Hawkeyes Head To NCAA Championships

March 12, 2007


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Iowa’s eight qualifiers will compete at the 2007 NCAA Championships, Thursday through Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI. Competition begins at 10 a.m. (CDT) Thursday.

Following is the NCAA Championships event schedule. Times are Central.

Session # – Day – Time (CDT)
Session I – Thursday – 10 a.m.
Session II – Thursday – 5:30 p.m.
Session III – Friday – 10 a.m.
Session IV – Friday – 6 p.m.
Session V – Saturday – 9 a.m.
Session VI – Saturday – 7 p.m.

Radio – Hawkeye fans can hear NCAA wrestling action on AM-800 KXIC and AM-1630 KCJJ. Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside will call the action live on KXIC, while Roger Beyhl, Bob Dane and Ed McGinness will call the action live on KCJJ. To listen to the KXIC broadcast online, go to the wrestling schedule at www.hawkeyesports.com, click on the event and click on the Listen link. Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($6.95/month or $49.95/year) or the CSTV XXL Premium subscription ($99.95/year).

Television – Four of the six sessions of the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships will be aired on live television. Saturday’s finals will air at 7 p.m. (CT) on ESPN, while session three, four and five will be shown on ESPNU. Session three will air Friday at 10 a.m., session four will be shown Friday at 6 p.m. and session five will air Saturday at 9 a.m.

Updated brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at www.ncaasports.com and www.detroitsports.org.

Tickets are sold in three-day, six-session packages for $150, $130, and $120. A ticket package that includes sessions four, five and six is also available for $49. Ticket prices include on-site parking with unlimited in/out privileges. A $5 handling fee is added to all orders. To order tickets, please call the Palace of Auburn Hills Box Office directly at 248-377-0100 or visit its website at www.palacenet.com.

The Palace of Auburn Hills is located 33 miles north of downtown Detroit, is home to the Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Shock (WNBA), and has hosted numerous concerts and other special events. The Palace seats 22,076 for basketball games, up to 23,000 for end-stage concerts and 24,276 for center-stage concerts. For more information and driving directions, visit the Palace’s web site at www.palacenet.com.

The Univeristy of Iowa is one of eight schools to qualify eight wrestlers for the national tournament. It is the 11th time in school history that the Hawkeyes have qualified eight competitors. The other years were 1972, 1975, 1979, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2006.

Cornell, Edinboro, Hofstra, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Oklahoma State also qualified eight competitors. Iowa State is the only school in the nation to qualify all 10 wrestlers, while Minnesota, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Wisconsin each qualified nine.

Iowa holds five NCAA Championship records. The Hawkeyes hold records for most team points scored (170 in 1997), largest margin of victory (73.25 points in 1986), number of consecutive team titles (nine from 1978-86), most finalists (six in 1986 and 1997) and most individual champions (five in 1986 and 1997).

Five of Iowa’s eight qualifiers have competed at the NCAA Championships at least once. Junior Mark Perry is a two-time all-American, placing second at 165 in 2005 and third at 174 in 2006. Junior Alex Tsirtsis (141) and senior Eric Luedke (174) are returning all-Americans, with Tsirtsis placing seventh and Luedke placing eighth at 165 last season. Senior Mario Galanakis (133) and junior Matt Fields (Hwt.) both competed at the 2006 NCAA Championships, but neither placed.

Sophomore Charlie Falck (125) and redshirt freshmen Ryan Morningstar (157) and Phillip Keddy (184) will each be making their first appearance at the national tournament.

Hawkeye junior Mark Perry won the 165-pound title at the Big Ten Championships March 4 in East Lansing, MI, defeating Michigan’s Eric Tannenbaum, 5-2 in the finals. A three-time Big Ten finalist, Perry won his first conference title, while handing Tannenbaum his first loss of the season. The Stillwater, OK, native is Iowa’s 100th Big Ten champion and the first since Cliff Moore in 2004.

Perry scored 21 team points at the meet, which led the team and ranked third among Big Ten competitors. Only Minnesota’s Jayson Ness (24) and Cole Konrad (23) scored more.

Iowa edged out a late charge by Penn State to place third with 91 points, and qualified eight wrestlers for the NCAA Championships. Minnesota won its second straight team title and its 10th in school history with 152 points.

The Hawkeyes had their best showing on the second day of the tournament, going 9-3 and recording eight placewinners. Sophomore Charlie Falck placed second at 125, losing a 12-1 major decision to Minnesota’s Jayson Ness in the finals. Iowa’s other placewinners included junior Alex Tsirtsis (3rd-141), senior Eric Luedke (3rd-174), junior Matt Fields (4th-Hwt.), redshirt freshman Ryan Morningstar (5th-157), senior Mario Galanakis (7th-133) and redshirt freshman Phillip Keddy (7th-184).

Iowa placed fourth with 70 points at the 2006 NCAA Championships, held at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Oklahoma State won its fourth straight team title with 122.5. The finals were held in front of 16,394 fans. The total attendance for the weekend was 95,501, the second-highest total in NCAA history.

The Hawkeyes crowned five all-Americans from their eight qualifiers. Senior Ty Eustice (149) placed second, sophomore Mark Perry (174) placed third, senior Joe Johnston (157) placed sixth, sophomore Alex Tsirtsis (141) placed seventh and junior Eric Luedke (165) placed eighth.

The Hawkeye wrestling team led the nation in dual meet attendance for the 2006-07 season, recording the highest home dual meet season average (6,740) and largest single-meet crowd (13,732 vs. Iowa State on Dec. 3). Oklahoma State was a distant second with a 3,749 average and 7,014 largest single-meet crowd (vs. Oklahoma). The 13,732 Iowa-Iowa State figure ranks 11th in the nation’s top 25 largest dual meet crowds ever. Iowa hosted 20 of the top 25 and was the visitor for the other five – including the record-holding 15,646 set at Minnesota on Feb. 1, 2002.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 809-214-30 (.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’ 100 Big Ten Champions have won a total of 181 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.

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 title at Naperville North High School. He moved to Bettendorf, IA, and placed third at the 2007 state tournament at heavyweight. Ambrose placed third at 189 pounds at the 2007 state tournament for North Scott Eldridge. He placed third at 171 at the 2006 state meet. Ambrose is a projected 197-pounder for the Hawkeyes. He is also a 189-pound Fargo freestyle all-American.

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.

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.

Former Hawkeye wrestlers Luke and Ty Eustice were featured in a clue of the category “Iowa” December 8th, and in several clues of the category “Wrestling” January 8th on the TV game show JEOPARDY! Jimmy McGuire and Kelly Miyahara of the JEOPARDY! Clue Crew taped clues at Carver-Hawkeye Arena featuring the Eustice brothers in August. The Eustice brothers are natives of Blue Earth, MN. Luke was an all-American and NCAA finalist at 125 pounds in 2002, lettering for the Hawkeyes from 2001-04. Ty was a two-time all-American at 149 pounds, competing in the NCAA finals in 2006. He lettered for the Hawkeyes from 2003-06. They are the 10th set of brothers to wrestle together in the Hawkeye varsity lineup since the 1950s.

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