Top-Ranked Hawkeyes To Open Big Ten Season

Jan. 15, 2008

The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team (11-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will open the 2007-08 Big Ten dual season this weekend. The Hawkeyes travel to Ohio State (13-2, 1-0 Big Ten) Friday to face the #6 Buckeyes at 6 p.m. (CT) in St. John Arena. The Big Ten Network will air a taped-delay broadcast of the dual at 8:30 p.m.

The Hawkeyes will then return home to host #7 Penn State (8-2, 0-0 Big Ten) Sunday at 2 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. There will be a free youth wrestling clinic at noon, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, prior to the dual. Children from kindergarten through eighth grade can join members of the Iowa coaching staff on the mat to learn some fundamental techniques.

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 dual meets will be broadcast live, as will action from the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. Live audio broadcasts will also be available online at Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($9.95 per month or $79.95 per year) or the CSTV XXL Premium subscription ($119.95 per year).

Television – The Iowa-Ohio State dual will be shown taped-delay on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 p.m. Announcers Tim Johnson and Ken Chertow will call the dual.

Internet – Press releases, meet results and audio broadcasts are available on the University of Iowa’s website, 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

Ohio State is ranked sixth in the nation and is 13-2 with wins over Notre Dame College (36-6), Anderson (44-3), Cumberland (39-16), Rutgers (37-0), Wisconsin (23-13), North Carolina-Greensboro (39-6), Findlay (47-0), Ohio (45-3), Kent State (27-6), West Virginia (29-9), Hofstra (25-16), Northwestern (19-17) and Penn State (24-11), and losses to Tennessee-Chattanooga (16-19) and Central Michigan (16-19). The Buckeyes placed fifth at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls last weekend.

Head Coach Tom Ryan is 21-9 in two seasons at Ohio State and has a career collegiate record of 138-91-2, which includes 11 seasons at Hofstra. Ryan was a two-time all-American, Big Ten champion and letterwinner at 158 pounds for Iowa in 1991-92. He was a teammate of Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. Ryan is assisted by Lou Rosselli (Edinboro, 1993), and Tommy Rowlands (Ohio State, 2005).

The Buckeyes are led by senior J.D. Bergman (Hwt.), junior J Jaggers (141) and sophomores Lance Palmer (149) and Mike Pucillo (184). All four are returning all-Americans.

Penn State is 8-2 with wins over Maryland (34-3), Hofstra (28-11), Lehigh (33-0), Oklahoma State (21-18), Cornell (35-10), Tennessee-Chattanooga (37-2), Cornell (30-9) and Iowa State (22-16), and losses to Nebraska (13-19) and Ohio State (11-24). The Nittany Lions were the top-ranked team in the nation going into last weekend’s National Duals where they placed sixth. They are now ranked seventh in the country.

Head Coach Troy Sunderland, who was a three-time all-American and two-time NCAA runner-up at Penn State (1988-93), is 101-75 in 10 seasons with the Nittany Lions. He is assisted by Penn State alums Dave Hart (1993) and John Hughes (2002), and Matt Dernlan (Liberty, 1996).

The Nittany Lions are led by seniors Phil Davis (197) and Mark McKnight (125), juniors Jake Strayer (141), Phillip Bomberger (184) and John Laboranti (Hwt.), and sophomores Bubba Jenkins (149), Dan Vallimont (157) and David Erwin (174). Davis is a three-time all-American and is undefeated at 10-0 this season. Vallimont is also undefeated (17-0), while Jenkins is 13-1.

Ohio State – Iowa leads the series, 33-2, and has won the last 31 duals between the two teams. The Hawkeyes hold a 15-1 advantage in matches wrestled in Columbus. Iowa won the last meeting (25-12) at the 2007 dual in Iowa City. Ohio State’s last win in the series was 14-11, in Columbus, in 1966.

Penn State – Iowa leads the series, 21-6-2, but the Nittany Lions have won the last two meetings. The Hawkeyes hold a 10-3 advantage in Iowa City. Penn State’s last win in the series was 24-13 at the 2007 dual at University Park. Iowa’s last win in the series was 23-16 at the 2005 dual in University Park.

