Hawkeyes Head To NCAA Championships

March 17, 2008

Iowa’s nine qualifiers will compete for the school’s 21st national team title at the 2008 NCAA Championships, Thursday through Saturday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Competition begins at 10 a.m. (CT) Thursday.

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.

The last time Iowa won the NCAA title was 2000. The Hawkeyes have put together a series of title streaks, placing first nine straight times from 1978-86, six times from 1995-2000, three times from 1991-93 and two times from 1975-76.

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 – ESPNU/ESPN 360 will air Friday’s quarterfinals live at 10 a.m. (CT). ESPNU will be producing and syndicating live coverage of Friday’s semifinals beginning at 6 p.m. (CT). Check your local listings for stations airing the event. ESPNU will carry Saturday’s medal rounds live at 10 a.m. (CT). ESPN will air Saturday’s championship round live at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

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.

Updated brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at www.ncaasports.com.

Session # – Day – Time (CT) – Mats – Competition
Session I – Thursday – 11 a.m. – 8 – Pigtails & 1st Round
Session II – Thursday – 6:30 p.m. – 8 – Consolation Prelims, 1st Round
Session III – Friday – 10 a.m. – 8 – Championship Quarterfinals, Consolation 2nd & 3rd Rounds
Session IV – Friday – 6 p.m. – 6 – Championship Semifinals, Consolation 4th & 5th Rounds
Session V – Saturday – 10 a.m. – 6 – Consolation Semifinals, 3rd-5th-7th Place Matches
Session VI – Saturday – 7:30 p.m. – 1 – Championship Finals

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.

Iowa is one of five schools to qualify nine wrestlers for the national tournament. It is the sixth time in school history that the Hawkeyes have qualified nine competitors. The other years were 1977, 1980, 1984, 1999 and 2000. Iowa has qualified its entire 10-man lineup 17 times, the last being in 2004.

Boise State, Central Michigan, Minnesota and Northern Iowa also qualified nine competitors. Edinboro and Iowa State are the only schools in the nation to qualify all 10 wrestlers. Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Pennsylvania, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Wisconsin each qualified eight.

Iowa holds five NCAA Championship records. The Hawkeyes hold records for most team points scored (170 in 1997), largest margin of victory (73.25 points in 1986), number of consecutive team titles (nine from 1978-86), most finalists (six in 1986 and 1997) and most individual champions (five in 1986 and 1997).

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 828-215-30 (.786) in 96 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles and 32 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’ 101 Big Ten champions have won a total of 182 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.

Five of Iowa’s nine qualifiers have competed at the NCAA Championships at least once. Junior Mark Perry is a three-time all-American and the defending NCAA champion at 165 pounds. He placed second at 165 in 2005 and third at 174 in 2006. Junior Charlie Falck (125) is Iowa’s other returning all-American, placing eighth last season. Senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) is a three-time NCAA qualifer, and sophomores Ryan Morningstar (157) and Phillip Keddy (184) each qualified for the tournament last season. Sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141), Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) are making their first NCAA tournament appearance.

Former Hawkeye Tom Brands, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time all-American, is in his second season as Iowa’s head wrestling coach. The three-time NCAA champion and member of wrestling’s Hall of Fame is only the Hawkeyes’ eighth wrestling coach. Brands has an 34-6 overall and 12-3 Big Ten record at Iowa, and a 51-26 career mark.

This season Brands led Iowa to the school’s 32nd Big Ten team title, earning Big Ten Coach of the Year accolades. The Hawkeyes went 21-1 in dual competition and 8-0 in Big Ten duals, earning the conference regular season title. Iowa also won team titles at the 2007 Midlands Championships and the 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals. Sophomore Brent Metcalf won the 149-pound Big Ten title, earning conference Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships awards. He is only the fourth Hawkeye in school history to earn both in the same season. Brands (1989), his twin brother Terry (1992) and Mark Ironside (1997) are the other three.

In his first season at Iowa, Brands coached 165-pounder Mark Perry to Big Ten and NCAA titles. The Hawkeyes also crowned three all-Americans in 2007, going 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten.

