Hawkeyes Hang On To First Place

March 21, 2008

Photo Gallery | Interview with Charlie Falck | Interview with Mark Perry

ST. LOUIS, MO — The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team is in first place with 67 points after the first three sessions of competition at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO. Nebraska and Oklahoma State are tied for second place with 47.5 points.

The Hawkeyes went 6-3 during the Friday morning session, advancing five wrestlers to the semifinals and keeping two others alive in the consolation bracket. Iowa’s five semifinalists and seven remaining competitors are the most of any school in the tournament. Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Penn State each have three semifinalists, while Iowa State has seven wrestlers still alive in the tournament.

With their quarterfinal wins, Hawkeye senior Mark Perry (165), junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) have all secured all-America status. Perry, who is the defending NCAA champion at 165, is Iowa’s 17th four-time all-American. Falck is a two-time all-American, and Slaton, Metcalf and Borschel are each earning their first honor. Hawkeye senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) and sophomore Phillip Keddy (184) lost their quarterfinal bouts, but still have a shot at all-America status through the wrestleback bracket.

Falck opened Iowa’s Friday morning competition with a 5-4 win over fourth-seeded Stanford’s Tanner Garnder in the 125-pound semifinals. It was Falck’s first win over Gardner, losing the previous two meetings. Falck, who is the fifth seed, will face top seed Angel Escobedo of Indiana in the semifinals. The Hawkeye junior is 2-1 against Escobedo, winning the first two meetings by decision, but losing the last one, 3-1, at the Big Ten Championships semifinal earlier this month.

Slaton picked up his 30th win of the season at 133 with a 2-1 victory in the tiebreak period over fifth-seeded Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State. The fourth-seeded Hawkeye will face top-seeded Franklin Gomez of Michigan State in the semifinal. Slaton is 1-1 against Gomez, winning a 6-2 decision at the 2007 Midlands Championship finals and losing a 10-8 decision at the Big Ten Championship semifinal.

Metcalf scored all of his points early in the third period to defeat ninth-seeded Lance Palmer of Ohio State, 3-2 in the quarterfinals. Metcalf, who won his 30th straight bout with the victory, will face fourth-seeded Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska in the semifinal. The Hawkeye sophomore is the top seed at 149 and is 3-0 against Burroughs this season.

Perry made quick work of his 165-pound quarterfinal opponent, pinning American’s Michael Cannon in 47 seconds. The top-seeded Hawkeye picked up his 12th pin of the season and his second of the tournament as he advanced to the semifinal, where he will face third-seeded Nick Marable of Missouri. Perry is 1-0 against Marable, winning a 3-2 decision in the tiebreak period at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January.

Borschel notched his 30th win of the season with an 8-2 victory over fifth-seeded Brandon Sinnott of Central Michigan. The fourth-seeded Hawkeye will face top seed and undefeated Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh in the semifinal. Borschel is 1-1 against Gavin, winning a 6-5 decision at the 2005 Nittany Lion Open and losing a 13-4 major decision in the 2007 Midlands finals

Keddy posted Iowa’s first quarterfinal loss, dropping a 4-3 decision to second-seeded Mike Pucillo of Ohio State. Keddy, who is the seventh seed at 184, led 3-2 in the third period, but was unable to pull off the upset giving up a takedown with six seconds left in the bout. He will face Kurt Brenner of West Virginia in the consolation bracket Friday night.

Fields lost Iowa’s second bout of the round, dropping a 2-0 decision to fifth-seeded Jared Rosholt of Oklahoma State. The Hawkeye senior, who is seeded fifth at heavyweight, will face #11 Michael Spaid of Bloomsburg in the wrestlebacks.

Morningstar won his first bout of the day, upsetting fifth-seeded C.P. Schlatter of Minnesota, 4-0. It was Morningstar’s first win against Schlatter in the four times they have met. The Hawkeye sophomore faced fourth-seeded Brandon Becker of Indiana in the next round, but couldn’t pull a second upset and lost 2-0. Morningstar ends the season at 22-14.

Friday evening’s matches are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Scottrade Center. Competition will include the championship semifinals and two rounds of consolation matches. ESPNU will be producing and syndicating live coverage of the matches. Check your local listings for stations airing the event.

Place Team Points
1. Iowa 67
2. Nebraska 47.5
Oklahoma State 47.5
4. Ohio State 44.5
5. Central Michigan 43
6. Penn State 42
7. Missouri 38.5
8. Cornell 34.5
Minnesota 34.5
10. Iowa State 33
Michigan 33

Championship Quarterfinals
125 – #5 Charlie Falck (Iowa) dec. #4 Tanner Gardner (Stanford), 5-4
133 – #4 Joe Slaton (Iowa) dec. #5 Nick Fanthorpe (Iowa State), 2-1 TB
149 – #1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) dec. #9 Lance Palmer (Ohio State), 3-2
165 – #2 Mark Perry (Iowa) pinned #10 Michael Cannon (American), 0:47
174 – #4 Jay Borschel (Iowa) dec. #5 Brandon Sinnott (C. Michigan), 8-2
184 – #2 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) dec. #7 Phillip Keddy (Iowa), 4-3
Hwt – #5 Jared Rosholt (Oklahoma State) dec. #4 Matt Fields (Iowa), 2-0

Consolation Round
157 – Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec. #5 C.P. Schlatter (Minnesota), 4-0
157 – #4 Brandon Becker (Indiana) dec. Ryan Morningstar (Iowa), 2-0

Championship Semifinals
125 – #5 Charlie Falck (Iowa) vs. #1 Angel Escobedo (Indiana)
133 – #4 Joe Slaton (Iowa) vs. #1 Franklin Gomez (Michigan State)
149 – #1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) vs. #4 Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)
165 – #2 Mark Perry (Iowa) vs. #3 Nick Marable (Missouri)
174 – #4 Jay Borschel (Iowa) vs. #1 Keith Gavin (Pittsburgh)

Consolation Round
184 – #7 Phillip Keddy (Iowa) vs. Kurt Brenner (West Virginia)
Hwt – #4 Matt Fields (Iowa) vs. #11 Michael Spaid (Bloomsburg)

Complete Brackets in PDF Format

Complete Team Standings in PDF Format

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