Hawkeyes Win Midlands Title

Dec. 30, 2008

EVANSTON, IL — The University of Iowa wrestling team won its 20th Midlands title in school history and crowned three individual champions at the 2008 tournament in Evanston, IL, Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes tallied 156.5 points over the two-day tournament, edging out runner-up Iowa State by three points for the team title. Hawkeye juniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Ryan Morningstar (165) each won individual titles, and Iowa went 7-2 in Tuesday night’s final round. Metcalf received the tournament’s Highest Point Total Award for scoring 27 team points during the competition, which was the most of any competitor.

Dennis picked up Iowa’s first title of the night and his first career Midlands title, upsetting Iowa State’s Nick Fanthorpe, 4-3, at 133. Dennis, the #4 seed, scored an escape and takedown in the second period to build a 3-0 lead over the second-seeded Cyclone. Fanthorpe scored an escape and reversal to tie the score at 3-3, but Dennis scored a third period escape to secure the win. Dennis improved to 12-1 on the season with the victory.

Top-seeded Metcalf won his second straight Midlands title with a 14-5 major decision over #3 Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin in the 149-pound final. The Hawkeye junior picked up his 50th career win with the victory and won his 47th straight match. He remains undefeated at 15-0 on the season.

Morningstar, the third seed at 165, scored an escape with four seconds left in the first tiebreak period to beat #4 Jon Reader of Iowa State, 5-4. Reader led the match 4-2 late in the third period, but Morningstar scored a takedown with three seconds left in regulation to force the match to overtime. Morningstar picked up his first Midlands title with the win and improved to 14-1 on the season.

Senior Alex Tsirtsis (141) and junior Phillip Keddy (184) were both the second seeds at their respective weight classes, and both lost their first matches of the season in the finals. Tsirtsis dropped a 10-3 decision to #8 Zach Tanelli of Wisconsin, while Keddy lost a 15-1 major decision to #1 seed Jake Herbert of Northwestern. Tsirtsis held a 3-2 lead early in the third period of his match, but took a brief injury timeout after colliding with Tanelli during an offensive flurry. After the timeout, Tanelli scored a takedown, rolled off two three-point nearfalls and secured the riding time point to win 10-3. Tsirtsis is now 11-1 this season, while Keddy is 13-1.

The Hawkeyes went 4-0 in the consolation bracket Tuesday night. Junior top-seed Jay Borschel placed third at 174 with a 4-1 win over #2 Raymond Jordan of Missouri. Junior Dan Erekson (Hwt.), sophomore Jake Kerr (165) and redshirt freshman Montell Marion (133) each placed fifth for Iowa. Kerr, who was unseeded, scored a 7-3 upset over #2 seed Nick Marable of Missouri. Eighth-seeded Erekson also upset #6 Rashawn Goff, 7-3, in the fifth place match.

Iowa’s next competition will be Jan. 10-11 at the 2009 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The Hawkeyes are the defending Division I team champion, and will be making their 16th appearance at the two-day annual tournament. The 2009 tournament will feature 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.

Place Team – Points
1. Iowa – 156.5
2. Iowa State – 153.5
3. Missouri – 121.5
4. Wisconsin – 98.5
5. Northwestern – 88.5
6. Central Michigan – 83
7. Purdue – 82.5
8. American – 57.5
9. Maryland – 56
10. Illinois – 54

133 – #4 Daniel Dennis (Iowa) dec. #2 Nick Fanthorpe (Iowa St.), 4-3
141 – #8 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) dec. #2 Alex Tsirtsis (Iowa), 10-3
149 – #1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) dec. #3 Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin), 14-5
165 – #3 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec. #4 Jon Reader (Iowa St.), 5-4 TB-1
184 – #1 Jake Herbert (Northwestern) maj. dec. #2 Phillip Keddy (Iowa), 15-1

174 – #1 Jay Borschel (Iowa) #3 dec. Raymond Jordan (Missouri), 4-1

133 – Montell Marion (Iowa-Unattached) won by medical forfeit over Tristen DeShazer (N. Illinois)
165 – Jake Kerr (Iowa-Unattached) dec. #2 Nick Marable (Missouri), 7-3
Hwt. – #8 Dan Erekson (Iowa) dec. #6 Rashard Goff (Cleveland St.),7-3

Final Midlands Team Standings in PDF Format

Final Midlands Brackets in PDF Format