Hawkeyes Host No. 7 Illinois

Nov. 30, 2011

Weekly Release

The University of Iowa wrestling team opens its Big Ten season hosting No. 7 Illinois on Friday at 7 p.m. on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Kids under five-years old are admitted free.

Friday is country night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Fans wearing country attire will receive $2 off general admission.

The Hawkeyes are 5-0 in conference openers since 2006, Tom Brands’ first year as head coach. Iowa’s wins include victories over Northwestern (2006, 22-18), Michigan (2007, 23-13), Minnesota (2008, 27-7; 2009, 28-12) and Michigan State (2010, 29-10).

The Hawkeyes own a 45-26-1 series advantage over the Illini since their first meeting in 1920 (Illinois W 21-16). Iowa has won the last two meetings in the series, including a 32-4 victory in 2009 in Iowa City. Iowa won nine-of-10 matches in the last dual and received bonus point victories from Alex Tsirtsis (141, MD), Brent Metcalf (149, pin) and Jay Borschel (174, MD). Tom Brands is 2-0 against Illinois as Iowa’s head coach. Illinois is 6-0 this season and ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Illini have five wrestlers ranked in the top 20 at their respective weight classes, including 133-pounder B.J. Futrell, who is ranked No. 2 by WIN magazine.

Iowa has 14 wrestlers listed in their probable lineup this week. The 14 wrestlers have combined for 80 wins in 87 matches this matches this season, including 13 major decisions, 10 technical falls and 33 pins.

Nine of Iowa’s probable starters have never lost a match inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They include Matt McDonough (22-0), Tony Ramos (9-0), Dylan Carew (2-0), Derek St. John (11-0), Mike Evans (3-0), Jeremy Fahler (2-0), Grant Gambrall (10-0), Vinnie Wagner (1-0) and Bobby Telford (3-0). The 14 wrestlers in Iowa’s probable lineup have a combined career record of 87-9 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa head coach Tom Brands earned his 100th career dual win as Iowa’s head coach Nov. 25 vs. Iowa Central (37-6). It took Brands 107 duals to reach 100 career victories. Only Dan Gable, Iowa’s all-time winningest coach, reached win No. 100 faster. Gable hit the century mark in his 105th dual. Brands owns a 100-6-1 career record since taking over the Iowa program in 2006.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes have seven wrestlers with previous NCAA championships experience. Junior Matt McDonough has advanced to the NCAA finals each of the past two seasons, winning the championship in 2010 and finishing runner-up in 2011. Montell Marion is a two-time All-American at 141 pounds. The senior from Des Moines, Iowa, placed second in 2010 and earned a fourth place finish in 2011. Sophomore Derek St. John and junior Grant Gambrall also earned All-American honors in 2011. St. John placed fourth at 157 pounds and Gambrall earned third place at 184 pounds. Sophomores Tony Ramos (133) and Ethen Lofthouse (174), and senior Blake Rasing also earned NCAA berths last season.

Junior Matt McDonough owns a career record of 72-3. With a winning percentage of .960, McDonough would rank No. 4 in program history among wrestlers with a minimum of 95 matches. Iowa’s top wrestlers based on winning percentage include:

1. T.J. Williams (98-1-0) .990
2. Brent Metcalf (108-3-0) .972
3. Lincoln McIlravy (96-3-0) .970
4. Tom Brands (158-7-2) .952
5. Terry Brands (137-7) .951

11 Hawkeyes remain unbeaten through the first two weeks of the season. Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos, Mark Ballweg, Brody Grothus, Derek St. John, Mike Evans, Montell Marion, Bobby Telford, Vinnie Wagner, Dylan Carew and Grant Gambrall have spotless 2011-12 records. In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa Coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91 and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.

The following wresters listed among probable starters have a history with each other.

133 Tony Ramos vs. B.J. Futrell (Ill.)
Futrell dec. Ramos, 9-6, 2010 Midlands
Ramos dec. Futrell, 6-2, 2011 Big Ten Championships

184 Jeremy Fahler (Iowa) vs. Mike England (Iowa State)
Fahler pinned England (2:04), 2010-11
184 Jeremy Fahler (Iowa) vs. Tyler Christensen (Iowa State)
Christensen dec. Fahler, 3-0, 2010-11
Hwt. Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. Pat Walker (Ill.)
Telford dec. Walker, 2-1, 2010 Midlands

Iowa crowned seven champions at the Joe Parisi Wrestling Open in Saint Charles, Mo., on Nov. 19. The Hawkeyes added six runner-up and five third place finishes while posting an 85-25 record in the season opening event. Junior Matt McDonough (125), sophomore Tony Ramos (133), senior Montell Marion (141), freshman Brody Grothus (149), sophomore Derek St. John (157), redshirt freshman Mike Evans (165) and redshirt freshman Bobby Telford (HWT) earned titles for the Hawkeyes. Grothus won his title while wrestling unattached.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 895-215-31 (.797) in 101 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 51 NCAA Champions have won a total of 78 NCAA Individual titles, crowning six three-time and 15 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 104 Big Ten champions have won a total of 188 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 27 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 144 All-Americans have earned All-America status 291 times, including 17 four-time, 29 three-time and 38 two-time honorees.

Iowa is unbeaten in its last 80 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 36 duals at home. That streak 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).

Single-meet tickets are now available for purchase on hawkeyesports.com. Illinois (12/2), Northern Iowa (12/8), Northwestern (1/15) and Wisconsin (2/5) are $10 for adults, $5 for children. Single-meet tickets to Oklahoma State (1/7) and Minnesota (1/29) are $13 for adults, $7 for children. Kids under five-years old are admitted free to all home events.

The Hawkeyes drew 8,527 fans to the Iowa City Duals on Nov. 25. Iowa has led the nation in attendance for five straight seasons. The Hawkeyes averaged a national record 8,209 fans in six home duals last season. It marked the third straight year Iowa averaged over 8,000 fans per dual. Iowa’s dual vs. Iowa State (Dec. 3, 2010) was the largest dual crowd in the country last year (11,895).

All-Session Tickets are available for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa. All-Session tickets are $75 for adults, $40 for youth. More than 5,000 tickets were sold as of Nov. 1. The trials attendance record was set in 2000 when Dallas, Texas, hosted 7,000 fans inside Reunion Arena.

Iowa is 3-0 in dual competition inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season. 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 36 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.

The Hawkeyes continue their in-state dual competition host Northern Iowa on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Kids five and under are admitted free to all home wrestling events. The dual will be broadcast live on AM-800 KXIC and streamed live on btn.com via Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of University of Iowa athletic events. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will have the call live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena.