Wrestlers Head to Midlands

Dec. 23, 2008

The top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (10-0) will vy for its 20th Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, IL. Iowa, the defending team champion, has won the most team titles (19) in the 45 years of the meet. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus.

Tickets can be purchased from the Northwestern University Athletic Ticket Office at (847) 491-2287 or www.nusports.com. All-session passes are $48 for reserved theater-style seats, $36 for adult bleacher general admission and $30 for student bleacher general admission. Session start times and individual session ticket prices are as follows:

Session – Day – Start Time – Ticket Prices (R/AB/SB)
Session I – Monday – 9:30 a.m. – NA/$8/$6
Session II – Monday – 7 p.m. – $11/$9/$7
Session III – Tuesday – Noon – $13/$10/$8
Session IV – Tuesday – 7 p.m. – $15/$12/$9
R – reserved seats, AB – adult bleachers, SB – student bleachers

Radio – Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside will call Tuesday’s finals live on AM-800, KXIC. Live broadcasts from all four sessions are available on www.hawkeyesports.com using the XXL All-Access subscription ($14.95 per month or $119.95 per year).

Television – The Big Ten Network will air Tuesday’s finals live. Tim Johnson and Mark Massery will call the action.

Internet – Press releases, tournament brackets and tournament notes will be available on the Northwestern University website, www.nusports.com. Session results and recaps will be available on the University of Iowa website, www.hawkeyesports.com. Current Hawkeye staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at pics.hawkeyesports.com.

Eight Hawkeye wrestlers have earned early pre-seeds for the upcoming Midlands tournament. Defending Midlands champion Brent Metcalf (149), seniors Charlie Falck (125) and Alex Tsirtsis (141) and junior Jay Borschel (174) each earned the top pre-seed at their respective weight classes. Junior Phillip Keddy (184) is seeded second, juniors Daniel Dennis (133) and Ryan Morningstar (165) are each seeded third and junior Chad Beatty (197) is seeded seventh.

Iowa has won the most team titles (19) in the 45 years of Midlands history. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceded to win nine of the next 11 tournaments. Iowa also won team titles in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2008. Other team winners include Iowa State (8), Michigan State (3), Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (3), Illinois (3), Michigan (2), Arizona State (1), Minnesota (1), North Carolina (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Team scores were not kept at four tournaments (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995.)

Seven former Hawkeyes are enshrined in the Midlands Hall of Fame. They are Ed Banach, Chris Campbell, Steve Combs, Tim Cysewski, Barry Davis, Randy Lewis and Chuck Yagla. Former Hawkeye Heach Coach Dan Gable is also a Midlands Hall of Fame member.

Former Hawkeye Joe Williams holds the most individual titles in Midlands history, winning 10. Other former Hawkeyes to win at least three titles are Tim Cysweski (5), Mark Ironside (4), Royce Alger (3), Ed Banach (3), Jim Heffernan (3), Randy Lewis (3) and Chuck Yagla (3). Several Hawkeyes also hold Midlands weight class records. Ironside has the most wins (27) at 141 pounds, and he and Cysewski hold the most titles (4 each) at that weight. Jim Heffernan holds the most titles (3) at 157, while Joe Williams holds the most wins (35) and titles (6) at 174. Pat Kennedy holds the fastest fall (11 seconds) at 165. Dan Gable holds the most titles (3) and falls (13) at 149 pounds.

The Hawkeyes crowned four individual champions en route to winning the 2007 Midlands team title. Iowa won its 19th team title and its first since 2002. The Hawkeyes scored 185 points to win the 45th annual tournament. Defending team champion Iowa State placed second with 139.

The Hawkeyes went four-for-five in the finals with senior Mark Perry (165) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141) and Brent Metcalf (149) each winning titles. It was Perry’s second career title and his fourth appearance in the finals. It was the first title for Slaton, LeClere and Metcalf.

Slaton set the tone for Iowa in the finals with a 6-2 upset over top seed Franklin Gomez of Indiana to remain undefeated. LeClere followed with a narrow 5-4 upset over second seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma. Metcalf won Iowa’s third straight title, racking up third-period points to beat fifth seed Jake Patascil of Purdue by an 18-5 major decision. Perry made Iowa four-for-four in the finals with his 8-0 major decision over fifth seed Jonathan Reader of Iowa State. Perry led the tournament field with four pins in a total time of 8:10. Sophomore Jay Borschel wrestled above his sixth seed, but could not pull the upset over top seed Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh and lost Iowa’s final championship match, 13-4.

Also placing for the Hawkeyes were seniors Alex Tsirtsis (141-3rd) and Matt Fields (Hwt.-8th), junior Charlie Falck (125-3rd), and sophomores Phillip Keddy (184-4th) and Ryan Morningstar (157-5th). Tsirtsis was wrestling unattached.

The top-ranked Hawkeye wrestling team improved to 10-0 on the season with a 30-12 win over Northern Iowa Dec. 11 at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. A crowd of 2,315 attended the dual. Northern Iowa fell to 0-1 with the loss.

The dual started with Northern Iowa heavyweight Christian Brantley’s 6-2 win over Hawkeye junior Dan Erekson. The Hawkeyes then rolled off four straight wins to build an 18-3 lead. Hawkeye senior Charlie Falck pinned Caleb Flores in 4:07 at 125, followed by junior Daniel Dennis’ 17-7 major decision over Josh Baldridge at 133. Senior 141-pounder Alex Tsirtsis, who was named wrestler of the week by the Big Ten and TheMat.com for his performance against Iowa State on Dec. 6, scored a 14-2 major decision over Trent Washington to give the Hawkeyes a 14-3 lead. Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf took Iowa into the intermission scoring his 45th career victory and 42nd straight win with in a 24-9 technical fall in 6:25 over Charlie Ettelson at 149.

Northern Iowa picked up wins at 157 and 165 after the intermission. Panther junior Tyson Reiner scored an 8-2 win over Iowa sophomore Matt Ballweg at 157. Then second-ranked Moza Fay fought off a late takedown attempt by Hawkeye junior Ryan Morningstar to win 3-2 at 165. Iowa junior Jay Borschel responded, at 174, with a 4:10 pin over Jarion Beets, and junior Phillip Keddy received a forfeit at 184. Northern Iowa won the final bout of the night when senior Andrew Anderson posted a 10-5 win over Rick Loera at 197.

Iowa 30, Northern Iowa 12
Hwt. – Christian Brantley (UNI) dec. Dan Erekson (I), 6-2
125 – Charlie Falck (I) pinned Caleb Flores (UNI), 4:07
133 – Daniel Dennis (I) maj. dec. Josh Baldridge (UNI), 17-7
141 – Alex Tsirtsis (I) maj. dec. Trent Washington (UNI), 14-2
149 – Brent Metcalf (I) tech. fall Charlie Ettelson (UNI), 24-9 in 6:25
157 – Tyson Reiner (UNI) dec. Matt Ballweg (I), 8-2
165 – Moza Fay (UNI) dec. Ryan Morningstar (I), 3-2
174 – Jay Borschel (I) pinned Jarion Beets (UNI), 4:10
184 – Phillip Keddy (I) won by forfeit
197 – Andrew Anderson (UNI) dec. Rick Loera (I), 10-5

Iowa has won its last 24 duals, and its last 20 duals away from Iowa City. The school record for overall consecutive dual wins is 42 (1994-97), and for consecutive away dual wins is 31 (1994-97). The 20 straight away duals rank second in school history.

Six Hawkeyes also have their own winning streaks to extend. Junior Brent Metcalf (149) has won his last 42 bouts, while junior Jay Borschel (174) is on an 12-match streak. Senior Charlie Falck (125) and junior Phillip Keddy (184) have each won their last 10 matches, and senior Alex Tsirtsis (141) has won his last eight.

Iowa set the national collegiate dual meet attendance record of 15,955 when it hosted #2 Iowa State Dec. 6 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The previous record of 15,646 was set Feb. 1, 2002, when Minnesota hosted Iowa at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes won the dual, 20-15.

Tickets for Iowa’s five remaining home duals are on sale at the UI Athletic Ticket Office at 800-464-2957, 319-335-9327 or www.hawkeyesports.com.

Against Wisconsin, Illinois, Bucknell and Purdue, tickets purchased in advance are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Tickets purchased at the meet are $12 for adults, $6 for youth. University of Iowa students and children ages five and under will be admitted free.

Against Minnesota, tickets purchased in advance are $13 for adults, $7 for youth and $2 for children ages five and under. Tickets purchased at the meet are $15 for adults, $8 for youth and $2 for children ages five and under. Due to the possibility of a sellout crowd, the first 1,000 general admission University of Iowa students will be admitted free of charge after they log-in to their student account at www.hawkeyesports.com to reserve a seat and download a free paper ticket. After that allotment is sold out, students may purchase reserved seats at the youth price.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 838-215-30 (.787) in 97 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 21 national titles and 32 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 49 NCAA champions have won a total of 76 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 14 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 135 all-Americans have earned all-America status 273 times, including 17 four-time, 27 three-time and 33 two-time honorees.

Top-ranked Iowa will wrestle at the 2009 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Jan. 10-11 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The two-day annual tournament features 16 teams from NCAA Division I, 12 from Division II, 15 from Division III and NAIA, eight NJCAA teams, seven NCWA teams and five women’s wrestling teams.

Iowa – the defending National Duals team champion – has wrestled in the event 16 times, and has a 58-10-3 all time record at the tournament. The Hawkeyes have won the title four times, placed second three times, third six times, fifth once and sixth once.

The Division I field includes eight of the top 10 ranked teams in the most recent USA Today/Intermat/NWCA coaches poll. Boise State, Buffalo, Cornell, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Wyoming will battle the Hawkeyes for the title. All-session tickets are $40 for adults and $32 for seniors and students. Individual session tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the UNI-Dome box office at 877-216-3663 or 319-273-4849.

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