Hawkeyes Head East for NCAA Championships

March 14, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format

2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Brackets in PDF Format

Iowa’s nine qualifiers will compete for the school’s 24th NCAA team title at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Thursday-Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Competition is set to start Thursday at 10 a.m. (CT). The event is sold out.

Iowa enters the tournament as the three-time defending team champion. The Hawkeyes have put together a series of NCAA title streaks, placing first nine straight times from 1978-86, six times from 1995-2000, three times twice (1991-93 and 2008-10) and two times from 1975-76.

Following is the NCAA Championships event schedule. Times are Central.

Session – Day – Time (CT) – Mats – Competition
Session I – Thursday – 10 a.m. – 8 – Pigtails & 1st Round
Session II – Thursday – 5:30 p.m. – 8 – Consolation Prelims, 1st Round
Session III – Friday – 9:30 a.m. – 8 – Championship Quarterfinals, Consolation 2nd & 3rd Rounds
Session IV – Friday – 6 p.m. – 6 – Championship Semifinals, Consolation 4th & 5th Rounds
Session V – Saturday – 10 a.m. – 6 – Consolation Semifinals, 3rd-5th-7th Place Matches
Session VI – Saturday – 6:30 p.m. – 1 – Championship Finals

Updated brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at www.ncaasports.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 hawkeyesports.com. Free web audio broadcasts will be available during the event.

Television – Sessions III, IV and V will be aired live on ESPNU HD. The championship finals will be aired live on ESPN HD. Announcers Todd Harris, Tim Johnson, Jeff Blatnick and Quint Kessenich will cover the event.

Internet – Matches from Sessions I, II, III and VI will be broadcast on ESPN3.com. Press releases, meet results and audio broadcasts are available on the University of Iowa’s website, hawkeyesports.com. Current staff and student-athlete head shots can be found at pics.hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa is one of four schools to qualify nine wrestlers, while Boise State and Oklahoma State each qualified their entire 10-man lineup. Cornell, Minnesota and Missouri qualified nine competitors each. Seven schools qualified eight wrestlers, including Lehigh, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Rutgers. It is the 11th time in school history that the Hawkeyes have qualified nine wrestlers for the national tournament. The other years were 1956, 1962, 1972, 1975, 1979, 1984, 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2009. The Hawkeyes won NCAA titles with nine qualifiers in 1975, 1979, 1984, 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2009.

Iowa’s NCAA qualifiers have combined for one national title, two All-America honors and two NCAA appearances. Sophomore Matt McDonough is the defending 125-pound NCAA champion, while junior Montell Marion placed second at 141 in 2010. Iowa’s other seven qualifiers – seniors Aaron Janssen (165) and Luke Lofthouse (197), junior Blake Rasing (Hwt.), sophomore Grant Gambrall (184) and redshirt freshmen Tony Ramos (133), Derek St. John (157) and Ethen Lofthouse (174) – are all making their first NCAA appearance.

All nine of Iowa’s NCAA qualifiers earned seeds for the national tournament. Sophomore Matt McDonough, who is the defending NCAA champion at 125 pounds, is Iowa’s top-seeded competitor, earning the #2 seed at that weight class. Senior Luke Lofthouse is seeded fifth at 197, while 2010 NCAA finalist Montell Marion is seeded fifth at 141. Hawkeye redshirt freshmen Tony Ramos (133) and Derek St. John (157) each earned the sixth seed, while junior Blake Rasing is seeded seventh at heavyweight. Also earning tournament seeds for the Hawkeyes are redshirt freshman Ethen Lofthouse (174-#9), senior Aaron Janssen (165-#11) and sophomore Grant Gambrall (184-#12).

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).

Iowa crowned three champions and won its third-straight national team title Mar. 20, 2010, at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE. Iowa’s point total of 134.5 ranked 10th in NCAA history and tied for seventh in school history. Cornell placed second with 90 points. Iowa’s victory margin of 44.5 points ranked ninth in NCAA history and eighth at Iowa. The Hawkeyes crowned eight All-Americans for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 1997, helping the team win its 23rd NCAA team title.

