Feb. 24, 2008
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CHAMPAIGN, IL — The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won its final dual of the 2007-08 season Sunday afternoon, defeating #11 Illinois 21-12 in Champaign. The Hawkeyes earned the Big Ten regular season title outright with the win, going 8-0 in conference competition. Iowa ended the dual meet season on a 14-match winning streak and posted a 21-1 record. Illinois fell to 13-4, 5-3 in the Big Ten.
“We saw some good things today, and some not-so-good things,” said Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. “The impression we left with was positive, but we gave up the first takedown or first points in a match too many times. That can’t happen. This team thrives on momentum. We are two weeks out from the Big Ten finals and we’ve got work to do.”
Iowa opened the dual at 125 pounds with junior Charlie Falck beating senior Gabe Flores, 6-4 in sudden victory. Falck, who was 0-2 against Flores in his career, trailed 4-2 in the third period, but scored a takedown with 15 seconds left in regulation to force the match to sudden victory. He scored the winning takedown with 37 seconds left in sudden victory to post his sixth-straight win and improve to 26-2.
The Hawkeyes were on the losing end of the other marquee match-up of the day at 133. Iowa sophomore Joe Slaton (23-2) and Illinois sophomore Jimmy Kennedy (23-4) both entered the dual with undefeated Big Ten records and significant winning streaks. Kennedy posted the 8-4 win, handing Slaton his first conference loss and snapping the Hawkeye’s 11-match winning streak.
Iowa responded with wins at 141 and 149 to take an 11-3 lead. Hawkeye sophomore Dan LeClere (141) posted his 20th season and career win when he beat Illinois freshman Ryan Prater, 6-5. Iowa sophomore Brent Metcalf dominated redshirt freshman Joey Kotowski at 149, scoring an 18-3 technical fall in 4:56. Metcalf is 8-0 in Big Ten duals and is on a 23-match winning streak. He has scored team bonus points in his last nine bouts.
Illinois followed with decisions at 157 and 165 to tighten the team score at 11-9, but a major decision from Iowa sophomore Jay Borschel at 174 and a decision by Hawkeye sophomore Phillip Keddy at 184 gave Iowa an 18-9 lead with two bouts remaining. Borschel picked up his 20th dual win, while Keddy scored his 35th career victory.
Illinois sophomore Patrick Bond gave Illinois a chance at the team win when he scored a takedown in the first tiebreak period to beat Hawkeye sophomore Chad Beatty, 7-5, at 197. Hawkeye senior heavyweight Matt Fields ended the dual with his 7-5 win in sudden victory over Illinois junior John Wise. Fields trailed Wise, 3-1, after two periods, but tallied an escape, a takedown and a stalling point in the third period to tie the match at 5-5. Fields scored a quick takedown in sudden victory to win, 7-5, and post his 20th dual win of the season.
Iowa’s next competition will be March 8-9 at the 2008 Big Ten Championships Minneapolis, MN. The Hawkeyes will try for their 32nd conference title in school history at the three-session tournament at Williams Arena.
Iowa 21, Illinois 12
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Gabe Flores (IL), 6-4 SV
133 – Jimmy Kennedy (IL) dec. Joe Slaton (I), 8-4
141 – Dan LeClere (I) dec. Ryan Prater (IL), 6-5
149 – Brent Metcalf (I) tech. fall Joey Kotowski (IL), 18-3 in 4:56
157 – Mike Poeta (IL) dec. Ryan Morningstar (I), 6-2
165 – Roger Smith-Bergsrud (IL) dec. Jake Kerr (I), 3-2
174 – Jay Borschel (I) maj. dec. John Dergo (IL), 10-2
184 – Phillip Keddy (I) dec. Ben Friedl (IL), 9-3
197 – Patrick Bond (IL) dec. Chad Beatty (I), 7-5 TB
Hwt. – Matt Fields (I) dec. John Wise (IL), 7-5 SV
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