Hawkeyes Lead Big Ten Team Race

March 6, 2010

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ANN ARBOR, MI — The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team started its march toward the team’s third-straight Big Ten title with a flawless first round Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor, MI. The Hawkeyes went 15-0, scoring team bonus points in nine bouts, to advance all 10 wrestlers into Saturday night’s championship semifinals. Iowa leads the team race with 93 points, and is the only school with 10 semifinalists. Penn State is in second place with 59 points and seven semifinalists, while Minnesota is in third (56.5 points, six semifinalists).

Iowa’s session started with a pin from redshirt freshman 125-pounder Matt McDonough and ended with a pin from senior heavyweight Dan Erekson. McDonough, Erekson, seniors Ryan Morningstar (165) and Jay Borschel (174), and sophomore Montell Marion (141) each drew preliminary matches and went 2-0 on the round. Seniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149), Phillip Keddy (184) and Chad Beatty (197), and junior Jake Kerr (157) all won their quarterfinal bouts to advance to the semifinals. McDonough (31-0), Metcalf (30-0), Borschel (30-0) and Erekson (10-0) all remain undefeated on the season.

McDonough, who is seeded second, didn’t act like it was his first time wrestling at the Big Ten Championships. He led Michigan State’s Brennan Lyon, 8-0, before scoring the pin in 4:33 to open the tournament for Iowa. McDonough then scored nine third-period points in his match with Illinois’ John Deneen to pick up a 13-5 major decision. The Hawkeye redshirt freshman will face #3 seed Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the semifinals. The Marion, IA, native is 2-0 in his collegiate career against Sanders, winning a 6-4 major decision at National Duals in January and a 13-2 major decision at last month’s dual in Minneapolis.

Marion, who is also making his first Big Ten tournament appearance, scored a takedown in the last 10 seconds to record a 14-5 major decision in his match with Michigan’s Mark Weber. The win was the 20th of the season and 30th of his career. Marion, who is seeded third, trailed #6 seed Juan Archuleta of Purdue, 3-1, in the second period of their quarterfinal bout. The Hawkeye sophomore scored a late takedown to tie the score a 3-3, then followed with a third-period escape and takedown to take a 6-3 lead. Archuleta scored a late reversal to make the score 6-5, but Marion’s 1:28 of riding time gave him an extra point for the 7-5 win. Marion will face #2 seed Mike Thorn of Minnesota in the semifinals. The pair has split their two collegiate meetings, with Thorn pinning Marion in 42 seconds at the National Duals in January and Marion scoring a 15-7 major decision at the dual in February.

Morningstar held Purdue’s Jason Martin scoreless with an 8-0 victory in the preliminary round, and followed with a 3-0 win over Minnesota’s Cody Yohn in the quarterfinals to collect his 105th career and 25th season victories. The second-seeded Hawkeye senior will face #3 seed Colt Sponseller of Ohio State in the semifinals. Morningstar is 3-0 against Sponseller, winning overtime decisions at the 2009 Big Ten and NCAA tournaments and a 1-0 victory at the dual in February.

Borschel, who is the top seed at 174, recorded his 90th career victory when he stuck Indiana’s Nick Avery in 3:53 in the opening round. The Hawkeye senior then followed with a close 2-0 win over Michigan’s Justin Zeerip to collect his 30th win of the season. Borschel will face #5 seed Jordan Blanton of Illinois in the semifinals. It will be the pair’s first collegiate meeting.

Erekson, who is the defending Big Ten champion and seeded second at heavyweight, was the second Hawkeye of the day to score extra team points in both of his matches. He scored late nearfall points to post a 9-1 major decision over Purdue’s David Pisarcik and collected his 27th career pin by sticking Michigan’s Ben Apland in 1:17. Erekson will face #3 seed Cameron Wade of Penn State in the semifinals. The Hawkeye senior won their previous meeting, 6-1, at the dual in January.

Dennis, the second seed at 133, improved to 17-2 on the season with his 4-0 victory over Ohio State’s Ian Paddock in the quarterfinals. He will face #3 Franklin Gomez of Michigan State Saturday night. Dennis is 2-0 against Gomez in collegiate competition, scoring a 3-2 decision at the 2009 dual and a 3-2 victory in the first tiebreak period at the dual in January.

Metcalf began his run at a third straight Big Ten title by pinning Purdue’s Nick Bertucci in 1:08, which is the quickest fall of the tournament so far. The win was Metcalf’s 30th of the season and the pin was the 47th of his career, which ranks seventh all-time at Iowa. The top seed at 149, Metcalf will face #4 seed Frank Molinaro of Penn State in the semifinals. Metcalf pinned Molinaro in 3:56 at the dual in January.

Kerr, who is also making his first Big Ten appearance, scored his 10th season and 20th career win with a 5-3 decision over Ohio State’s Sean Nemec in the quarterfinals. Kerr, who is seeded fourth, will face top seed Colton Salazar of Purdue in the semifinals. Salazar won their only meeting – 6-4 in sudden victory – at the January dual.

Keddy scored three second-period takedowns and added two more in the third to post a 14-4 major decision over Minnesota’s Kaleb Young in the quarterfinals. The #3 seed, Keddy will face #2 seed Dave Erwin of Penn State in the semifinals. Erwin handed Keddy his only Big Ten dual loss of the 2010 season, with a 6-4 victory in January at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Beatty, who sat out the entire Big Ten dual season due to injury, made his return to the mat with a 6-0 victory over #8 seed Cody Magrum of Ohio State. The top-seeded Hawkeye senior scored an early takedown and three nearfall points, then added a point for collecting 2:16 of riding time to advance to the semifinals. He will face #5 seed Sonny Yohn of Minnesota Saturday night. It will be the pair’s first collegiate meeting.

Saturday’s second session of competition, which includes the championship semifinals and two rounds of consolation matches, will begin at 5 p.m. (CT) at Crisler Arena. Hawkeye fans can listen to Steven Grace and former Hawkeye two-time NCAA champion and four-time all-American Mark Ironside call the action live on AM-800 KXIC Radio in Iowa City or www.hawkeyesports.com using the XXL All-Access Subscription. Live results and updated tournament brackets will be available throughout the championships at www.bigten.org and www.mgoblue.com.

Place Team – Points
1. Iowa – 93
2. Penn State – 59
3. Minnesota – 56.5
4. Wisconsin – 47.5
5. Ohio State – 46
6. Michigan State – 28
7. Illinois – 22
8. Indiana – 20
9. Purdue – 18
10. Michigan – 16
11. Northwestern – 4

Preliminary Round Matches
125 – #2 Matt McDonough (I) pinned Brennan Lyon (Michigan State), 4:33
141 – #3 Montell Marion (I) maj. dec. Mark Weber (Michigan), 14-5
165 – #2 Ryan Morningstar (I) maj. dec. Jason Martin (Purdue), 8-0
174 – #1 Jay Borschel (I) pinned Nick Avery (Indiana), 3:53
Hwt. – #2 Dan Erekson (I) maj. dec. David Pisarcik (Purdue), 10-1

Championship Quarterfinals
125 – #2 Matt McDonough (I) maj. dec. #7 John Deneen (Illinois), 13-5
133 – #2 Daniel Dennis (I) dec. #7 Ian Paddock (Ohio State), 4-0
141 – #3 Montell Marion (I) dec. #6 Juan Archuleta (Purdue), 7-5
149 – #1 Brent Metcalf (I) pinned #8 Nick Bertucci (Purdue), 1:08
157 – #4 Jake Kerr (I) dec. #5 Sean Nemec (Ohio State), 5-3
165 – #2 Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. #7 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 3-0
174 – #1 Jay Borschel (I) dec. #8 Justin Zeerip (Ohio State), 2-0
184 – #3 Phillip Keddy (I) maj. dec. Kaleb Young (Minnesota), 14-4
197 – #1 Chad Beatty (I) dec. #8 Cody Magrum (Ohio State), 6-0
Hwt. – #2 Dan Erekson (I) pinned #7 Ben Apland (Michigan), 1:17

125 – #2 Matt McDonough (I) vs. #3 Zach Sanders (Minnesota)
133 – #2 Daniel Dennis (I) vs. #3 Franklin Gomez (Michigan State)
141 – #3 Montell Marion (I) vs. #2 Mike Thorn (Minnesota)
149 – #1 Brent Metcalf (I) vs. #4 Frank Molinaro (Penn State)
157 – #4 Jake Kerr (I) vs. #1 Colton Salazar (Purdue)
165 – #2 Ryan Morningstar (I) vs. #3 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)
174 – #1 Jay Borschel (I) vs. #5 Jordan Blanton (Illinois)
184 – #3 Phillip Keddy (I) vs. #2 Dave Erwin (Penn State)
197 – #1 Chad Beatty (I) vs. #5 Sonny Yohn (Minnesota)
Hwt. – #2 Dan Erekson (I) vs. #3 Cameron Wade (Penn State)