Hawkeye senior Brent Metcalf (149) captured his second NCAA title, while senior Jay Borschel (174) and redshirt freshman Matt McDonough (125) each won their first. It is the first time that Iowa crowned three individual champions since Mark Ironside (134), Jeff McGinness (142) and Joe Williams (167) in 1998. McDonough was Iowa’s first 125-pound national champion and Borschel was the first at 174. Hawkeye senior Daniel Dennis (133) and sophomore Montell Marion (141) each placed second at their respective weight classes, while seniors Ryan Morningstar (165) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) placed seventh and senior Phillip Keddy (184) placed eighth to earn all-America honors.

Metcalf collected his second NCAA title with a 3-2 victory over #1 seed Lance Palmer of Ohio State. The Hawkeye senior ended the season with a 36-1 mark and his three-year Iowa career (2008-10) as a two-time NCAA and Big Ten Champion and three-time All-American.

Borschel had a strong showing en route to his first NCAA title, handing undefeated #1 seed Mack Lewnes of Cornell his first loss of the season with a 6-2 decision. Borschel was one of 19 Iowa wrestlers in school history to post an undefeated season record, going 37-0.

McDonough won his first NCAA title with a 3-1 decision over Iowa State redshirt freshman Andrew Long in the finals. It was only the second time in NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships history that two redshirt freshmen met in a final.

It looked liked Dennis was going to win his first NCAA title, but #1 seed Jayson Ness of Minnesota scored a takedown and nearfall points as time expired to collect his first national title with a 6-4 win.

The crowd saw several scrambles in the 141-pound final between Marion and #1 seed Kyle Dake of Cornell, but Dake collected the 7-3 win and his first NCAA title.

The NCAA team title wrapped up the 2009-10 season for the Hawkeyes, which was one of the best in school history. The Hawkeyes won their 34th Big Ten Championships title, crowning individual champions in Borschel and Erekson. The team was undefeated at 23-0 in dual competition, marking the 13th undefeated and untied season in school history. Iowa was also 11-0 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and 8-0 in Big Ten duals, winning the conference regular season title. Iowa won the 2009 Midlands and 2010 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Division I team titles, ending the season on a 61 dual-match winning streak and shutting out eight dual opponents – both of which are school records.

In the closest Big Ten team race since 1959, the second-ranked Hawkeyes placed second (Mar. 6) at Welsh-Ryan Arena while crowning two individual champions. Penn State won its first conference team title in school history with 139 points, edging out Iowa by one. Sophomore Matt McDonough (125) and junior Blake Rasing (Hwt.) each won individual titles for the Hawkeyes.

McDonough collected his first Big Ten title with a 3-1 decision over Northwestern’s Brandon Precin at 125. Trailing 1-0 after two periods, the top-seeded Hawkeye sophomore escaped to tie the score at 1-1. Both wrestlers were caught in an offensive scramble, but McDonough came out on top to score the takedown halfway through the third period. He rode the #2 seeded Precin the rest of the bout to post his 60th career victory and his 11th straight win. McDonough is Iowa’s third 125-pound Big Ten champion. Former Hawkeye Jody Strittmatter won titles in 2000 and 2001.

Rasing, who was seeded third, scored a takedown and two nearfall points in the third period to beat #4 seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota, 5-2. The win was Rasing’s sixth-straight and improved his record to 17-5 this season and 35-14 in his career. The Hawkeye junior is Iowa’s 12th heavyweight Big Ten Champion. Iowa has won the title at that weight class the last three seasons, as former Hawkeye Dan Erekson won titles in 2009 and 2010.

Placing second for the Hawkeyes were senior Luke Lofthouse (#2 seed at 197) and redshirt freshman Derek St. John (#2 seed at 157). Lofthouse lost his finals bout with top seed Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin, 5-2. St. John scored the first takedown in his finals match with top seed David Taylor of Penn State, but Taylor scored a takedown in each period to post an 8-3 decision. Taylor was named 2011 Big Ten Wrestler and Freshman of the Year at the conclusion of the meet.

