Top-Ranked Hawkeyes Head To Midlands

Dec. 21, 2007

The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team (7-0) will compete at the 45th annual Midlands Championships – dubbed Midlands “45” – Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 29-30) in Evanston, IL. The two-day, four session double-elimination tournament will be held in Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus.

Former Olympians, who also competed at the Midlands, will be honored at the annual banquet, the March of Champions and will participate in the awards ceremonies. Former Midlands competitors have won a total of 19 Olympic gold medalists and hail from five different countries. Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands and former Head Coach Dan Gable are two of five Olympians who also won Midlands and NCAA titles. Bruce Baumgartner, Kenny Monday and the late Dave Schultz are the other three.

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.

Eight Iowa wrestlers have earned early pre-seeds for Midlands “45”. Senior defending Big Ten and NCAA Champion Mark Perry is the top seed at 165 pounds. Perry won the 2004 title at 165 and is a three-time finalist at the tournament. Junior all-American Charlie Falck is seeded second at 125, while sophomore Brent Metcalf is third at 149. Iowa’s other pre-seeds include senior Matt Fields (4th-Hwt.), and sophomores Jay Borschel (5th-174), Joe Slaton (6th-133), sophomore Ryan Morningstar (7th-157) and Phillip Keddy (8th-184).

Television – The Big Ten Network will air Sunday’s finals live and will rebroadcast the show Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 1 at 4:30 p.m. (CT). The broadcast will be available on DIRECTV channel 220 and DISH Network Channel 439.

Internet – Press releases, tournament brackets and touranment notes will be available on the Northwestern University website, Session results and recaps will be available on the University of Iowa website, Current Hawkeye staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at

Iowa has won the most team titles (18) in the 44 years of Midlands history. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceded to win nine of 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 (8), 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. Former Hawkeye Heach 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. Dan Gable holds the most titles (3) and falls (13) at 149 pounds.

Iowa crowned one champion, two runners-up and four other placewinners at the 44th annual Midlands Championships in Evanston, IL. Iowa placed second in the team race, scoring 107 points. Iowa State won its first team title since 1981 with 154.5.

Hawkeye senior 174-pounder Eric Luedke won his first Midlands title and picked up his 35th career victory, defeating Rider’s Doug Umbehauer, 6-4, in the finals. Juniors Alex Tsirtsis and Mark Perry both placed second with second-seed Tsirtsis losing an 8-5 decision to top-seed Ryan Lang of Northwestern at 141 and top-seed Perry losing a 5-2 decision to second-seed Travis Paulson of Iowa State at 165.

Also placing for the Hawkeyes were senior Mario Galanakis (8th-133), junior Matt Fields (6th-Hwt.), sophomore Charlie Falck (7th-125) and redshirt freshman Ryan Morningstar (7th-157).

Iowa wrestler Mark Perry has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, earning the honor for the second time in his career. He first earned the honor Feb. 9, 2005.

Perry, who is ranked second nationally at 165 pounds, pinned both his opponents and helped Iowa pick up two dual wins Dec. 13 in Iowa City. He pinned third-ranked Moza Fay of Northern Iowa in 48 seconds to score his 80th career victory in the first match of the night. He then stuck Cornell College’s Christian Coffey in 4:17 to score his 30th career pin. Perry needs 10 more falls to break into Iowa’s all-time top-10 career leaders list. He is 5-1 this season, pinning five of his six opponents.

Perry is the second Hawkeye this season to earn the weekly conference honor. Sophomore Joe Slaton was honored Dec. 12 for upsetting Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State, 6-5, at 133 pounds in Ames Dec. 9.

Tickets for the 2008 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, to be held at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena March 8-9 are now available. All-session tickets are $30 and may be purchased through, in person at the Minnesota athletics ticket office in Mariucci Arena or by calling 1-800-846-7437 or 612-624-8080. Single-session tickets, if available, will go on sale March 3.

The 2008 Big Ten Wrestling Championships will feature a three-session format, with the Session 1 preliminary matches beginning at 11 a.m. on March 8. Session 2 will get underway at 6 p.m. that same day, and the Session 3 championship matches will start at noon March 9. Doors to Williams Arena open approximately one hour prior to the beginning of each session.

Sessions 1 and 2 will feature four mats of action, while Session 3 will have live wrestling on three mats. The Williams Arena court will be extended to accommodate the four-mat setup.

The Big Ten Network is scheduled to provide live coverage of Sunday’s conference finals.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes improved to 7-0 Dec. 13 with wins over Northern Iowa (40-3) and Cornell College (51-0). The Hawkeyes went 19-1 on the night, losing the first match on a last-second takedown. Iowa rebounded to score eight pins, six major decisions and two technical falls in the remaining 19 matches. Senior Matt Fields (Hwt.), junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133) and Jay Borschel (174) all remain undefeated at 7-0 this season.

Iowa recorded its 40th series win over Northern Iowa and its 20th win in Iowa City. Senior Mark Perry, who is ranked second at 165 pounds, pinned No. 3 Moza Fay in 48 seconds in the night’s marquee matchup to pick up his 80th career win. Perry also pinned Cornell’s Christian Coffey in 4:17 to score his 30th career pin. Sophomore Ryan Morningstar scored his 30th career win by pinning Panther Jarion Beets in sudden victory at 157.

Iowa’s win over Cornell was the first time the Hawkeyes scored more than 50 points since the 2003-04 season when they defeated Southwest State, 54-0. Falck recorded his 45th career win with a 12-2 major decision over Cornell’s Chris Heilman, who is ranked second in Division III. Fields scored his 70th career win with a 4:57 pin over Josiah Payne.

The Big Ten Network has released its 2007-08 wrestling schedule. Nine duals and the finals of the 2007 Midlands Championships and 2008 Big Ten Championships are scheduled to be aired on the network.

Iowa will have two televised duals. The Iowa-Ohio State dual on Jan. 18 in Columbus will air same-day tape-delayed at 8:30 p.m. (CT) and the Iowa-Minnesota dual on Feb. 1 in Minneapolis will air live at 7 p.m. (CT). The Iowa-Oklahoma State dual on Jan. 5 was originally scheduled for a tape-delayed broadcast, but will not be aired due to the addition of the Iowa-Minnesota dual.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 816-214-30 (.784) in 96 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles and 31 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 48 NCAA champions have won a total of 74 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 130 all-Americans have earned all-America status 266 times, including 16 four-time, 28 three-time and 32 two-time honorees.

The University of Iowa is offering a Family Four Pack ticket package for the Iowa vs. Indiana dual on Feb. 15. The package includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for $30. Orders can be placed through the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office or at 1-800-464-2957, 319-335-9327 or

The annual Johnson County I-Club wrestling luncheon will be held Jan. 4, 2008 at 11:45 a.m. at the First Avenue Club in Iowa City. Tickets for the event are $13 and must be purchased in advance. To purchase tickets, make a check payable to the Johnson County I-Club and mail to:

Iowa Wrestling
ATTN: Luncheon
223 Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Iowa City, IA 52242

Top-ranked Iowa (7-0) will host fifth-ranked Oklahoma State (5-1) Jan. 5 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Match time is set for 7 p.m. The Cowboys have won the last eight meetings between the two teams and hold a 24-16-1 advantage in the series.

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