Wrestlers Hit The Road

Jan. 30, 2007


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Iowa (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) will kick off the month of February with two Big Ten road duals. The Hawkeyes will wrestle at Michigan (1-5-1, 0-2 Big Ten) Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and at Penn State (10-5, 1-3 Big Ten Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).

Radio – Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside will call the action live on AM-800, KXIC. All remaining dual meets will be broadcast live, as will action from the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. Live audio broadcasts from all competitions will also be available online at www.hawkeyesports.com. To listen online, go to the wrestling schedule, click on the event and click on the Listen link. Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($6.95 per month or $49.95 per year) or the CSTV XXL Premium subscription ($99.95 per year).

Television – The Penn State dual will be aired live on FOX Sports Pittsburgh. Announcers Steve Jones and Ken Chertow will call the action.

The Internet – Press releases, meet results, audio broadcasts and dual livestats are available on the University of Iowa’s website, www.hawkeyesports.com. To access live dual scoring, go to the wrestling schedule page, select the event and click on the Livestats link. Current staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at pics.hawkeyesports.com.

Hawkeye senior 174-pounder Eric Luedke is 21-1 in collegiate matches and 12-0 in dual competition this season. The Colby, KS, native has won his last 19 matches. His only loss this season was a 6-5 decision to Nebraska’s Brandon Browne at the Kaufman-Brand Open. His 21 wins include three pins, one technical fall, two major decsions and 15 decisions. Luedke, who is ranked as high as second, has also scored 40 team points in dual competition, which ranks fourth on the team. His streak will be tested this weekend against Michigan redshirt freshman Jordan Sherrod and Penn State senior James Yonushonis. Yonushonis is ranked seventh in the nation with a 24-3 overall and 14-1 dual record.

Michigan is 1-5-1 (0-1 in the Big Ten) with a win over Lehigh (18-14), losses to Central Michigan (21-12), Iowa State (25-15), Nebraska (23-13), Minnesota (26-9) and Michigan State (21-17), and a tie with Hofstra (18-18).

Head Coach Joe McFarland is 105-28-4 overall and 47-9-2 in Big Ten duals in eight seasons at Michigan. He has a 129-48-4 record in 11 years as a college head coach. During his tenure with the Wolverines, McFarland has coaches two NCAA champions, 27 all-Americans and seven Big Ten champions. He is assisted by Michigan alums Kirk Trost and Mike Kulczycki, and Central Michigan alum Kevin Vogel.

The Wolverines are led by team captains and returning all-Americans Josh Churella (149) and Eric Tannenbaum (165), and sophomore Tyrel Todd (184). Tannenbaum is undefeated a 15-0 overall (7-0 in duals), Churella is 19-2 (6-1) and Todd is 16-3 (6-1). Michigan’s heavyweight is Iowa City native Omar Maktabi. The junior was a 2003 state finalist at West High School.

Michigan leads the series, 25-23-1 and has won the last three meetings. The Wolverines have a 13-10 series lead at Ann Arbor. Iowa’s last win in the series was 29-11 at the 2003 National Duals.

Iowa lost a 19-15 decision to Michigan to finish sixth at the 2006 N.W.C.A/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, IA. The Hawkeyes won five decisions, but Michigan used bonus point victories at two weights to pull out the team win and place fifth at the tournament. The Hawkeyes were without 174-pound starter Mark Perry, who suffered an injury in the first day of the tournament.

Michigan 19, Iowa 15
125 – Lucas Magnani (I) dec. Michael Watts (M), 5-4
133 – Mark Moos (M) dec. Daniel Dennis (I), 12-6
141 – Josh Churella (M) dec. Alex Tsirtsis (I), 3-1
149 – Ty Eustice (I) dec. Eric Tannenbaum (M), 7-4
157 – Joe Johnston (I) dec. Steve Luke (M), 6-4
165 – Ryan Churella (M) maj. dec. Eric Luedke (I), 8-0
174 – Nick Roy (M) pinned Ben Stedman (I), 3:25
184 – Paul Bradley (I) dec. Tyrel Todd (M), 7-5
197 – Dan Erekson (I) dec. William Breyer (M), 6-2
Hwt. – Greg Wagner (M) dec. Matt Fields (I), 4-0

Penn State is 10-5 (1-3 in the Big Ten) with wins over Clarion (47-0), Pittsburgh-Johnston (29-6), Edinboro (27-9), Lehigh (23-12), Lock Haven (20-15), Cornell (18-12), North Dakota State (39-3), Bloomsburg (22-9), Rider (41-0) and Ohio State (26-12), and losses to Hofstra (24-10), Edinboro (19-17), Wisconsin (17-16), Minnesota (31-12) and Illinois (18-16).

