Iowa In Second Place

March 19, 2004

ST. LOUIS, MO – The University of Iowa wrestling team is in second place with 70 points after the second day of competition at the 2004 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO. Oklahoma State leads the team race with 106.5 points.

Seniors Cliff Moore (141) and Ryan Fulsaas (197) both advanced to Saturday’s finals for the first time in their careers with exciting semifinal wins.

Moore dominated Virginia’s Scott Moore in the semifinals, handing the top-seed his first loss of the season with a 14-2 major decision. Moore, the fifth seed, improves to 32-2 on the season. He will face seventh seed Matt Murray of Nebraska in the finals. It will be their first meeting.

Fulsaas was down 5-0 in the first period after getting taken down and put on his back for nearfall points by Northern Iowa’s Sean Stender. He fought back, tying the score at 6-6 and eliminating Stender’s riding time early in the third period. A Stender escape made the score 7-6, but Fulsaas scored a takedown with two second left in the match to get the 8-7 win. He will face top-seed Damion Hahn of Minnesota in the finals. Fulsaas is 1-4 against Hahn in his career, with the most recent loss a 7-2 decision in the 2004 Big Ten Championship finals.

Senior Tyler Nixt (174) and sophomore Paul Bradley (184) dropped down to the consolation bracket with semifinal losses. Nixt lost a 4-2 decision to Missouri’s Ben Askren, while Bradley lost an 8-3 decision to top-seed Greg Jones of West Virginia. Nixt will face Eric Hauan of Northern Iowa, while Bradley will face Blake Kaplan of Ohio State for the second time this tournament in the consolation semifinals. Nixt is 3-2 vs. Hauan, while Bradley is 3-0 vs. Kaplan.

Senior Luke Eustice was eliminated from the tournament with a 4-2 loss in the tiebreak period to Pennsylvania’s Matt Valenti. Eustice ends the season with a 26-4 mark and his Hawkeye career with an 86-26 record.

Saturday morning’s consolation round starts at 10 a.m. The championship finals are set for a 5:30 p.m. start, and will be aired live on ESPN2.

TEAM STANDINGS (Top 10 After Session IV – Includes Points and Number of Finalists)
1. Oklahoma State 106.5 – 3
2. Iowa 70 – 2
3. Nebraska 66.5 – 2
4. Lehigh 65.5 – 1
5. Ohio State 65 – 1
6. Iowa State 64 – 1
7. Illinois 63 – 1
8. Minnesota 53.5 – 1
9. Michigan 51.5 – 0
Oklahoma 51.5 – 0

Championship Semifinals
141 – Cliff Moore (Iowa) maj. dec. Scott Moore (Virginia), 14-2
174 – Ben Askren (Missouri) dec. Tyler Nixt (Iowa), 4-2
184 – Chris Jones (W. Virginia) dec. Paul Bradley (Iowa), 8-3
197 – Ryan Fulsaas (Iowa) dec. Sean Stender (N. Iowa), 8-7

Consolation Second Round
125 – Matt Valenti (Pennsylvania) dec. Luke Eustice (Iowa), 4-2 tb