Top-Ranked Hawkeyes Take First Big Ten Road Trip

Feb. 3, 2009

Top-ranked Iowa (18-0, 2-0 Big Ten) will hit the road for its first Big Ten road trip of the season. The Hawkeyes will wrestle at Michigan State (6-4, 1-2) Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) at Jenison Field House in East Lansing. Iowa will then face #22/#17 Penn State (7-8-2, 0-2-2) Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) at Rec Hall in University Park.

Radio – Steven Grace and two-time Hawkeye NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside will call the action live on AM-800, KXIC and Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($14.95 per month or $119.95 per year).

Internet – Press releases, meet results and audio broadcasts are available on the University of Iowa’s website, Current staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at

Michigan State is 6-4 (1-2 Big Ten) with wins over North Carolina (18-12), North Carolina State (23-13), Eastern Michigan (18-15), West Virginia (25-15), Ohio (26-6) and Wisconsin (25-17), and losses to Virginia (15-23), Northwestern (6-31) and Minnesota (6-30).

Head Coach Tom Minkel is 134-156-3 in 18 years at Michigan State, and 148-174-3 in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Minkel is assisted by Roger Chandler (Indiana, 1997) and Chris Williams (Michigan State, 2002). The Spartans are led by junior 133-pounder Franklin Gomez. The 2008 Big Ten champion and all-American is 13-1 and ranked first in the nation by W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News, and sixth by Intermat./NWCA/NWMA.

Penn State is 7-8-2 (0-2-2 Big Ten) with wins over Virginia (19-15), Edinboro (24-16), Binghamton (36-8), West Virginia (27-10), Missouri (20-19) Lock Haven (36-3), Michigan (21-18); losses to Hofstra (15-18), Cornell (10-24), Lehigh (16-17), Nebraska (16-20), Minnesota (18-21), Boise State (15-22), Minnesota (19-20) and Wisconsin (13-28); and ties with Indiana (17-17) and Purdue (19-19).

Head Coach Troy Sunderland is 114-86-2 in 12 seasons at Penn State. He is assisted by former Hawkeye Mark Perry (Iowa, 2008), Matt Dernlan (Liberty, 1996) and Aaron Anspach (Penn State, 2007). Perry was a two-time NCAA champion and four-time all-American for the Hawkeyes from 2005-08.

The Nittany Lions are led by senior Jake Strayer (133), juniors Bubba Jenkins (149) and Dan Vallimont (165) and sophomore Brad Pataky (125). Jenkins, who lost a 14-8 decision to Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf in the NCAA finals, is 19-0, but is listed as day-to-day since sustaining an injury during Penn State’s Jan. 23 dual with Indiana. Vallimont recently moved up to 165 and has a 15-6 season record. Strayer is 14-3, while Pataky is 23-5.

There are five marquee match-ups based on the probable starters for this weekend’s duals. The individual rankings listed below are the most recent from the NWCA/Intermat/NWCA poll.

Iowa vs. Michigan State
133 – #1 Daniel Dennis vs. #6 Franklin Gomez
This will be the first meeting between Dennis and Gomez, and it will be a very important one in terms of seeding for the Big Ten tournament. Dennis is 19-2 on the season and has won his last four matches. Gomez, who is 13-1, is the defending Big Ten champion and placed third at the 2008 NCAA meet. His only loss of the season was a 6-5 decision to Minnesota’s Jayson Ness on Jan. 25.

Iowa vs. Penn State
125 – #4 Charlie Falck vs. #13 Brad Pataky
This will be the first meeting between Falck and Pataky. Falck opens the weekend with a 15-1 record, while Pataky is 23-5. Pataky has won 13 of his last 14 bouts, including a 4-3 decision over defending Big Ten champion Angel Escobedo of Indiana on Jan. 23. Falck has won his last three matches after returning from an ankle injury suffered at the Midlands Championships.

133 – #1 Daniel Dennis vs. #9 Jake Strayer
Dennis has a 0-1 career record against Strayer, losing a 10-7 decision at the 2006 Iowa-Penn State dual. Strayer, who has a 14-3 season record, is 4-0 in Big Ten duals. Both wrestlers enter the weekend on four-match winning streaks.

141 – #1 Brent Metcalf vs. #2 Bubba Jenkins
If Jenkins is healthy enough to compete, this would be a rematch of the 2008 NCAA Championship finals. Metcalf has a 3-0 lead in the series, scoring a 14-8 win in the NCAA finals, a 15-3 major decision at the 2008 Big Ten Championship semifinals and a 5:33 pin at the 2008 Iowa-Penn State dual in Iowa City. Jenkins is 19-0, but has not competed since his injury Jan. 23. Metcalf enters the weekend on a 55-match winning streak and boasts a season record of 24-0.