Head Coach Troy Sunderland is 89-73 in nine seasons at Penn State. During his tenure, he has coached two NCAA champions, 16 all-Americans and six Big Ten champions. He is assisted by Penn State alums David Hart and John Hughes, and Matt Dernlan.

The Nittany Lions are led by returning all-Americans James Yonushonis (174) and Philip Davis (197). Yonushonis, a senior, is 24-3, and Davis, a junior, is 18-1. Penn State’s other top wrestlers are senior heavyweight Aaron Anspach (12-2), junior 125-pounder Mark McKnight (17-3) and sophomore 133-pounder Jake Strayer (17-4).

Iowa leads the series, 21-5-2, and holds a 9-2-1 advantage at University Park. Penn State won the last meeting (21-12) in 2006. Iowa’s last win in the series was 23-16 in 2005.

The Hawkeyes lost to Penn State, 21-12, last February at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. It was only the 11th Iowa wrestling loss in Carver since the facility opened in 1983. Senior Joe Johnston got the dual off to an exciting start at 157 pounds when he rallied from an 8-0 deficit to defeat Nathan Galloway, 12-10. Johnston recorded a takedown with 1:02 remaining and followed with a three-point nearfall to win the match. Penn State responded by winning six of the next seven bouts, including a pin at 125, to build a 21-6 lead. Sophomore Alex Tsirtsis (141) and senior Ty Eustice (149) scored wins for the Hawkeyes to end the dual, but could not affect the team result.

Penn State 21, Iowa 12
157 – Joe Johnston (I) dec. Nathan Galloway (PSU), 12-10
165 – David Erwin (PSU) dec. Eric Luedke (I), 4-3
174 – James Yonushonis (PSU) dec. Ben Stedman (I), 7-5
184 – Eric Bradley (PSU) dec. Paul Bradley (I), 4-2
197 – Philip Davis (PSU) dec. Dan Erekson (I), 7-1
Hwt. – Ryan Fuller (I) dec. Joel Edwards (PSU), 7-4
125 – Tim Haas (PSU) pinned Lucas Magnani (I), 1:01
133 – Jake Strayer (PSU) dec. Daniel Dennis (I), 10-7
141 – Alex Tsirtsis (I) dec. 5-2 DeWitt Driscoll (PSU)
149 – Ty Eustice (I) dec. James Woodall (PSU), 7-3

Iowa went 1-1, defeating Purdue (36-3) Friday night in West Lafayette, IN, and losing to Wisconsin (21-14) Saturday night in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes won nine of 10 matches at Purdue, including two by major decision and two by pin. Highlights included Griffith, IN, native and junior Alex Tsirtsis had a happy homecoming with a 20-10 major decision over Nick Bertucci at 141, and senior Mario Galanakis (133) and junior Matt Fields (Hwt.) collecting their respective 35th and 55th career victories. Senior 149-pounder Alex Grunder also upset Purdue’s 11th-ranked Jake Patacsil, 7-5, avenging an earlier loss.

Iowa lost its Big Ten home opener to Wisconsin the following night in Iowa City. It was the Badgers’ first win in the series since 1966. The Hawkeyes won four bouts on the night, and three of their six losses were by two points. Sophomore Charlie Falck’s (125) 12-9 decision over Collin Cudd gave Iowa its only team lead of the night, as the Badgers rolled off four-straight decisions to take a 12-3 lead. Junior Mark Perry’s 18-2 match termination over Jake Donar at 165 made up some ground, and senior Eric Luedke 5-0 decision over Mike Felling at 174 pulled Iowa to within one (12-11). But Wisconsin scored a decision at 184 and a first-period pin at 197 to put the win out of reach for the Hawkeyes. Fields won the final match of the night – a 6-3 decision over Kyle Massey.

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.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena has been the home of Iowa wrestling since 1983. The Hawkeyes are 154-16 (.906) 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. That figure ranks 11th in NCAA and Carver-Hawkeye Arena history.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 806-212-30 (.783) 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.

Tickets for Iowa’s remaining home duals are on sale at the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office. Tickets purchased in advance are $8 for adults and $4 for youth/non-University of Iowa students. Tickets purchased at the door are $10 for adults and $5 for youth/non-University of Iowa students. University of Iowa students will be admitted free of charge with a student ID. For tickets, contact the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-424-2957, 319-335-9327 or www.hawkeyesports.com.

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Tom Brands, Dan Gable, Wes Hand, Doug Schwab and Mike Zadick earned a total of two Olympic gold medals, seven NCAA titles, 10 conference titles and 15 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 605-84-2 (.877), including three undefeated seasons.

Iowa will host Michigan State (2-5, 1-1 Big Ten) Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match will be aired live on Iowa Public Television.