Dennis Earns Big Ten Honor

Feb. 2, 2010

PARK RIDGE, IL — University of Iowa 133-pound wrestler Daniel Dennis has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the second time in his career. The senior from Ingleside, IL, earned the honor for upsetting top-ranked Franklin Gomez of Michigan State and beating Penn State’s Bryan Pearsall in duals last weekend. Dennis helped the Hawkeyes extend their dual match winning streak to 56 with wins over #13 Penn State (29-6) and Michigan State (37-0) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dennis, who is ranked between third and eighth nationally, scored a 3-2 win in the first tiebreak period over defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Franklin Gomez. Gomez, a senior who was ranked first in the nation, entered the dual on a 29-match winning streak. Dennis was the last collegiate wrestler to beat Gomez, scoring a 3-2 decision at the dual in East Lansing last season, earning him his first Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor. After a scoreless first period, Gomez scored a quick escape in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Dennis started down in the third period and scored a reversal to take a 2-1 lead. Gomez escaped with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 2-2. Dennis had only accumulated 59 seconds of riding time when Gomez escaped, so the match went to overtime. Neither wrestler scored in the one minute sudden victory period. Dennis started down in the first 30-second tiebreak period, escaping with 16 seconds left to take a 3-2 lead. Gomez needed an escape in the second 30-second tiebreak to force the match to a second sudden victory period, but Dennis rode him out to hold on for the 3-2 win.

Iowa’s 37-0 shut out of Michigan State was the sixth for the Hawkeyes this season, which sets a new school record. The previous record of five was set during the 1980-81, 1989-90, 1990-91 and 2008-09 seasons.

Friday night Dennis scored a 17-7 major decision over Pearsall, who is not ranked. The Hawkeye senior snatched seven takedowns while allowing none.

With the wins, Dennis is now 12-1 in collegiate and dual matches this season, while going 4-0 in Big Ten duals. He has a career record of 59-25 and has won his last four matches.

It’s the fourth time this season a Hawkeye wrestler has been named Big Ten wrestler of the week. Hawkeye seniors Brent Metcalf (149-Jan. 5) and Jay Borschel (174-Jan. 12), and sophomore Montell Marion (133-Jan. 19) were honored last month. It was the first time, since the Big Ten Conference started awarding the weekly honor during the 2001-02 season, that wrestlers from the same team earned the honor in three consecutive weeks.

Up next for Iowa is a trip West to face Utah Valley (7-2, 2-1 WWC) Saturday at 8 p.m. (CT) in Hawkeye senior Phillip Keddy’s hometown of Vernal, UT. Iowa will wrestle the Wolverines at the Uintah High School Gymnasium.