The Hawkeyes won seven bouts to defeat Ohio State, 25-12, Feb. 16, 2007, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. A crowd of 4,587 saw Iowa improve to 14-4 (5-2 in the Big Ten) with the win. Ohio State fell to 8-6, 4-3.

Hawkeye sophomore Charlie Falck (125) extended his winning streak to nine in the opening match with a 15-9 decision over Will Livingston. Senior Lucas Magnani filled in for an injured Mario Galanakis at 133, scoring a 2-1 win over T.J. Enright. Junior Alex Tsirtsis scored his 20th season victory blanking J Jaggers, 5-0, at 141. The Buckeyes scored their first team points at 149 when Lance Palmer beat senior Alex Grunder, 8-5. Hawkeye redshirt freshman Ryan Morningstar took Iowa into the intermission with a 6-1 win over Jason Johnstone at 157.

Iowa won three of the last five bouts, scoring team bonus points in each. Junior Mark Perry kicked off the trend with an 11-2 major decision over Chris Vondruska at 165. Senior Eric Luedke followed up at 174 with a match-ending 20-2 technical fall in 6:21 over Tommy Priestly. The Buckeyes scored a decision at 184 and a pin at 197, but the damage was already done. Iowa junior Matt Fields ended the dual with a 20-7 major decision over Corey Morrison at heavyweight.

Iowa 25, Ohio State 12
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Will Livingston (OSU), 15-9
133 – Lucas Magnani (I) dec. T.J. Enright (OSU), 2-1
141 – Alex Tsirtsis (I) dec. J Jaggers (OSU), 5-0
149 – Lance Palmer (OSU) dec. Alex Grunder (I), 8-5
157 – Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Jason Johnstone (OSU), 6-1
165 – Mark Perry (I) maj. dec. Chris Vondruska (OSU), 11-2
174 – Eric Luedke (I) tech. fall Tommy Priestly (OSU), 20-2 in 6:21
184 – Mike Pucillo (OSU) dec. Phillip Keddy (I), 9-4
197 – J.D. Bergman (OSU) pinned Jordan McLaughlin (I), 1:15
Hwt. – Matt Fields (I) maj. dec. Corey Morrison (OSU), 20-7

The Iowa wrestling team fell to 12-4 (3-2 in the Big Ten) with a 24-13 loss at Penn State Feb. 4, 2007. The Hawkeyes won four bouts, but two of the six it lost were by pin. The Nittany Lions improved to 12-6 (3-3 in the Big Ten), defeating the Hawkeyes for only the sixth time in school history and the third at University Park.

Hawkeye sophomore Charlie Falck (125) and redshirt freshman Ryan Morningstar (157) provided two bright spots for Iowa. Falck picked up his seventh straight win to open the dual, upsetting Penn State junior Mark McKnight, 7-3. Morningstar picked up his 20th collegiate win of the season and Iowa’s only team bonus points of the day with a 12-3 major decision over Bubba Jenkins. Also scoring decisions for the Hawkeyes were junior Mark Perry (165) and redshirt freshman Phillip Keddy (184).

Penn State scored upsets at three weights to secure its second straight win over Iowa. Nittany Lion junior 141-pounder Bryan Heller caught Hawkeye junior Alex Tsirtsis on his back during a second-period scramble, getting the pin in 3:31. At 165, senior James Yonushonis snapped Iowa senior Eric Luedke’s 20-match winning streak with a 3-1 decision in sudden victory. It was Luedke’s first dual loss and only his second collegiate loss of the season. Penn State senior heavyweight Aaron Anspach ended the dual with a 4-2 decision over Hawkeye junior Matt Fields.