Hawkeye senior Aaron Janssen (#4 seed at 165) and redshirt freshmen Tony Ramos (#3 seed at 133) and Ethen Lofthouse (#5 seed at 174) wrestled back for third place, with all three Hawkeyes posting 2-0 records on the day. Janssen scored takedowns near the end of both of his matches, beating #6 seed Dan Yates of Michigan (3-1) and #3 seed Cody Yohn of Minnesota (4-2). Ramos received a medical forfeit from #8 seed Ian Paddock of Ohio State and posted a 6-2 decision over #4 seed B.J. Futrell of Illinois. Lofthouse avenged earlier season losses by beating #4 seed Luke Manuel of Purdue (4-1) and #3 seed Scott Glasser of Minnesota (6-3).

Also wrestling back for the Hawkeyes were junior Montell Marion (#2 seed at 141), who placed fourth, and sophomore Grant Gambrall (#3 seed at 184), who placed fifth. Marion beat #5 seed Andrew Alton of Penn State (3-2) in the consolation semifinals before losing to #4 seed Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois (9-6). Gambrall was pinned by top seed Travis Rutt of Wisconsin in his first consolation match, but responded with a 10-2 major decision over #5 seed Tony Dallago of Illinois for fifth place.

Iowa earned its fourth straight Big Ten regular season title Feb. 20 with a 19-12 win over Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes posted a 15-0-1 (8-0 Big Ten) dual record for 2010-11, marking the third straight season that Iowa has posted an undefeated record, and the fourth straight year that Iowa has gone 8-0 in Big Ten duals. The win over Minnesota extended Iowa’s unbeaten dual-match streak to 77, which is a school record. The Hawkeyes have now posted 21 undefeated seasons in school history.

Iowa led the nation in average dual attendance for the fifth straight season, averaging 8,209 fans in six home duals in 2010-11. That figure breaks the previous national average record of 8,125, which Iowa set in 2009-10. The Hawkeyes also posted the largest dual crowd of the 2010-11 season with 11,895 against Iowa State on Dec. 3. Over the past three seasons, Iowa has averaged over over 8,000 fans per dual. When calculating national attendance averages, team must host a minimum of four duals to qualify and only single or double duals are counted toward the average, which disqualifies Iowa’s season-opening Iowa City Duals.

Senior Luke Lofthouse (197) and sophomore Matt McDonough (125) earned Big Ten Wrestler fo the Week honors during the 2010-11 season. It was the first time that either Hawkeye earned the weekly conference honor during their careers.

Lofthouse earned the last weekly honor of the regular season with his Feb. 20 decision over Minnesota’s Sonny Yohn. Lofthouse closed out his collegiate dual career with a 7-4 victory over Yohn, helping the second-ranked Hawkeyes to their fourth-straight Big Ten regular season title. Iowa also extended its unbeaten dual streak to 77 with its 19-12 win over No. 5 Minnesota, ending the regular season with a 15-0-1 record. Iowa had a narrow 13-12 lead over the Golden Gophers, when Lofthouse, who entered the dual ranked eighth in the nation, took the mat against Yohn, who was ranked between fourth and seventh. Trailing Yohn, 3-2, at the start of the third period, the Hawkeye senior scored a quick escape to tie the score and added two takedowns in the final minute to give Iowa a 16-12 lead going into the final bout.

McDonough earned the honor Feb. 1, after recording two pins to help Iowa beat No. 18 Northwestern (31-9) Jan. 28 in Evanston and top-ranked Penn State (22-13) Jan. 30 in University Park. Iowa’s wins over Northwestern and Penn State extended its streak of unbeaten duals to 73, and helped the Hawkeyes jump to No. 2 in the next week’s NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. McDonough entered the Northwestern dual against top-ranked and undefeated Wildcat Brandon Precin ranked second by Intermat and WIN, and third by AWN. Precin handed McDonough his first season loss and second career loss at the 2010 Midlands Championships in December, taking over the top ranking. Precin took a 3-0 lead Friday night and had the riding time point locked up mid-way through the third period when McDonough took the Wildcat senior to his back and recorded a pin in 6:11 to hand Precin his first loss of the season. Against Penn State, McDonough got the Hawkeyes out to a strong 6-0 start and kept the sold-out Rec Hall crowd quiet when he pinned Penn State’s Nate Morgan in 4:16 to open the dual. The Hawkeyes held Penn State to its lowest point total of the season, while handing the Nittany Lions their first loss.

