Hawkeyes Win 34th Big Ten Title

March 7, 2010

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ANN ARBOR, MI — University of Iowa seniors Jay Borschel (174) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) wrestled their way to conference titles Sunday afternoon at the 2010 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, MI. The duo helped the top-ranked Hawkeyes win their third-straight Big Ten title and the school’s 34th overall. Iowa scored 156.5 points en route to the team title, which is its highest since 1995 (185), and the Big Ten’s highest since Minnesota scored 174 in 2002. Iowa also qualified its entire 10-man lineup for the upcoming NCAA Championships for the 18th time in school history and the first since 2004.

Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third straight year becoming the first coach in conference history to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons. Iowa redshirt freshman Matt McDonough, who placed second at 125 pounds, was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He is the fifth Hawkeye in school history to earn the honor and the first since Steve Mocco in 2002.

“We had two champions who did what they were supposed to do,” said Brands. “We have some explaining to do with the other finalists. We thought we were ready to go and we weren’t. We have to go out and execute.”

Borschel, who was the tournament’s top seed at 174 pounds, picked up his first Big Ten title with an 8-1 decision over Minnesota’s Scott Glasser in the finals. The Hawkeye senior controlled the match, scoring a takedown in each period, a second-period escape and a point for accumulating 2:59 of riding time during the match. Borschel is undefeated at 32-0, and the title is Iowa’s first at 174 pounds.

Erekson became Iowa’s 27th two-time conference champion with his 9-6 win over top-seeded Nate Everhart of Indiana in the finals. Erekson took Everhart to his back right off the opening whistle, scoring a takedown and three nearfall points to take a 5-0 lead. Everhart, who entered the bout with an undefeated 35-0 record, scored two escapes, but Erekson took a 6-2 lead when he was awarded a penalty point for Everhart fleeing the mat. Erekson started the third period with an escape, but Everhart rallied scoring two takedowns. Erekson held off the rally and added a point for 1:01 riding time to remain undefeated at 12-0 this season.

McDonough, and seniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149) and Phillip Keddy (184) all earned second-place finishes for the Hawkeyes. Sophomore Montell Marion (141) placed third, while junior Jake Kerr (157) and senior Ryan Morningstar (165) placed fourth, and senior Chad Beatty (197) placed sixth.

McDonough, who was making his first Big Ten Championships appearance, lost a close 6-4 decision to three-time Big Ten champion Angel Escobedo of Indiana in the finals. Both wrestlers entered the bout with undefeated 32-0 records. After two periods full of scrambles, Escobedo led 1-0. McDonough escaped early in the third period to tie the score at 1-1, but Escobedo scored a quick takedown to take a 3-1 lead. McDonough escaped with 40 seconds left in the match, but Escobedo scored another takedown to make the score 5-2. McDonough reversed the top-seeded Indiana senior with 13 seconds left to pull within one (5-4). He let Escobedo up, but ran out of time before he could score again to lose his first bout of the season.

Dennis, who was also wrestling in his first Big Ten finals, lost to two-time Big Ten champion Jayson Ness of Minnesota, 9-3, in the 133-pound finals. Ness, who was the top seed and is undefeated at 25-0, scored a first period takedown to take a 2-0 lead. Dennis chose the neutral position to start the second period and neither wrestler scored in the allotted two minutes. Ness chose the down position to start the third period, scoring an escape, takedown and two nearfall points to go up 7-0. Dennis escaped and scored a takedown of his own, but Ness escaped and added a riding time point for the 9-3 win. The Hawkeye senior is now 18-3 this season.

Metcalf was going for his third-straight 149-pound Big Ten title, but Ohio State’s Lance Palmer spoiled the effort with a 9-3 victory in the finals. Metcalf led 3-1 after the first two periods, but Palmer had 1:33 in riding time going into the third. Palmer chose down to start the third period, and was awarded a penalty point after Metcalf was called for locked hands during a scramble. Metcalf held on to get the riding time under one minute, but Palmer escaped to tie the score at 3-3. The pair scrambled after an offensive flurry and Palmer came out on top, scoring a takedown and three nearfall points when he caught Metcalf on his back. Palmer held on to get the riding time point back, win his first Big Ten title. The Buckeye handed Metcalf (31-1) his first loss of the season while scoring his first win over Metcalf in five attempts.

Keddy placed second for the second-straight year, losing a 5-2 decision to top seed John Dergo of Illinois in the finals. The Hawkeye senior put the first points on the board with an escape to start the second period. Dergo followed with a takedown, but Keddy quickly escaped to tie the score at 2-2. Dergo started the third period in the down position and escaped to grab a 3-2 lead. Keddy had several offensive attempts, and Dergo capitalized on the last one, scoring a takedown for the win.

The Hawkeyes had some key matches early in Sunday’s consolation round to ensure 10 national qualifiers. The NCAA only allocated four automatic qualifiers at 141 and 157 pounds, which meant that Marion and Kerr needed to with their first round matches to earn a trip to the NCAA meet. Morningstar’s 165-pound class allowed for five qualifiers, meaning that he needed to win at least one match to make the national trip, and the 197-pound class took seven qualifiers so Beatty was guaranteed to go regardless of his finish.

Marion was the only Hawkeye to win two matches on the day, posting an 11-6 decision over Wisconsin’s Cole Schmitt in the consolation semifinals and a 5-2 win over Purdue’s Juan Archuleta in the third-place match. Against Schmitt, Marion led 4-2 at the start of the third period, but the Badger escaped and scored a takedown to take a 5-4 lead. Marion reversed Schmitt to take a 6-5 lead with 42 seconds remaining. Schmitt escaped to tie the score at 6-6 and had 1:06 of riding time banked, but Marion’s takedown with 12 seconds left and three additional nearfall points as time expired gave him the 11-6 win.

Kerr scored a 5-3 decision over Michigan’s David Johnson in the consolation semifinals, but lost a 6-4 decision in overtime to Michigan State’s Anthony Jones to place fourth. Morningstar held off a late charge from Indiana’s Paul Young to post a 4-3 win in the consolation semifinals. He was tied 2-2 with Penn State’s Dan Vallimont in the third-place bout, but was injured going out of bounds and was forced to default the match and take fourth place. Beatty, who was wrestling in his first competition since December due to injury, posted medical forfeits in each of his matches to place sixth.

Up next for Iowa is a trip to the 2010 NCAA Championships. The three-day tournament will be held March 18-20 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE. Iowa has won 22 NCAA team titles, including the last two.

Place Team – Points
1. Iowa – 156.5
2. Minnesota – 119.5
3. Wisconsin – 109
4. Ohio State – 102.5
5. Penn State – 91
6. Purdue – 76
7. Michigan State – 68.5
8. Illinois – 64
Indiana – 64
10. Michigan – 57.5
11. Northwestern – 20

Championship Finals
125 – #1 Angel Escobedo (Indiana) dec. #2 Matt McDonough (I), 6-4
133 – #1 Jayson Ness (Minnesota) dec. #2 Daniel Dennis (I), 9-3
149 – #2 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) dec. #1 Brent Metcalf (I), 9-3
174 – #1 Jay Borschel (I) dec. #3 Scott Glasser (Minnesota), 8-1
184 – #1 John Dergo (Illinois) dec. #3 Phillip Keddy (I), 5-2
Hwt. – #2 Dan Erekson (I) dec. #1 Nate Everhart (Indiana), 9-6

Third-Place Matches
141 – #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #6 Juan Archuleta (Purdue), 5-2
157 – Anthony Jones (Michigan State) dec. #4 Jake Kerr (Iowa), 6-4 SV
165 – #4 Dan Vallimont (Penn State) won by injury default over #2 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa)

Fifth-Place Matches
197 – #4 Patrick Bond (Illinois) won by medical forfeit over #1 Chad Beatty (Iowa)

Consolation Matches
141 – #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #8 Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin), 11-6
157 – #4 Jake Kerr (Iowa) dec. #6 David Johnson (Michigan), 5-3
165 – #2 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec. #5 Paul Young (Indiana), 4-3
197 – #7 Logan Brown (Purdue) won by medical forfeit over #1 Chad Beatty (Iowa)