165 – #3 Ryan Morningstar vs. #20 Dan Vallimont
Vallimont recently moved up to 165 after the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, and has a 15-6 season record. Morningstar lost both previous meetings (6-2 at tne 2008 dual and 2-1 in the first round of the 2008 Big Ten Championships). The Hawkeye junior is 20-3 this season.

Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands picked up his 30th career victory as Iowa pounded Michigan State, 33-9, Feb. 11, 2007, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes improved to 13-4 (4-2 Big Ten) with wins in eight bouts in front of 5,035 fans, including an upset by sophomore Charlie Falck (125) and a pin by sophomore Jordan McLaughlin (197) in his Iowa wrestling debut. Michigan State fell to 3-8 (2-4 in the Big Ten).

Falck handed Spartan redshirt freshman Franklin Gomez his second dual loss of the season with a 5-3 win at 125. The Strawberry Point, IA, native scored a takedown in the first 30 seconds and another with one second remaining to secure his eighth straight victory and remain undefeated (6-0) in Big Ten duals. Michigan State scored its first of two wins on the day when Nick Simmons won by injury default over senior Mario Galanakis in 2:23 at 133. Junior Alex Tsirtsis accepted a forfeit at 141, and senior Alex Grunder followed up with a 5:32 pin over Spartan Jeff Wimberley at 149 to score his 30th career victory. Hawkeye redshirt freshman 157-pounder Ryan Morningstar took Iowa into the intermission with a 3-2 win over Tony Greathouse.

Iowa junior Mark Perry climbed out of a sticky situation to defeat Spartan Rocky Cozart, 9-7, at 165. Perry had to bounce back from a 5-0 deficit after getting caught in his own offensive move and fighting off his back early in the match. He scored three reversals, two nearfall points and a point for riding time in the win. Hawkeye senior Eric Luedke improved to 23-2 with a 2-1 win over John Murphy at 174. Michigan State scored its second and final win of the night when Joe Williams defeated Hawkeye redshirt freshman Phillip Keddy, 6-3, at 184.

Iowa sophomore 197-pounder Jordan McLaughlin made his Hawkeye wrestling and Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut a wild one, pinning Nick Palmieri in 6:33. Palmeiri scored three takedowns and two escapes to build an 8-4 lead with 1:04 remaining in the match. McLaughlin threw the Spartan redshirt freshman to his back and got the pin with 27 seconds left on the clock. McLaughlin was no stranger to the black and gold, as he has played linebacker and fullback on the Iowa football team. Hawkeye junior Matt Fields ended the dual with an 8-4 win over Alan O’Donnell at heavyweight.

Iowa 33, Michigan State 9
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Franklin Gomez (MSU), 5-3
133 – Nick Simmons (MSU) won by inj. default over Mario Galanakis (I), 2:23
141 – Alex Tsirtsis (I) won by forfeit
149 – Alex Grunder (I) pinned Jeff Wimberley (MSU), 5:32
157 – Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Tony Greathouse (MSU), 3-2
165 – Mark Perry (I) dec. Rocky Cozart (MSU), 9-7
174 – Eric Luedke (I) dec. John Murphy (MSU), 2-1
184 – Joe Williams (MSU) dec. Phillip Keddy (I), 6-3
197 – Jordan McLaughlin (I) pinned Nick Palmieri (MSU), 6:33
Hwt. – Matt Fields (I) dec. Alan O’Donnell (MSU), 8-4

The top-ranked Hawkeyes extended their winning streak to six matches with a 27-13 win over #7 Penn State (8-3, 0-1 Big Ten) Jan. 20, 2008, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) snapped Penn State’s two-match win streak in the series, taking seven of the 10 bouts. A crowd of 7,525 gathered to watch Iowa win its 820th dual win in school history.

The dual started at 174 pounds, and Iowa jumped out to an 8-0 lead on wins by two Hawkeye sophomores. Jay Borschel (174) posted an 11-5 decision over Mark Friend and Phillip Keddy (184) scored a 19-3 technical fall in 6:35 over Philip Bomberger. Penn State answered at 197 when #2 Philip Davis pinned sophomore Chad Beatty in 4:57, to tighten the team score at 8-6.

Iowa rolled off five straight wins and 19 unanswered team points to guarantee the win. Senior Matt Fields started the run with his 80th career win – a 7-3 decision over John Laboranti at heavyweight. Junior Charlie Falck followed with a 2-0 win over Mark McKnight at 125, extending his winning streak to 11 matches and remaining undefeated in duals (14-0). Sophomore Joe Slaton picked up extra team points at 133 with his 14-6 major decision over Tim Haas. At 141, sophomore Dan LeClere scored a late takedown to defeat Garrett Scott, 4-3. Sophomore Brent Metcalf fought off his back and rebounded from a 6-1 first-period deficit at 149, pinning Bubba Jenkins in 5:33. The win was Metcalf’s 15th straight as he improved to 18-1, 13-1 in duals.