Following are the 2010-11 Big Ten Wrestlers of the Week:

Date Wrestler (Wt., School)
11/9 Ian Paddock (Ohio State)
11/16 Kyle Dooley (157, Illinois), Sean Boyle (125, Michigan)
11/23 Travis Rutt (184, Wisconsin)
11/30 Paul Young (157, Indiana)
12/7 Kellen Russell (141, Michigan)
12/14 Kevin Steinhaus (184, Minnesota)
12/21 Tony Dallago (184, Illinois)
1/4 Ed Ruth (174, Penn State)
1/11 Cole Schmitt (149, Wisconsin)
1/18 Brandon Zeerip (157, Michigan)
1/25 Cameron Wade (Hwt., Penn State)
2/1 Matt McDonough (125, Iowa)
2/8 Aaron Jones (184, Northwestern)
2/15 Kellen Russell (141, Michigan)
2/22 Luke Lofthouse (197, Iowa)

Iowa is unbeaten in its last 77 dual matches, which is a school record. The current streak started with a win over Cornell (32-3) on Jan. 12, 2008, which was the first match after Iowa lost to Oklahoma State (19-14) on Jan. 5. The Hawkeyes are unbeaten in 47 consecutive road duals, which is also a school record. That streak started with a 20-13 win at Iowa State on Dec. 9, 2007.

Iowa’s 15-15 tie with Oklahoma State on Jan. 16, 2011, broke the Hawkeyes’ 69-match winning streak that started with a win over Cornell (32-3) on Jan. 12, 2008. That streak is an Iowa school record and ranks second-best in NCAA wrestling history behind an Oklahoma State streak. The Cowboys won 76 straight duals from 1937-51. Oklahoma State is tied with Iowa in second place, tallying two 69-match streaks (1921-32 and 1996-99).

Against Big Ten foes, the Hawkeyes have won their last 35 duals, including 16 at home and 19 on the road. All three rank second in school history. Iowa’s school record for consecutive Big Ten wins is 98 (12/13/1975-1/28/1989), while the records for Big Ten home wins is 63 (1/17/1975-1/3/1998) and road wins is 54 (1/19/1974-1/28/1989).

Iowa has won its last 33 duals at home. That streak, which ranks fourth-best in school history, started with a 27-13 win over Penn State on Jan. 20, 2008, which was also the first home match after the loss to Oklahoma State. The school record for home wins is 55 (1/9/1977-12/18/1983).

The 2010-11 Hawkeyes posted a perfect 8-0 dual record in their home venue of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, marking Iowa’s 19th undefeated season in the facility since moving from the UI Fieldhouse in 1983. Iowa has a 188-18 (.913) record in the arena, which seats 15,500, and has won its last 33 duals at Carver-Hawkeye. Iowa’s last home loss was 19-14 to Oklahoma State on Jan. 5, 2008. The 2009-10 Hawkeyes went 11-0 at Carver-Hawkeye, which is the school record for most home wins in a single season. The dual wrestling attendance record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 15,955, set when Iowa defeated Iowa State (20-15) on December 6, 2008.

A retirement celebration for former University of Iowa Head Wrestling Coach Dan Gable has been planned for June 4th. The Hall of Fame coach will be honored with a reception and banquet at the Coralville Marriott hotel. The reception is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and a program filled with memories and speakers to follow.

Gable is considered by most to be the best collegiate wrestling coach in history. He was Iowa’s head coach for 21 years and compiled a 355-21-5 record that included 15 national team titles. More information on the retirement celebration will be released in the coming weeks.

Iowa will hold its annual postseason awards banquet April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased through the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office one of the three following ways. The deadline for ordering banquet tickets is March 28.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Iowa Athletic Ticket Office, by calling the Ticket Office at (319) 335-9323, online at hawkeyesports.com or mailing payment ot the Iowa Athletic Ticket Office. If purchasing online, select the “Ticket Office” link, then go to “Buy Tickets”. There will be a $6.00 processing fee if purchased online. If mailing payment, sending a check payable to the Iowa Athletic Ticket Office to the address below. There will be a $6.00 processing fee if purchased by mail.

Iowa Athletic Ticket Office
Attention: Wrestling Banquet
Rm 402 Carver Hawkeye Arena
Iowa City, IA 52242

A limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville at a special rate under University of Iowa Wrestling. Hotel reservations for this block of rooms can be made on a first come, first serve basis, and must be received on or before March 18. Contact the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville at (319) 688-4000 to make a reservation.

Seven Hawkeye wrestlers combined for 25 individual open tournament titles while competing unattached this season.

True freshman Bobby Telford won the most individual titles (6), winning the heavyweight brackets at the Northern Iowa, William Penn, Glen Brand, Pat “Flash” Flanagan, Grand View and DuHawk Opens. Telford won his last 16 matches, pinned 13 opponents and posted a 23-4 record.

True freshman Mike Evans won five titles at 174 – Kaufman-Brand, Northern Iowa, William Penn, Pat “Flash” Flanagan and DuHawk Opens – while going 22-2 and pinning 12 opponents. Evans ended the season on a 10-match winning streak.

True freshman Michael Kelly won four titles – Kaufman-Brand, Northern Iowa, William Penn and Glen Brand Opens – while wrestling at 157 pounds. He was 25-5 at 157 and 165.

Juniors J.J. Krutsinger (133) and Vinnie Wagner (184) each won three titles while competing unattached. Both won at the William Penn and DuHawk Opens, while Krutsinger won at the Grand View Open and Wagner won at the Glen Brand Open. Krutsinger went 14-1, while Wagner posted a 17-3 mark.

True freshmen Nick Moore (157/165) and Matt Gurule (125) have each won two titles. Both won at the DuHawk Open, while Moore won at the Pat “Flash” Flanagan Open and Gurule won at the William Penn Open. Moore went 20-4, winning his last eight bouts, while Gurule posted a 19-9 record.

On the 2010-11 Hawkeye wrestling team, there are three sets of brothers, two wrestlers whose fathers wrestled at Iowa and two uncle-nephew combinations.

Senior Matt Ballweg (149), sophomore Mark Ballweg (141/149) and freshman Jacob Ballweg (141) are brothers who hail from Waverly. They are the fifth set of three brothers to wrestle at Iowa, and the third set to be on the roster at the same time. The other sets of three brothers to compete for the Hawkeyes are Ed Banach, Lou Banach and Steve Banach; Marty Kistler, Harlan Kistler and Lindley Kistler; Mike Uker, Ben Uker and Joe Uker; and Lenny Zalesky, Larry Zalesky and Jim Zalesky.

Matt and Mark Ballweg are the 12th set of brothers to wrestle together in the Hawkeye lineup since the 1950s. The other 11 sets are Don and Tom Huff (1961), Mark and Scott Trizzino (1981), Lenny, Larry and Jim Zalesky (1981-82), Ed and Lou Banach (1981-83), Marty and Lindley Kistler (1984-85), Jim and John Heffernan (1987), Tom and Terry Brands (1989-92), Troy and Terry Steiner (1991-93), Ryan and Randy Fulsaas (2001) and Luke and Ty Eustice (2003-04).

Junior Stew Gillmor (149/157) and freshman Walt Gillmor (165) are brothers from Donahue, while sophomore Nate Moore (133) and freshman Nick Moore (157/165) are brothers from Iowa City.

Sophomore Matt McDonough (125/133) and redshirt freshman Nick Trizzino have fathers who wrestled for the Hawkeyes. Mike McDonough wrestled at Iowa from 1974-76, while Mark Trizzino was an All-American (1984) and four-year letterwinner (1981-84) for the Hawkeyes.

Senior Luke Lofthouse (197) is the uncle of Hawkeye redshirt freshman Ethen Lofthouse (174). Nick Trizzino’s uncle, Scott Trizzino, was a three-time All-American (1978-79-81) and four-time letterwinner (1977-79, 1981) for the Hawkeyes.

There have also been five sets of twins to wrestle at Iowa. They are Ed and Lou Banach, Tom and Terry Brands, Ben and Brett Stedman, Troy and Terry Steiner, and Randy and Ryan Fulsaas.

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Tom Brands, Terry Brands, Mike Zadick, Kurt Backes and Danny Song earned a total of one Olympic gold medal, one Olympic bronze medal, five NCAA titles, nine conference titles and 12 All-America honors.

For dates and more information about 2011 Iowa Wrestling Summer camps visit www.iowawrestlingcamps.com.

Iowa City has been selected to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling. The event will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa from April 21-22, 2012.

Iowa City was one of three finalist cities to make final presentations on their bid to a selection committee on Jan. 12. The committee included USA Wrestling staff and athletes, as well as representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The other cities to make finalist presentations were Columbus, Ohio, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Initially, seven cities bid to host the competition. Those cities which were not selected for finalist presentations were Greensboro, N.C.; Hampton, Va.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Pontiac, Mich.

“We are unbelievably pleased and humbled with the response we received from cities wishing to host our most valuable event property,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “We would like to thank the leaders from all three finalist cities for their outstanding presentations. We hope that all of these cities continue to be involved with USA Wrestling and host wrestling events in years to come.”

The initial bid proposal for the event also included the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting. Due to a scheduling conflict, USA Weightlifting could no longer hold Trials on the selected dates and stepped out of the bid process.

The event will feature competition in the three Olympic styles of the sport – men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle. The competition will determine the U.S. athletes who will qualify to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The local organizing committee is led by the University of Iowa Athletics and the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB and includes leaders from the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville and City of North Liberty. Among those serving on the host committee are legendary collegiate and Olympic wrestlers Dan Gable, Tom Brands, Terry Brands, Lincoln McIlravy and Cornell College coach Mike Duroe.

“I believe this is a good decision for the future of wrestling at all levels. This will help increase the visibility of our sport. I see more growth for wrestling as a result. It gets me very excited,” said wrestling legend Dan Gable from the local organizing committee.

“The Iowa City local organizing committee was selected based upon their proven track record of hosting large and successful wrestling events, as well as a history of drawing strong fan support,” said Bender. `We are committed to working tirelessly with the organizing committee and the entire community to host the most successful U.S. Olympic Team Trials in our history.”

“This community is fired up to welcome our nation’s best to Carver Hawkeye Arena and will come together as they have so many times to produce a Trials that is remembered for years to come,” said Joshua Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau “Our entire community couldn’t be more excited by this news. We look forward to creating an athlete and fan experience that will carry on through London.”

Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which is located on the University of Iowa campus, serves as the home arena for Iowa’s wrestling team, as well as Iowa’s basketball and volleyball squads. The arena seats 15,000 for wrestling and is named after long-time wrestling supporter Roy J. Carver. The $47 million Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Addition and Renovation Project is underway to expand and upgrade facilities, and is scheduled for completion in time for the 2011-12 athletic year.

This is the first time that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling has been hosted in Iowa since USA Wrestling has served as National Governing Body in 1984. Carver-Hawkeye Arena hosted the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships four times (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The total attendance figures for the 1995 (80,389), 2001 (79,477) and 1991 (70.163) NCAA Championships rank ninth, 11th and 15th, respectively among NCAA Wrestling Championships. It also hosted the Big Ten Wrestling Championships three times (1983, 1994, 2005).

A preliminary U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying event for wrestling was held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 1984. Other major wrestling competitions held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena include two NWCA All-Star Classics (1993, 1996) and two Cliff Keen NWCA National Duals (1998, 1999).

The Field House at the University of Iowa hosted the first USA Wrestling Junior National Championships in 1971, and served as venue for the competition from 1971-1982. Iowa City also hosted USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman National Championships three times (1975, 1977, 1978). Iowa City also hosted the 1983 USA Wrestling Freestyle World Team Trials.

“We are thrilled and excited with this remarkable opportunity to stage an event that will have the full attention of wrestling community not only in the state of Iowa and the Heartland, but the United States and the world. We are also delighted with the opportunity to showcase the revitalized Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Rest assured, the University of Iowa, the UI Athletics Department, and our city partners are ready to stage an event that USA Wrestling will be very, very proud of,” said Gary Barta, Athletics Director of the University of Iowa.

1984 – Allendale, Mich.
1988 – Pensacola, Fla.
1992 – Pittsburgh, Pa. (FS); Concord, Calif. (GR)
1996 – Spokane, Wash. (FS); Concord, Calif.(GR)
2000 – Dallas, Texas
2004 – Indianapolis, Ind.
2008 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2012 – Iowa City, Iowa

The lineup has been finalized for the USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet that will be held as part of the festivities at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.

