Hawkeyes Earn Top Seed

Jan. 6, 2009

Top seed Iowa (10-0) will face unseeded Wyoming (3-0) in the first round of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Saturday at 9 a.m. 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.

The Division I field includes seven 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. Results will be available at www.unipanthers.com throughout the tournament.

Depending on the outcome of the Iowa-Wyoming dual, the Hawkeyes will face either the winner or loser of the #8 Minnesota-Buffalo dual Saturday at 1 p.m.

Wyoming is 3-0 on the season with wins over Stanford (34-10), Cal State Fullerton (20-15) and Columbia (21-18). The Cowboys, who are making their first appearance at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals, have competed in six tournaments this season.

Head Coach Mark Branch is in his first season at Wyoming. A four-time NCAA finalist for Oklahoma State, Branch served as an associate head coach at his alma mater for six seasons. He is assisted by Ben VomBaur and Travis Shufelt.

The Cowboys are led by a trio of redshirt freshmen who have all posted over 20 wins this season. Michael Martinez is 21-7 at 125, Shane Onufer is 28-5 at 174 and Joe LeBlanc is 26-4 at 184.

Iowa won the only previous meeting between the two schools – 21-6 in 1958.

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.

Radio – Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside will call the action for Iowa’s duals live on AM-800, KXIC. Live audio broadcasts from the entire tournament will be available online at www.hawkeyesports.com. To listen online, go to the wrestling schedule, click on the event and click on the Listen link. Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($14.95 per month or $119.95 per year). Takedown Wrestling Radio will also broadcast portions of the tournament at Takedownradio.com.

Television – ESPNU will air three taped-delay broadcasts of the championship finals. Air dates are scheduled for Jan. 17 at 1 a.m. (CT), Jan. 27 at Noon (CT) and Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m. (CT).

Internet – Tournament brackets and results will be updated throughout the weekend at www.unipanthers.com. Press releases, meet results and audio broadcasts are available on the University of Iowa’s website, www.hawkeyesports.com. Current staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at pics.hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa won its fourth NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals title, defeating all four opponents at the 2008 tournament in Cedar Falls. The second-seeded Hawkeyes opened the tournament with a 32-3 win over Cornell, defeated seventh-seeded Missouri (27-9) in the quarterfinals, sixth-seeded Michigan (23-13) in the semifinals and unseeded Nebraska (24-6) in the finals. Iowa posted a 32-8 mark over the four duals, and sophomore 149-pounder Brent Metcalf was named Division I Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Iowa has wrestled in 16 National Duals and has a 58-10-3 all time record in the tournament. Iowa has won the title four times (1992, 1995, 1996, 2008), placed second three times (1994, 1997, 1998), third six times (1990, 1991, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003), fifth once (2007) and sixth once (2006).

The following is the Division I tournament schedule for this weekend’s NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals:

Saturday, January 10
9-11 a.m. Championship Preliminary Round
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Championship Preliminary Round
1-3 p.m. Championship Quarterfinal, Consolation First Round
3-5 p.m. Championship Quarterfinal, Consolation First Round
5-7 p.m. Consolation Second Round
7-9 p.m. Consolation Third Round

Sunday, January 11
9-11 a.m. Seventh-Place Match
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Championship Semifinal
1-2:45 p.m. Third and Fifth-Place Matches
3-5 p.m. Championship Final

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, Dec. 30. The Hawkeyes tallied 156.5 points in 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. Iowa went 7-2 during the fourth and final session. Metcalf received the tournament’s Highest Point Total Award for scoring 27 team points during the competition.

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.

The Hawkeyes went 4-0 in the fourth session’s consolation bracket. Top-seeded junior 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 of Cleveland State, 7-3, in the fifth place match.

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. Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf (149) also has a winning streak of his own, winning his last 47 bouts.

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.

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Tom Brands, Terry Brands, Doug Schwab, Mike Zadick and Jared Frayer earned a total of one Olympic gold medal, one Olympic bronze medal, six NCAA titles, 11 conference titles and 15 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 487-83-2 (.858).

The top-ranked Hawkeyes will travel to Stillwater, OK, to face Oklahoma State (8-2) Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. The match will be held at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys have won the last nine meetings between the two teams, and hold a 12-5-1 advantage in Stillwater.

Complete 2009 Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals Brackets in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader