Hawkeyes Head To NCAA Championships

March 16, 2009

Iowa’s nine qualifiers will compete for the school’s 22nd NCAA team title at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Thursday-Saturday, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Competition is set to start Thursday at 11 a.m. (CT).

The Scottrade Center was the site for the NCAA meet in 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2008. The NCAA, University of Missouri and the St. Louis Sports Commission will co-host the event.

Iowa enters the tournament as the defending team champion. The Hawkeyes have put together a series of title streaks, placing first nine straight times from 1978-86, six times from 1995-2000, three times from 1991-93 and two times from 1975-76.

Tickets to the event are available at (800) 745-3000, (314) 241-1888 or ticketmaster.com. All-session tickets are priced based on seat location. The price breakdown is as follows: Plaza – $150, Mezzanine Center & Mezzanine Corner (1st 2 rows) – $120, Mezzanine Corner & Mezzanine End (1st 2 rows) – $95, Mezzanine End – $60.

Updated brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at www.ncaasports.com.

Iowa is one of six schools to qualify nine wrestlers for the national tournament. It is the seventh time in school history that the Hawkeyes have qualified nine competitors. The other years were 1977, 1980, 1984, 1999, 2000 and 2008. Iowa qualified its entire 10-man lineup 17 times, the last being in 2004.

Boise State, Cornell, Illinois, Ohio State and Oklahoma State also qualified nine competitors. Iowa State is the only school in the nation to qualify its entire 10-man lineup. Central Michigan, Edinboro, Hofstra, Missouri and Oklahoma each qualified eight.

Session # – Day – Time (CDT) – Mats – Competition – TV/Internet Coverage
Session I – Thursday – 11 a.m. – 8 – Pigtails & 1st Round – —
Session II – Thursday – 6:30 p.m. – 8 – Consolation Prelims, 1st Round – —
Session III – Friday – 10 a.m. – 8 – Championship Quarterfinals, Consolation 2nd & 3rd Rounds – ESPNU, ESPN360.com
Session IV – Friday – 6 p.m. – 6 – Championship Semifinals, Consolation 4th & 5th Rounds – ESPN2, ESPNU
Session V – Saturday – 9:30 a.m. – 6 – Consolation Semifinals, 3rd-5th-7th Place Matches – ESPNU, ESPN360.com
Session VI – Saturday – 5:30 p.m. – 1 – Championship Finals – ESPN, ESPN360.com

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 www.hawkeyesports.com. Broadcasts are available using the Hawkeye All-Access subscription ($14.95 per month or $119.95 per year).

Television – Sessions III and V will be aired live on ESPNU, session IV will be shown live on ESPN2 and ESPNU and the championship finals will be aired live on ESPN.

Internet – ESPN360.com will air a live simulcast for sessions III, V and the championship finals. 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 holds five NCAA Championship records. The Hawkeyes hold records for most team points scored (170 in 1997), largest margin of victory (73.25 points in 1986), number of consecutive team titles (nine from 1978-86), most finalists (six in 1986 and 1997) and most individual champions (five in 1986 and 1997).

Ten Hawkeyes have been named Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA Championships since the award was first given in 1932. They are Chuck Yagla (1976), Bruce Kinseth (1979), Jim Zalesky (1984), Barry Davis (1985), Marty Kistler (1986), Tom Brands (1992), Terry Steiner (1993), Lincoln McIlravy (1997), Joe Williams (1998) and Brent Metcalf (2008).

The top-ranked Hawkeye wrestling team won its second straight Big Ten title, and the school’s 33rd, while crowning two individual champions at the 2009 Big Ten Wrestling Championships March 8 at University Park, PA. The Hawkeyes tallied 141 points over the two-day tournament, automatically qualifying nine wrestlers for the upcoming NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO. Illinois placed second with 113.5.

Hawkeye juniors Brent Metcalf (149) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) won individual conference titles for Iowa. Metcalf was named Outstanding Wrestler of the meet for the second straight season, becoming the first Big Ten wrestler to earn the honor twice since it was first awarded in 1989. Iowa Head Coach Tom Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Former Hawkeye Head Coach Dan Gable was the last Iowa coach to earn the honor consecutive seasons (1995-96).

It was the first time that Iowa won two straight Big Ten team titles since the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and the first time the Hawkeyes crowned more than one Big Ten champion since 2003.

Metcalf became the first Hawkeye to win back-to-back Big Ten titles since Cliff Moore (2003-04) when he pinned #2 Bubba Jenkins of Penn State in 4:52 in the finals match. The pin boosts his season total to 18 falls, which ranks ninth in school history. The top-seeded junior pinned three opponents and scored one major decision en route to his title and outstanding wrestler honors. Metcalf is now 33-0 on the season and has won his last 65 bouts.

Erekson won his first Big Ten title with a 10-2 major decision over #3 Kyle Massey of Wisconsin in the heavyweight finals. The top-seeded junior is Iowa’s first Big Ten champion at heavyweight since Steve Mocco in 2003.

Third-seeded Hawkeye juniors Ryan Morningstar (165) and Phillip Keddy (184) both placed second at their respective weight classes. Morningstar lost a 2-1 decision in the tiebreak period to top-seeded Andrew Howe of Wisconsin in the 165-pound final, while Keddy lost an 8-1 decision to top-seeded Jake Herbert of Northwestern in the 184-pound final.

Iowa seniors Charlie Falck (125-3rd) and Alex Tsirtsis (141-4th), and juniors Daniel Dennis (133-5th), Jay Borschel (174-3rd) and Chad Beatty (197-4th) wrestled back through the consolation bracket to place at the Big Ten meet and earn NCAA automatic bids. Falck, who was seeded second, scored his 90th career victory with a 5-4 win over #5 Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals before posting a 13-3 major decision over #4 Brad Pataky of Penn State for third place. Borschel, the 174-pound #2 seed, also placed third with a 7-0 win over #4 Dave Rella of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals and a 3:10 pin of #5 John Dergo of Illinois in the placing match. Tsirtsis posted his 25th season win in the consolation semifinals, using an escape in the tiebreak period to beat #4 Mike Thorn of Minnesota, 2-1. The third-seeded Hawkeye lost a close 4-3 decision to #5 J Jaggers of Ohio State to place fourth. Beatty scored a takedown and nearfall points as time expired to post a 6-3 win over #4 Gordon Bierschenk of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals, ensuring his bid to the NCAA meet. Beatty, who was seeded third, posted a medical forfeit to #5 Patrick Bond to place fourth. Dennis, who was the top seed at 133, lost a 4-3 decision to #3 Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois in the consolation semifinals before bouncing back with an 11-7 win over #6 Jake Strayer of Penn State for fifth place.

The Hawkeyes earned their second straight Big Ten regular season title Feb. 22 when they defeated Northwestern, 34-13, in Evanston,IL, going undefeated (24-0, 8-0 Big Ten) in dual competition for the 2008-09 season.

It was the first time the Hawkeyes posted an undefeated season since 1999-2000, and the team ended the regular season on a 37-match winning streak. The school record for consecutive dual wins is 42 (1994-97). The current streak ranks second in school history.

The Hawkeyes have posted 12 undefeated and untied seasons in school history, and the 2009 season produced the most victories ever.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes won the school’s 21st national title and crowned two individual champions in senior Mark Perry and sophomore Brent Metcalf at the 2008 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO. It was Iowa’s first team title since 2000, and the first time the Hawkeyes crowned more than one NCAA champion since Doug Schwab and T.J. Williams won titles in 1999. Iowa scored 117.5 team points in the victory, more than doubling its NCAA point total (57) from 2007. Ohio State placed second with 79 points and Penn State placed third with 75. Iowa and Ohio State were the only teams with two individual champions.

Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands was named 2008 NWCA Coach of the Year and Metcalf was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships. Brands is the fourth Hawkeye coach to earn the honor, and the first since Jim Zalesky in 1999. Metcalf is the 10th wrestler in Hawkeye history to earn the honor, and the first since Joe Williams in 1998.

Metcalf was Iowa’s first champion of the night, beating Penn State’s Bubba Jenkins, 14-8, in the 149-pound finals. Jenkins scored two takedowns in the first period to take a 4-2 lead, but Metcalf followed with an escape and a takedown with a five-point move to close out the second period and go up 10-5. The Davision, MI, native secured his 35th win of the season with two third-period takedowns. Metcalf ends the season with a 35-1 record and on a 32-match winning streak.