The event is set for Thursday, March 17, between the first and second sessions of the NCAA Championships, on the competition mats in the Wells Fargo Center. It is free of charge and NCAA fans will not have to leave their seats to enjoy the action.

There are seven matches as part of the All-Star Dual Meet. It opens with an exhibition bout between two of the United States top freestyle wrestlers, followed by a six-match USA vs. The World Dual Meet.

There is a strong U.S. college connection among the participants. All nine U.S. wrestlers were highly successful college wrestlers, and four of the international competitors also were talented wrestlers in U.S. college programs.

The opening freestyle exhibition match at 55 kg/121 lbs. will feature Americans Troy Nickerson and Nick Simmons. Nickerson was a 2009 NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Cornell. Simmons was a four-time All-American for Michigan State. This is Nickerson’s first match since his college career ended in March 2010.

The first match in the USA vs. The World Dual Meet will be in Greco-Roman, and will feature 2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz of the United States against 2006 World champion Mohammed Abdel Fatah of Egypt. Ruiz was a two-time All-American for Nebraska.

The first freestyle match will be at 60 kg/132 lbs., featuring Derek Moore of the United States against Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico. Moore now competes for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. Gomez competed in the 2010 World Championships for Puerto Rico. Moore was the 2007 NCAA champion for UC Davis. Gomez was a 2009 NCAA champion and three-time All-American for Michigan State.

The 74 kg/163 lbs. freestyle bout will feature Ryan Morningstar of the United States against Muzafar Abdurakhmanov of Uzbekistan. Morningstar was a two-time All-American for Iowa and Abdurakhmanov was an All-American for American in 2006.

Next is a freestyle bout at 84 kg/185 lbs., featuring Keith Gavin of the United States against Jaime Y. Espinal of Puerto Rico. Gavin was a 2008 University World bronze medalist. Espinal was a 2010 Pan American silver medalist. Gavin was a 2008 NCAA champion and two-time All-American for Pittsburgh.

The match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. will showcase J.D. Bergman of the United States against Israel Silva of Mexico. Bergman competed in the 2010 World Championships, and Silva competed in the 2009 World Championships. Bergman was a three-time All-American for Ohio State, while Silva was an NCAA qualifier for UT-Chattanooga.

The final featured bout will be at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., with Brent Metcalf of the United States facing Heinrich Barnes of South Africa. Barnes placed seventh in the 2010 World Championships and has competed in three Senior World Championships. Metcalf was a member of the 2010 U.S. World Team. Metcalf was a two-time NCAA champion and three-time NCAA finalist for Iowa. Barnes was an All-American for Oregon State in 2009.

This is the second straight year that a USA Wrestling exhibition will be provided free of charge to wrestling fans who are attending the championships. At the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., USA Wrestling hosted a Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge.

U.S. Freestyle Exhibition
Freestyle 55 kg/121 lbs.: Troy Nickerson (USA) vs. Nick Simmons (USA)

USA vs. the World Dual Meet
Greco-Roman 96 kg/211.5 lbs.: Justin Ruiz (USA) vs. Mohammed Abdel Fatah (Egypt)
Freestyle 60 kg/132 lbs.: Derek Moore (USA) vs. Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico)
Freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs.: Ryan Morningstar (USA) vs. Muzafar Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan)
Freestyle 84 kg/185 lbs.: Keith Gavin (USA) vs. Jaime Y. Espinal (Puerto Rico)
Freestyle 96 kg/211.5 lbs.: J.D. Bergman (USA) vs. Israel Silva (Mexico)
Freestyle 66 kg/145.5 lbs.: Brent Metcalf (USA) vs. Heinrich Barnes (South Africa)

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

2012: March 15-17 – St. Louis, Mo. – Scottrade Center
Hosts: University of Missouri, St. Louis Sports Commission

2013: March 21-23 – Des Moines, Iowa – Wells Fargo Arena
Host: Iowa State University

2014: March – Oklahoma City, Okla – Ford Center
Host: University of Oklahoma