6. Cornell 37.5
Lehigh 37.5
Minnesota 37.5
9. Iowa State 36
10. Michigan 35.5

Championship Quarterfinals
125 – Vic Moreno (Cal Poly) dec. Luke Eustice (Iowa), 3-1 sv
141 – Cliff Moore (Iowa) dec. Jason Mester (C. Michigan), 6-4
174 – Tyler Nixt (Iowa) dec. Nate Yetzer (Edinboro), 3-2
184 – Paul Bradley (Iowa) dec. Ben Wissel (Purdue), 4-3
197 – Ryan Fulsaas (Iowa) dec. Chris Skretkowicz (Hofstra), 7-6

Consolation Second Round
149 – Ty Eustice (Iowa) dec. Anton Dietzen (Illinois), 5-2
157 – Joe Johnston (Iowa) won by forfeit
165 – Cole Pape (Iowa) dec. Matthew Veach (E. Illinois), 5-3
Hwt. – Payan Zarrinpour (Sacred Heart) dec. Ryan Fuller (Iowa), 3-0

Consolation Third Round
149 – Jeff Ratliff (Ohio St.) dec. Ty Eustice (Iowa), 3-1 sv
157 – Derek Zinck (Lehigh) dec. Joe Johnston (Iowa), 8-4
165 – David Bolyard (C. Michigan) tech. fall Cole Pape (Iowa), 16-1