Hawkeyes Head To Big Ten Championships

March 4, 2008

Top-ranked Iowa will try for its 32nd conference wrestling title at the 2008 Big Ten Championships March 8-9 in Minneapolis, MN. The Big Ten is one of the top conferences in the nation, as eight of the 11 teams are ranked in the top 15 in the nation.

The tournament will feature a three-session format and will be held at Williams Arena. Saturday’s competition will feature Session 1 preliminary matches at 11 a.m. and Session 2 championship and consolation matches at 6 p.m. The Session 3 championship matches will start at noon Sunday. Sessions 1 and 2 will feature four mats, while Session 3 will have three.

Following is the Big Ten Championships event schedule. Times are Central.

Session- Day – Time (CT) – Competition
Session I – Saturday – 11 a.m. – Through quarterfinals and consolation first round
Session II – Saturday – 6 p.m. – Through championship semifinals and up to the consolation semifinals
Session III – Sunday – Noon – Consolation semifinals will be followed by seventh-place matches. Championship, third, and fifth place matches for each weight classs will start at 2 pm.

All-session tickets are $30 and are available at gophersports.com, at the Minnesota athletics ticket office in Mariucci Arena or by calling 800-846-7437 or 612-624-8080.

Updated brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at bigten.org and gophersports.com.

Radio – Hawkeye fans can hear live Big Ten 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 on KXIC, while Roger Beyhl, Bob Dane and Ed McGinness will call the action on KCJJ. Fans can listen to the KXIC broadcast online at www.hawkeyesports.com using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($9.95/month or $79.95/year) or the CSTV XXL Premium subscription ($119.95/year).

Television – The Big Ten Network will air a live broadcast of Sunday’s finals at 2 p.m. The broadcast will be available on DIRECTV channel 220 and DISH Network Channel 439. Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons and Ken Chertow will call the action.

Internet – Press releases, meet results, and live audio broadcasts are available online at www.hawkeyesports.com. Current staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at pics.hawkeyesports.com.

Hawkeye senior Mark Perry (165) and sophomore Brent Metcalf (149) both earned top seeds at their respective weight classes for this weekend’s 2008 Big Ten Championships. The Big Ten Conference announced the preliminary seeds Monday. The final seeds will be determined at a coaches meeting Friday afternoon.

All 10 Hawkeyes earned preliminary seeds. Junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133) and Jay Borschel (174) are both seeded second. Sophomore Phillip Keddy (184) is seeded third, and senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) and sophomore Dan LeClere (141) are seeded fourth. Sophomores Ryan Morningstar (157) and Chad Beatty (197) both earned seventh-seeds.

The Hawkeyes are one of four schools with two #1 seeds. Illinois (Jimmy Kennedy – 133 and Mike Poeta – 157), Michigan (Kellen Russell – 141 and Steve Luke – 174) and Ohio State (Mike Pucillo – 184) and J.D. Bergman – Hwt.) are the other three. Minnesota’s Jayson Ness (125) and Northwestern’s Mike Tamillow (197) are the other top preliminary seeds.

The Big Ten Conference is alloted 72 qualifiers for the 2008 NCAA Championships, scheduled for March 20-22 in St. Louis, MO. The top seven placewinners in each weight class will automatically advance to the national tournament. Big Ten coaches will select two wild cards after the conference meet. The Hawkeyes advanced eight qualifiers in 2007.

The Hawkeyes earned the 2008 Big Ten regular season title Feb. 24 when they defeated Illinois, 21-12, in Champaign, IL. It is also the first time an Iowa team has won 21 duals in a season since the 1990-91 squad went 25-0-1. Iowa ended the dual season on a 14-match winning streak.

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 stopped 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, its 10th in school history with 152 points. Wisconsin placed second (100.5).

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’s overall dual meet record is 828-215-30 (.786) 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.

Iowa holds records in five of seven Big Ten Championship categories. The Hawkeyes hold records for most individual champions in one tournament (9 in 1983), most consecutive team titles (25 from 1974-98), most falls by a team in one tournament (12 in 1979), largest victory margin (118.5 points in 1983) and fastest fall in all matches (Bart Chelesvig’s 23-second pin over Illinois’ Keith Bolman in 1992).

The Hawkeyes have won the most Big Ten team titles (31) and crowned the most individual champions (181). Seven of the Big Ten’s 10 four-time conference champions were Hawkeyes, and Iowa has had 18 of the conference’s 47 three-time champions.

The Iowa wrestling team has earned several individual Big Ten honors since they were initiated in 1986. Twelve Hawkeyes have been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, seven have been named Wrestler of the Championships and four have been named Freshman of the Year. Two of Iowa’s former head coaches earned conference Coach of the Year honors a combined five times. Following is the list of Iowa’s Big Ten award winners:

Big Ten Wrestler of the Year
Royce Alger – 1987, 1988
Terry Brands – 1992
Tom Brands – 1989
Mark Ironside – 1996, 1997, 1998
Eric Juergens – 2001
Lincoln McIlravy – 1995
Steve Mocco – 2003
Brad Penrith – 1986
Troy Steiner – 1993

Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Tom Brands – 1989
Jeff McGinness – 1994
Lincoln McIlravy – 1993
Steve Mocco – 2002

Big Ten Coach of the Year
Dan Gable – 1993, 1995, 1996
Jim Zalesky – 2000, 2004

Big Ten Wrestler of the Meet
Terry Brands, 1992
Tom Brands, 1989
Jamie Heidt, 1998
Mark Ironside, 1997
Jeff McGinness, 1998
Luke Moffitt, 2002
Jody Strittmatter, 2000

Former Hawkeyes Ed Banach (1983) and Barry Davis (1985) were named Jesse Owens Big Ten Conference Male Athlete of the Year. A total of six wrestlers have been named Iowa’s Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year and eight were named Iowa’s Conference Medal of Honor winners. Following is the list of honorees:

Iowa’s Big Ten Medal of Honor Award Winners
Ed Banach, 1983
Dan Glenn, 1980
Jeff McGinness, 1998
Gary Meyer, 1958
Wilbur Nead, 1939
Daniel Sherman, 1973
Ralph Thomas, 1951
Carl Voltmer, 1927

Iowa’s Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year
Ed Banach, 1983
Tom Brands, 1992
Barry Davis, 1985
Jim Heffernan, 1987
Eric Juergens, 2001
Daryl Weber, 1996

Senior 165-pounder Mark Perry will rejoin the Hawkeye lineup for this weekend’s Big Ten Championships after missing the entire Big Ten dual season due to injury. Perry underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at the end of January. The Stillwater, OK, native, is ranked No. 1 in the nation and is the defending Big Ten champion at 165. A three-time all-American, Perry has a career record of 89-15. He currently has a 13-2 record and his nine pins, this season, lead the team.

Hawkeye sophomore 149-pounder Brent Metcalf wasted no time in establishing himself as one of the best wrestlers in the nation. Ranked first in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News, Intermat/NWCA/NWMA and W.I.N. Magazine, Metcalf is 26-1 in collegiate matches and 21-1 in duals in his first season with the Hawkeyes. Since his lone loss – a 1:40 pin by North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell at the St. Edward duals on Nov. 24 – Metcalf has gone on a 23-match winning streak. He posted an undefeated 8-0 mark in Big Ten duals, scoring team bonus points in all but one bout. The 2007 Midlands champion leads the team in several statistical categories, including collegiate wins (26), collegiate winning percentage (.962), dual wins (21), dual winning percentage (.954), team points scored in dual competition (100) and technical falls (6). He was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week Jan. 16 and Jan. 23, becoming the first wrestler in conference history to earn the honor in consecutive weeks. The Big Ten switched from a monthly to a weekly award in 1997-98.

Junior 125-pounder Charlie Falck is one of three upperclassmen in the Hawkeye lineup this season. The 2007 Big Ten runner-up and all-American has been leading by example, posting a 21-1 record in dual competition and going 26-2 in collegiate matches. He is ranked second in the nation. Falck’s two losses this season were to Big Ten foes – a 4:27 pin by Gabe Flores of Illinois at the 2007 Midlands and a 14-2 major decision to top-ranked Jayson Ness of Minnesota at the dual last month. Falck leads the team in collegiate (26) and dual wins (21), and dual winning percentage (.954).

Seven of Iowa’s 10 starters are sophomores, and five of them made their Hawkeye debut this season. Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141), Brent Metcalf (149), Jay Borschel (174) and Chad Beatty (197) are in their first season of competition with the Hawkeyes, while sophomores Ryan Morningstar (157) and Phillip Keddy (184) were starters in 2006-07.

Inexperience in the collegiate arena hasn’t hindered this group, as they have been a driving force behind Iowa’s success. As a starting unit, the seven sophomores have posted a 142-41 mark in collegiate matches, going 111-35 in duals and 38-18 in Big Ten duals. The group accounted for 412 of the 636 team points scored in dual competition, as well as 19 pins, 13 technical falls and 37 major decisions scored this season.

Sophomore Dan LeClere and freshman Nick LeClere from Coggon, IA, are the lone set of brothers on the roster. There have been 10 sets of brothers to wrestle together in the Hawkeye varsity lineup since the 1950s. They are Don and Tom Huff (1961), Mark and Scott Trizzino (1981), Lenny, Larry and Jim Zalesky (1981-82), Ed and Lou Banach (1981-83), Marty and Lindley Kistler (1984-85), Jim and John Heffernan (1987), Tom and Terry Brands (1989-92), Troy and Terry Steiner (1991-93), Ryan and Randy Fulsaas (2001) and Luke and Ty Eustice (2003-04). There have also been five sets of twins to wrestle at Iowa. They are Ed and Lou Banach, Tom and Terry Brands, Ben and Brett Stedman, Troy and Terry Steiner and Randy and Ryan Fulsaas.

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).

The 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships are scheduled for March 20-22 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. The Scottrade Center was the site for the national wrestling tournament in 2000, 2004 and 2005, and will also host the event in 2009. The NCAA, University of Missouri and the St. Louis Sports Commission will co-host the event.

Sessions I (11 a.m.) and II (6:30 p.m.) will be held March 20, Sessions III (10 a.m. and IV (6 p.m.) will be March 21, and Session V (10 a.m.) and the Session VI (7:30 p.m.) are set for March 22. The finals will be televised live on ESPN.

Tickets to the event are available at (866) 646-8849 or ticketmaster.com. All-session tickets are priced based on seat location. The price breakdown is as follows: Plaza – $150, Mezzanine Center & Mezzanine Corner (1st 2 rows) – $120, Mezzanine Corner & Mezzanine End (1st 2 rows) – $95, Mezzanine End – $60.

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