Hawkeye senior Mark Perry became Iowa’s 14th two-time NCAA champion when he defeated Michigan’s Eric Tannenbaum in the 165-pound finals, 5-2. It was the fifth time that the two had met, with each wrestler owning two wins. Perry scored a takedown in the first 19 seconds of the match and rode Tannenbaum the entire first period. He took a 3-0 lead early in the second period on an optional start escape, but injured his right knee in a scramble. Perry injured the same knee in January and sat out the entire Big Ten dual season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Tannenbaum scored a third-period takedown to make the score 3-2, but released Perry and did not score again. Perry’s riding time point made the final score 5-2. The Stillwater, OK, native ended his Hawkeye career with a 96-16 record, going 20-3 this season. He is Iowa’s 17th four-time all-American.

Hawkeye sophomore Joe Slaton was Iowa’s third NCAA finalist, facing senior Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State in the 133-pound finals. Scott caught Slaton in an opening scramble and locked up a tight cradle, recording the pin in 49 seconds. The Hawkeye sophomore ends the season with a 31-5 record, picking up his first all-America honor.

The Hawkeyes crowned a total of seven all-Americans, which is the highest number for Iowa since 2001. Sophomore Jay Borschel (174) placed third, while senior Matt Fields (Hwt.) placed fifth, and junior Charlie Falck (125) and sophomore Phillip Keddy (184) placed sixth.

Hawkeye junior Brent Metcalf is looking to defend his 149-pound NCAA title in St. Louis this weekend. If he is successful, he would be the 15th two-time NCAA champion in Hawkeye school history.

Ranked first in the nation, Metcalf enters the tournament on a 65-match winning streak with an undefeated season record of 33-0 and a career mark of 68-1.

The Davison, MI, native won his second conference title earlier this month, pinning second-ranked Bubba Jenkins of Penn State in 4:52. For his efforts, Metcalf was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships for the second straight season, becoming the first Big Ten wrestler to earn the honor two years in a row. He pinned three opponents at the conference meet, raising his season pin total to 18, which ranks ninth in school history.

The two-time Midlands champion leads the team in several statistical categories this season, including collegiate wins (33), collegiate winning percentage (1.000), dual wins (24), dual winning percentage (1.000), team points scored in dual competition (123), falls (18) and technical falls (7). He was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week Feb. 24, and has scored team bonus points in 19 straight bouts.

Metcalf racked up the conference and national honors in 2008. He received the Dan Hodge Trophy, which is annually presented to the nationa’s top collegiate wrestler, and was named the Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year. He was also named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships and the Division I competition at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals. Metcalf was also named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week Jan. 16 and Jan. 23, becoming the first wrestler in conference history to earn the honor in consecutive weeks. He was also named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week twice.

Iowa’s nine NCAA qualifiers have combined for one national title, six all-America honors and 21 NCAA appearances.

Senior Charlie Falck (125) is a two-time all-American who has wrestled at two national tournaments. Senior Alex Tsirtsis (141) will be wrestling at his fourth NCAA tournament, earning all-America honors in 2006. Juniors Ryan Morningstar (165) and Phillip Keddy (184) are also making their third NCAA appearance, with Keddy earning all-America honors last season. Juniors Brent Metcalf (149), Jay Borschel (174) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) are competing at their second NCAA tournament. Metcalf and Borschel each earned all-America honors last season, with Metcalf winning the 149-pound NCAA title. Juniors Daniel Dennis (133) and Chad Beatty (197) are each making their first NCAA appearance.

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.

Iowa also led the nation with an average home dual meet attendance figure of 8,008 for the 2008-09 season. That total is also believed to be a national record.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 852-215-30 (.790) in 97 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 21 national titles and 33 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’ 102 Big Ten champions have won a total of 184 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 25 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.

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).

For dates and more information about 2009 Iowa Wrestling Summer camps visit www.iowawrestlingcamps.com.

Following are the future sites, dates and hosts for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

2010: Mar. 18-20 – Omaha, NE – Quest Center
Hosts: Omaha Sports Commission, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2011: Mar. 17-19 – Philadelphia, PA – Wachovia Center
Hosts: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Rider University

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