Penn State 24, Iowa 13
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Mark McKnight (PSU), 7-3
133 – Jake Strayer (PSU) dec. Mario Galanakis (I), 5-2
141 – Bryan Heller (PSU) pinned Alex Tsirtsis (I), 3:31
149 – Dan Vallimont (PSU) dec. Alex Grunder (I), 6-3
157 – Ryan Morningstar (I) maj. dec. Bubba Jenkins (PSU), 12-3
165 – Mark Perry (I) dec. Dave Rella (PSU), 11-4
174 – James Yonushonis (PSU) dec. Eric Luedke (I), 3-1 SV-1
184 – Phillip Keddy (I) dec. Brian Cantalupi (PSU), 8-2
197 – Phil Davis (PSU) pinned Rick Loera (I), 1:17
Hwt. – Aaron Anspach (PSU) dec. Matt Fields (I), 4-2

Following are past collegiate career results of probable Iowa-Ohio State match-ups: 157 – Ryan Morningstar vs. Jason Johnstone – 1-0
Morningstar dec. Johnstone, 6-1, at 2007 dual

184 – Phillip Keddy vs. Mike Pucillo – 0-1
Pucillo dec. Keddy, 9-4, at 2007 dual

Following are past collegiate career results of probable Iowa-Penn State match-ups:

125 – Charlie Falck vs. Mark McKnight – 2-0
Falck dec. McKnight, 7-3, at 2007 dual
Falck dec. McKnight, 6-2, at 2007 Big Ten Champ’s – 1st Round

165 – Mark Perry vs. Dave Rella, 2-0
Perry dec. Rella, 11-4, at 2007 dual
Perry maj. dec. Rella, 13-2, at 2007 Big Ten Champ’s – 1st Round

197 – Rick Loera vs. Phil Davis, 0-1
Davis pinned Loera, 1:31, at 2007 dual

Iowa won its first team title at the 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals since 1996. The Hawkeyes defeated unseeded Nebraska, 24-6, in the tournament finals Jan. 13 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. Sophomore Brent Metcalf (149) was named the tournament’s Division I Outstanding Wrestler.

The second-seeded Hawkeyes defeated Cornell (32-2), Missouri (27-9) and Michigan (23-13) en route to the finals and their fourth national duals team title in school history. Iowa went 32-8 over the course of the two-day tournament and improved to 11-1 on the season. Nebraska fell to 9-2, and was only the second unseeded team in the 19-year history of the tournament to advance to the finals. The two-day tournament boasted an attendance total of 15,746.

Metcalf was one of five Hawkeyes to go 4-0 at the tournament. Senior Matt Fields (Hwt.), junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomores Ryan Morningstar (157) and Jay Borschel (174) were the other four. Senior Mark Perry (165) went 3-0 and did not wrestle in the last match due to injury.

The Hawkeyes scored several upsets at the two-day event. Falck beat top-ranked Paul Donahoe of Nebraska, 3-2, and Perry defeated top-ranked Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan, 4-1. In fact all three of Perry’s wins were against wrestlers ranked in the top five in the nation. Borschel scored a 3-2 win over #2 Steve Luke of Michigan.

Senior Mark Perry needs six pins to break into the Iowa records book for career pins. The Hawkeye 165-pounder has 34 career pins, including nine this season. Former Hawkeye Lou Banach (1980-83) is ranked 10th in school history with 40 pins. His twin brother, Ed, holds the school record with 73 career falls. Perry has led the team in pins the last three years, recording six in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and 13 in 2005-06.

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 on the network. The Iowa-Ohio State dual on Jan. 18 in Columbus will air same-day taped-delay at 8:30 p.m. and the Iowa-Minnesota dual on Feb. 1 in Minneapolis will air live at 7:30 p.m. Both times are Central.

Tickets for the 2008 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, to be held at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena Mar. 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 Mar. 8. Session 2 will get underway at 6 p.m. that same day, and the Session 3 championship matches will start at noon Mar. 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 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

Tickets for Iowa’s four remaining home duals are on sale at the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office or at 1-800-464-2957, 319-335-9327 or University of Iowa students will be admitted free to all matches with a student ID. Tickets purchased in advance are $8 for adults and $4 for youth. Tickets purchased at the event are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 818-215-30 (.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.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena has been the home of Iowa wrestling since 1983. The Hawkeyes are 158-18 (.898) 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.

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Tom Brands, Wes Hand, Doug Schwab and Mike Zadick earned a total of one Olympic gold medal, four NCAA titles, six conference titles and 12 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 487-83-2 (.853).

Iowa (11-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will host Northwestern (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten) Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It will be Iowa’s last home dual until Feb. 15.

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