Brands served as head coach at Virginia Tech University for two seasons (2005-06), recording a 17-20 dual mark. In his first season with the Hokies, Brands led the team to the 2005 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title, set a school record for dual meet wins (16) and had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships. During his tenure, Virginia Tech crowned five conference champions and two all-Americans. Senior Mike Faust was named 2006 ACC Wrestler of the Year.

Prior to taking the helm at Virginia Tech, Brands was an assistant coach at Iowa for 12 seasons (1993-2004). He helped the Hawkeyes to a 177-27 record, seven NCAA and eight Big Ten titles, while crowning 23 NCAA champions, 73 all-Americans and 36 Big Ten champions. He was named NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000.

As a competitor, Brands won the 1996 Olympic freestyle gold medal at 136.5 pounds in Atlanta, GA. He also won a gold medal at the 1993 World Freestyle Championships in Toronto, two World Cup gold medals (1994, 1995) and was the 1995 Pan American Games champion. He won four U.S. Nationals titles (1993-96) and made four straight U.S. World or Olympic teams (1993-96). Along with his twin brother, Terry, Tom was named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year, John Smith Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler and Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year in 1993. He was inducted into wrestling’s Hall of Fame in 2001. Brands was a four-time all-American at Iowa (1989-92). During his Hawkeye career, he won three NCAA titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 1992 NCAA Championships. A three-time Big Ten champion, Brands won 95 percent of his matches at Iowa. His career mark of 158-7-2, included an undefeated season in 1991 (45-0).

The top-ranked Hawkeyes came back with a strong second-day performance to win their 32nd Big Ten team title at the conference championships in Minneapolis, MN. The Hawkeyes scored 127 points, while runner-up Minnesota tallied 112.5.

Sophomore Brent Metcalf became Iowa’s 101st Big Ten Champion when he won the 149-pound title. The Hawkeyes qualified nine wrestlers to the upcoming NCAA Championships. It is the first time that Iowa has advanced nine competitors since 2004 when it qualified its entire 10-man lineup.

Iowa nearly swept the post-meet team awards as Metcalf was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships and Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, and Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Metcalf is the third Hawkeye to earn both honors in the same season. Former Hawkeyes Tom Brands (1989), Terry Brands (1992) and Mark Ironside (1997) also accomplished that feat. Brands is the third Hawkeye coach to earn the annual Big Ten honor, as former head coaches Dan Gable (1993, 1996) and Jim Zalesky (2000, 2004) each earned the honor twice.

Metcalf, who is the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 149 pounds, earned his first Big Ten title when he defeated two-time Big Ten champion and two-time all-American Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota, 5-3. It was the first collegiate meeting between the two. The Hawkeye sophomore scored his 30th season and career win and extended his winning streak to 27 matches with the decision over Schlatter, who is ranked third in the country. Schlatter scored the first takedown, but Metcalf countered with two escapes to tie the score at 2-2 after two periods. Schlatter escaped to start the third period, but Metcalf was awarded a point when the Golden Gopher junior was given his second stall warning of the match to tie the match at 3-3. Metcalf secured the win by scoring a takedown with 11 seconds remaining in the bout.

Metcalf scored 24 team points at the two-day tournament, which was the most of all 110 competitors.

Senior 165-pounder Mark Perry wrestled in his fourth Big Ten finals match, but came up short in defending his 2007 conference title. Perry lost a 3-2 decision to Michigan’s Eric Tannenbaum. Perry, who is the nation’s top wrestler at 165, is now 2-2 against the Wolverine senior, who is ranked third in the country.

Hawkeye senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Jay Borschel (174) and Phillip Keddy (184) helped the team win its first conference title since 2004 when they wrestled back for third place at their respective weight classes. Fields won both of his Sunday matches in the tiebreak overtime, picking up his 90th career victory in the third-place match.

Junior Charlie Falck placed fourth at 125 and sophomore Dan LeClere placed fifth at 141. Sophomore Ryan Morningstar picked up his 20th season win when he posted a 6-1 decision over Purdue’s Nick Bertucci to place seventh at 157 and automatically advance to the NCAA meet.

