Hawkeyes Head To Midlands

Dec. 22, 2006


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Iowa will compete at the 44th annual Midlands Championships Friday and Saturday in Evanston, IL. The two-day, four session double-elimination tournament will be held in Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus. Tickets can be purchased from the Northwestern University Athletic Ticket Office at (847) 491-2287. All-session passes are $48 for reserved theater-style seats, $36 for adult bleacher general admission and $30 for student bleacher general admission. Session start times and individual session ticket prices are as follows:

Session – Day – Start Time – Ticket Prices (R/AB/SB)
Session I – Friday – 9:30 a.m. – NA/$8/$6
Session II – Friday – 7 p.m. – $11/$9/$7
Session III – Saturday – Noon – $13/$10/$8
Session IV – Saturday – 7:00 – $15/$12/$9
R – reserved seating, AB – adult bleacher seating, SB – student bleacher seating

Illinois enters the tournament as the defending team champion, having won the last three titles. In the tournament’s 43-year history, only Iowa has won four-straight titles. Several top-ranked teams including Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Northwestern and Central Michigan will also make a run at the title.

Hawkeye junior Mark Perry, who won the 165-pound title in 2004 and placed second at 174 last season, looks to lead the field at 165. His top challengers will be defending 165-pound champion Nick Baima of Northern Iowa, Iowa State’s Travis Paulson and Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan. Perry defeated Baima (3-0) and Paulson (6-4 SV-1) earlier this season in dual competition.

Several other Hawkeyes should also be in title contention. Junior Matt Fields, ranked fourth in the nation, may have to battle #2 Bode Ogunwolde of Harvard, #3 Dustin Fox of Northwestern and unattached Midlands veteran Brian Keck en route to the heavyweight title. Senior Mario Galanakis will have an opportunity to captialize on a wide-open field at 133, while junior Alex Tsirtsis (149), redshirt freshman Ryan Morningstar (157) and senior Eric Luedke (174) have legitimate shots at a title at their respective weights.

The Hawkeyes placed fourth at the 2005 Midlands (83.0 points), crowning four placewinners. Senior Joe Johnston (157), sophomore Mark Perry (174) and sophomore Matt Fields (Hwt.) all placed second, while freshman Daniel Dennis (133) placed sixth. Illinois won the team title with 115.5 points in the closest team race in 19 years. Central Michigan placed second with 112.5.

Iowa has won the most team titles (18) in the 43 hears of Midlands history. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceded to win nine of the the next 11 tournaments. Iowa also won team titles in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002. Other team winners include Iowa State (6), Michigan State (3), Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (3), Illinois (3), Michigan (2), Arizona State (1), Minnesota (1), North Carolina (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Team scores were not kept at four tournaments (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995.)

Seven former Hawkeyes are enshrined in the Midlands Hall of Fame. They are Ed Banach, Chris Campbell, Steve Combs, Tim Cysewski, Barry Davis, Randy Lewis and Chuck Yagla. Hawkeye Assistant Coach Dan Gable is also a Midlands Hall of Fame member.

Former Hawkeye Joe Williams holds the most individual titles in Midlands history, winning 10. Other former Hawkeyes to win at least three titles are Tim Cysweski (5), Mark Ironside (4), Royce Alger (3), Ed Banach (3), Jim Heffernan (3), Randy Lewis (3) and Chuck Yagla (3). Several Hawkeyes also hold Midlands weight class records. Ironside has the most wins (27) at 141 pounds, and he and Cysewski hold the most titles (4 each) at that weight. Jim Heffernan holds the most titles (3) at 157, while Joe Williams holds the most wins (35) and titles (6) at 174. Pat Kennedy holds the fastest fall (11 seconds) at 165. Hawkeye Assistant Coach Dan Gable holds the most titles (3) and falls (13) at 149 pounds.

Iowa scored its 799th and 800th dual victories Dec. 7 with wins over Coe (50-0) and North Carolina State (38-9) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa’s overall dual meet record is now 800-209-30 (.785) in 95 seasons of competition. Iowa’s win over Coe marked the first time in over three years the Hawkeyes shut out an opponent and scored 50 points in a dual meet. The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 on the season with the wins.

Eight Iowa wrestlers went 2-0 on the night, and Iowa recorded six pins. Individual highlights included junior Mark Perry (165) scoring two first period pins, sophomore Charlie Falck (125) recording two technical falls and senior Mario Galanakis winning two major decisions.

Iowa signed two student-athletes to national letters of intent in the early signing period. Jordan Johnson of Bettendorf, IA and Brodie Ambrose of Eldridge, IA, are Tom Brands’ first signings as Iowa’s head coach.

Johnson won the 2006 Class AA Illinois state heavyweight state title at Naperville North High School. He moved to Bettendorf, IA, and will be competing for Bettendorf High School this season.

Ambrose placed third at 171 pounds at the 2006 Class 3A state tournament for North Scott Eldridge High School. He will compete at 189 pounds this season and is a projected 197-pounder for the Hawkeyes. Ambrose also is a 189-pound Fargo freestyle all-American.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 800-209-30 (.785) in 95 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles, including nine of the last 16, and 31 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 47 NCAA champions have won a total of 73 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 13 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 99 Big Ten Champions have won a total of 180 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 24 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 129 all-Americans have earned all-America status 263 times, including 16 four-time, 27 three-time and 32 two-time honorees.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena has been the home of Iowa wrestling since 1983. The Hawkeyes are 154-15 (.911) in the arena, which includes a record 10 victories during the 1986 season. Iowa has recorded 16 undefeated seasons in the arena, with the most recent (8-0) occurring in 2002-03. The dual wrestling attendance record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 15,291, set when Iowa defeated Iowa State on February 22, 1992. The arena seats 15,500 for a dual wrestling meet. Iowa’s meet with Iowa State earlier this year drew 13,732.

Iowa will compete at the 2007 N.W.C.A./Cliff Keen National Duals January 13-14 in Cedar Falls, IA. All matches will be held in the UNI-Dome on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The annual tournament features teams from NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, NCWA and women’s wrestling.