The Nittany Lions closed out the dual with wins at 157 and 165. Sophomore Ryan Morningstar (157) dropped a 6-2 decision to Dan Vallimont and redshirt freshman Aaron Janssen (165) lost an 11-3 major decision to Dave Rella. Janssen was competing for injured starter Mark Perry.

Iowa 27, Penn State 13
174 – Jay Borschel (I) dec. Mark Friend (PSU), 11-5
184 – Phillip Keddy (I) tech. fall Philip Bomberger (PSU), 19-3 in 6:35
197 – Philip Davis (PSU) pinned Chad Beatty (I), 4:57
Hwt. – Matt Fields (I) dec. John Laboranti (PSU), 7-3
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Mark McKnight (PSU), 2-0
133 – Joe Slaton (I) maj. dec. Tim Haas (PSU), 14-6
141 – Dan LeClere (I) dec. Garrett Scott (PSU), 4-3
149 – Brent Metcalf (I) pinned Bubba Jenkins (PSU), 5:33
157 – Dan Vallimont (PSU) dec. Ryan Morningstar (I), 6-2
165 – Dave Rella (PSU) maj. dec. Aaron Janssen (I), 11-3

Michigan State – Iowa leads the series, 31-15-2, and has a 12-9-1 record in East Lansing. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting (33-9) in 2007. Michigan State’s last win in the series was 19-17 in 2006 at East Lansing.

Penn State – Iowa leads the series, 22-6-2, and holds a 9-3-1 advantage in University Park. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting (27-13) in Iowa City last season. Penn State’s last win in the series was 24-13 at University Park in 2007.

For dates and more information about 2009 University of Iowa Wrestling Summer camps visit

Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands collected his 70th career victory last Friday night as his top-ranked Iowa wrestlers defeated Bucknell, 40-3, in front of 5,525 fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The top-ranked Hawkeyes improved to 18-0 on the season (2-0 Big Ten) and have won their last 32 duals. Iowa scored 32 takedowns in the dual, holding Bucknell (8-8, 2-2 EIWA) to one.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 23-0 lead with wins at the first six weights. Hawkeye senior Charlie Falck opened the dual at 125 with a 9-3 decision over Derek Reber to remain undefeated in dual competition (13-0). Iowa junior Daniel Dennis followed with his 35th career win at 133 – a 14-4 major decision over David Marble. Hawkeye senior Alex Tsirtsis showed no ill effects after having a wisdom tooth removed earlier in the week, sticking Adam Healey in 1:22 at 141. Iowa junior 149-pounder Brent Metcalf posted his 55th straight win to remain undefeated (24-0) with a 4:20 pin over Kevin LeValley. Hawkeye sophomore Matt Ballweg posted his 20th career win with an 8-0 win over Tyler Riccio at 157. Iowa junior Ryan Morningstar posted his 20th season win with a 2-1 win over Andy Rendos at 165.

Bucknell won its only match of the dual at 174 where Iowa sophomore Colby Covington was wrestling for injured Hawkeye starter Jay Borschel. Covington lost a 7-2 decision to Bucknell’s Shane Riccio. Hawkeye junior Phillip Keddy got Iowa back on the winning track with a 14-0 major decision over David Thompson at 184. Keddy is now 18-0 in dual matches and has won his last eight bouts. Iowa junior Chad Beatty scored 13 takedowns to post a 26-11 technical fall in 6:20 over Rob Waltko at 197. Iowa junior Dan Erekson closed out the dual for the Hawkeyes by accepting a forfeit at heavyweight.

Iowa 40, Bucknell 3
125 – Charlie Falck (I) dec. Derek Reber (B), 9-3
133 – Daniel Dennis (I) maj. dec. David Marble (B), 14-4
141 – Alex Tsirtsis (I) pinned Adam Healey (B), 1:22
149 – Brent Metcalf (I) pinned Kevin LeValley (B), 4:20
157 – Matt Ballweg (I) maj. dec. Tyler Riccio (B), 8-0
165 – Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Andy Rendos (B), 2-1
174 – Shane Riccio (B) dec. Colby Covington (I), 7-2
184 – Phillip Keddy (I) maj. dec. David Thompson (B), 14-0
197 – Chad Beatty (I) tech. fall Rob Waltko (B), 26-11 in 6:20
Hwt. – Dan Erekson (I) won by forfeit

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 Iowa State dual, 20-15.

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

Against 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. UI 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 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 has won its last 32 duals, and its last 25 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 32 straight wins ranks third in school history, while the 25 away victories rank second.

Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf (149) also has a winning streak of his own, winning his last 55 bouts. Former Hawkeye Jim Zalesky (1981-84) holds the school record for consecutive wins with 89.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 846-215-30 (.789) 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.

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