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 his first NCAA title at the 2007 NCAA Championships Mar. 17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI. The 165-pounder defeated top-seeded Oklahoma State senior Johny Hendricks, 4-3, in the finals. Perry was Iowa’s first NCAA champion since Cliff Moore won the 141-pound title in 2004, and the Hawkeyes’ 48th national champion in school history.

Perry, who had an 0-6 career record against Hendricks, was down 2-0 before scoring a reversal and nearfall points late in the match to build a 4-2 lead. Hendricks escaped with six second left in the match, but Perry held on for the 4-3 victory. Perry ended the season with a 28-4 record.

Iowa placed eighth in the team race with 57 points. Minnesota won the team title with 98.0, and Iowa State finished second with 88.5. Hawkeye senior Eric Luedke (174) and sophomore Charlie Falck (125) earned all-America honors, placing third and eighth, respectively.

Three-time all-American Mark Perry looks to defend his 2007 NCAA title at the national meet this weekend. The 165-pound senior from Stillwater, OK, could become Iowa’s 17th four-time all-American and 14th two-time NCAA champion.

Perry, a four-time Big Ten finalist and 2007 conference champion, placed second at the conference tournament earlier this month. He missed the entire Big Ten dual season due to injury, undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at the end of January. Perry enters the NCAA touranment ranked second in the nation. He has a career record of 91-16 and season mark of 15-3. His 10 pins, this season, is tied for the team lead.

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 30-1 in collegiate matches and 21-1 in duals in his first season with the Hawkeyes.

The Davison, MI, native won his first conference title earlier this month, knocking off two-time Big Ten champion Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota, 5-3 in the finals. He also scored the most team points (24) of any competitor in the 110-man field. For his efforts, Metcalf was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships. He is one of only four Hawkeyes in school history to earn both honors in the same season.

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 27-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 and 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Division I Outstanding Wrestler leads the team in several statistical categories, including collegiate wins (30), collegiate winning percentage (.968), dual wins (21), dual winning percentage (.954), team points scored in dual competition (100), falls (10) 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. He was also named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week Jan. 16 and Mar. 11.

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 28-4 in collegiate matches. Falck leads the team in dual wins (21), and dual winning percentage (.954). He placed fourth at the 2008 conference meet.

Six of Iowa’s nine NCAA qualifiers are sophomores, and four of them made their Hawkeye debut this season. Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141), Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) 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 six sophomores have posted a 150-36 mark in collegiate matches, going 103-27 in duals and 35-13 in Big Ten duals. The group accounted for 384 of the 636 team points scored in dual competition, and 84 of Iowa’s 127 points at the 2008 Big Ten Championships. They have also accounted for 21 pins, 13 technical falls and 42 major decisions scored this season.

Hawkeye senior Mark Perry (165 – Dec. 19) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133 – Dec. 12), Brent Metcalf (149 – Jan. 16, Jan. 23) and Chad Beatty (197 – Feb. 20) were each named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week during the 2007-08 season. Metcalf earned the honor twice, and is the first wrestler in conference history to earn the honor in consecutive weeks. The five honors which ties the Iowa school record set in 2002-03.

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).

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 2007-08 Hawkeye wrestling awards banquet will be held Sunday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in Coralville, IA. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance from the Iowa Wrestling Office. Make checks payable to the Iowa Athletic Department and send payment to:

Iowa Wrestling Office
Attention: Banquet
Rm 223 CHA
Iowa City, IA 52242

For more information, contact the Iowa Wrestling Office at (319) 335-9405.

Following are the future sites, dates and hosts for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

Dates: Mar. 19-21
Site: St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
Hosts: St. Louis Sports Commission, University of Missouri-Columbia

Dates: Mar. 18-20
Site: Omaha, NE – Quest Center
Hosts: Omaha Sports Commission, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dates: Mar. 17-19
Site: Philadelphia, PA – Wachovia Center
Hosts: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Rider University

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