Hawkeyes Beat Michigan, 23-13, In National Duals Semifinal

Jan. 13, 2008

CEDAR FALLS, IA — The second-seeded Hawkeye wrestling team (10-1) used two upsets and two major decisions to beat sixth-seeded Michigan, 23-13, in the semifinals of the 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls Sunday afternoon. The Hawkeyes will meet unseeded Nebraska (9-1) in the finals at the UNI-Dome at 3 p.m. It is the first trip to the National Duals finals for Iowa since 1998. Nebraska defeated fifth-seed Minnesota in the other semifinal, 24-13.

Senior Mark Perry (165) and sophomore Jay Borschel (174) both scored upsets in their matches to lead the Hawkeyes. Perry, who is ranked between second and fourth in the nation, beat top-ranked Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan, 4-1. Perry now holds a 2-1 lead his collegiate career series with Tannenbaum, winning the previous meeting – 5-2 – at the 2007 Big Ten Championship finals. Perry is 3-0 at the tournament, wrestling all three matches against wrestlers ranked in the top five in the country. He improved to 13-2 in collegiate matches and 8-2 in duals with the win. Borschel, who is ranked 11th or 12th in the nation by different polls, beat second-ranked Steve Luke, 3-2. The Marion, IA, native fought off several shots from Luke and converted on his own in the third period to score his third straight victory. Borschel is 14-2 in collegiate matches and 10-1 in duals.

Junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomore Joe Slaton (133) got the dual off to an 8-0 start for Iowa with back-to-back major decisions. Falck scored 11 points in the last two periods to beat Michael Watts, 13-5. The win was Falck’s eighth straight and he remains undefeated at 11-0 in duals. Slaton accumulated over five minutes of riding time in his 16-5 win over Chris Diehl. The Cedar Rapids, IA, native is now 14-2 in collegiate matches and 9-2 in duals.

Michigan put its first points on the board at 141 when top-ranked Kellen Russell caught Hawkeye sophomore Dan LeClere in a scramble and pinned him in 4:48. Iowa responded with four straight wins, starting with Michigan native Brent Metcalf’s 4-2 victory over Josh Churella at 149. Metcalf scored a late takedown and a stall point to extend his winning streak to 12 matches. He is now 15-1 in collegiate matches and 10-1 in duals. Sophomore Ryan Morningstar kept the momentum in Iowa’s favor with a 3-2 win over Jeff Marsh at 157. The Wolverines fought back with wins at 184 and 197 before Hawkeye senior Matt Fields scored a 13-6 win over Chad Bleske at heavyweight to end the dual. Fields is undefeated at 11-0 in duals and has won his last four matches.

Nebraska advances to the finals with wins over eighth-seed Northwestern (25-9), top-seed Penn State (19-13) and Minnesota. The Cornhuskers have never won the tournament, placing second twice (1993, 1996). Nebraska is led by top-ranked junior and defending NCAA champion Paul Donahoe at 125. It will be the first collegiate career meeting for Donahoe and Falck.

The Iowa-Nebraska dual will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. on Iowa Public Television, www.livesportsvideo.com, AM800-KXIC and www.hawkeyesports.com. Live results and updated brackets are available at www.intermatwrestle.com and www.unipanthers.com.

Iowa 23, Michigan 13
125 – Charlie Falck (I) maj. dec. Michael Watts (M), 13-5
133 – Joe Slaton (I) maj. dec. Chris Diehl (M), 16-5
141 – Kellen Russell (M) pinned Dan LeClere (I), 4:48
149 – Brent Metcalf (I) dec. Josh Churella (M), 4-2
157 – Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Jeff Marsh (M), 3-2
165 – Mark Perry (I) dec. Eric Tannenbaum (M), 4-1
174 – Jay Borschel (I) dec. Steve Luke (M), 3-2
184 – Tyrel Todd (M) dec. Phillip Keddy (I), 3-2
197 – Anthony Biondo (M) maj. dec. Chad Beatty (I), 8-0
Hwt. – Matt Fields (I) dec. Chad Bleske (M), 13-6