Hawkeyes Prep for 49th Annual Midlands Championships

Dec. 27, 2011

2011 Midlands Notes

The University of Iowa wrestling team competes at the 49th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Thursday and Friday in Evanston, Ill. Welsh-Ryan Arena will host the two-day event.

Tickets can be purchased from the Northwestern University Athletic Ticket Office at 800-GO-PURPLE or online at nusports.com. All-session passes are $50 for reserved seats, $38 for adult general admission and $32 for student general admission. Single session general admission seats are also available for purchase.


9:30 a.m. Session I ($9/$7)
7 p.m. Session II ($10/$8)
12 p.m. Session III ($11/$9)
7 p.m. Session IV ($13/$10)
(Single Session – Adult/Student)

Iowa has won the most team titles (21) in the 48 years of Midlands history. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceeded to win nine of the next 11. Iowa also won team titles in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Other team winners include Iowa State (8), Michigan State (3), Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (3), Illinois (3), Michigan (2), Arizona State (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Team scores were not kept at four tournaments (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995).

Seven former Hawkeyes are enshrined in the Midlands Hall of Fame. They are Ed Banach, Chris Campbell, Steve Combs, Tim Cysewski, Barry Davis, Randy Lewis and Chuck Yagla. Former Hawkeye Head Coach Dan Gable is also a Midlands Hall of Fame member.

Seven former Hawkeyes earned the Art Kraft Champion of Champions Award, while nine were named the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler. The Art Kraft Champion of Champions include Lenny Zalesky (1980), Jim Zalesky (1983), Jim Heffernan (1986), Jeff McGinness (1995), Joe Williams (1996), Eric Juergens (1999) and Mark Perry (2007). The Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestlers were Randy Lewis (1979), Lenny Zalesky (1980), Ed Banach (1981), Royce Alger (1994), Jeff McGinness (1995), Lincoln McIlravy (1997), Joe Williams (1999, 2000), Mark Perry (2007) and Brent Metcalf (2009). Gable was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler five times (1966-69, 1971).

20-IN-4 CLUB
Eight former Hawkeyes are members of the prestigious 20-in-4 club, which requires a wrestler to record at least 20 wins in their first four years of competition. They are John Bowlsby (22 – 1974, 1976-78), Barry Davis (20 – 1980-83), Joe Williams (20 – 1993-96), Mark Ironside (22 – 1994-97), Wes Hand (20 – 1996-99), Jody Strittmatter (20 – 1997-2000), Doug Schwab (20 – 1997-2000) and Cliff Moore (23 – 2001-03, 2005). Gable was the first club member, recording 20 wins from 1966-69. Through the 2010 tournament, only 21 wrestlers achieved this feat out of 9,345 participants.

Former Hawkeye Joe Williams holds the most individual titles in Midlands history, winning 10. Other former Hawkeyes to win at least three titles are Tim Cysweski (5), Mark Ironside (4), Royce Alger (3), Ed Banach (3), Chris Campbell (3), Jim Heffernan (3), Randy Lewis (3), Brent Metcalf (3) and Chuck Yagla (3). Ironside has the most wins (27) at 141 pounds, and he and Cysewski hold the most titles (4 each) at that weight. Jim Heffernan holds the most titles (3) at 157, while Williams holds the most wins (35) and titles (7) at 174. Pat Kennedy holds the fastest fall (11 seconds) at 165, while Verlyn Strellner holds the most falls (10) at 197. Gable holds the most titles (3) and falls (13) at 149 pounds.

Junior Matt McDonough owns a 13-3 Midlands record since 2008. McDonough went 6-0 en route to a first place finish in 2009, and won his first four matches in 2010 before falling to Northwestern’s Brandon Precin in the finals. He was 3-2 as a true freshman in 2008. In his three years of Midlands competition, McDonough has recorded four pins, three major decisions and one technical fall.

Tony Ramos, the Midlands top-seed at 133 pounds, was named Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 6. The weekly honor was the first of Ramos’ career. Ramos, a sophomore from Carol Stream, Ill., earned a pair of bonus point victories last week against No. 7 Illinois and Iowa State. He posted a 13-5 major decision over the Illini’s B.J. Futrell, then-ranked No. 2 in the country, and recorded a second period pin against Iowa State’s Shayden Terukina. Ramos, currently ranked No. 2, owns an 11-0 record with four major decisions, three technical falls and three pins.

Senior Montell Marion enters Midlands as the top-seeded 141-pound contender. He is also the top-ranked 141-pound wrestler in the country according to Amateur Wrestling News, Intermat and WIN Magazine. Marion is one of six unbeaten wrestlers on the Iowa roster. He is 10-0 with a team-high six major decisions.

Seven Big Ten 133-pound wrestlers are ranked in top 20, including Ramos (2), Ohio State’s Logan Stieber (3), Minnesota’s David Thorn (5), Purdue’s Cashe Quiroga (6), Illinois’ B.J. Futrell (7), Michigan’s Zac Stevens (15) and Nebraska’s Ridge Kiley (17).

Junior Grant Gambrall is listed as a probable starter at 197 pounds. Gambrall, a junior from Iowa City, Iowa, made his first career appearance at 197 pounds on Nov. 25, recording a 4-3 decision over Cornell College’s Alex Coolidge. He is 2-0 this season competing at 197. Gambrall was an All-American while competing at 184 pounds in 2010-11.

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 103-6-1 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-America 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 74-4 (.949). Iowa’s top wrestlers in program history 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

Six Hawkeyes remain unbeaten through the first three weeks of the season. Tony Ramos, Derek St. John, Montell Marion, Bobby Telford, 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.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 898-215-31 (.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 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). Iowa is off to a strong start in 2011-12. The Hawkeyes drew 8,527 fans to the Iowa City Duals on Nov. 25, 7,330 to the Dec. 2 dual vs. No. 7 Illinois, and 7,078 to the Dec. 8 dual vs. Northern Iowa.

Iowa is 5-0 in dual competition inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season, outscoring their opponents 184-26. 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 193-18 (.915) record in the arena, which seats 15,500, and has won its last 38 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.

Single-meet tickets are now available for purchase on hawkeyesports.com. Northwestern (1/15) and Wisconsin (2/5) are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for kids five and under. Single-meet tickets to Oklahoma State (1/7) and Minnesota (1/29) are $13 for adults, $7 for children, and $2 for kids five and under.

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. Nearly 6,000 tickets were sold as of Dec. 13. The trials attendance record was set in 2000 when Dallas, Texas, hosted 7,000 fans inside Reunion Arena.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes return to the mat Friday, Jan. 6, at Indiana. Iowa will put its 83-dual unbeaten streak on the line against the Hoosiers at 6 p.m. (CT) inside University Gym. The Hawkeyes then host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 7. The Cowboys visit Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact the UI Ticket Office at 800-IA-HAWKS or online at hawkeyesports.com. Admission is $13 for adults, $7 for children, and $2 for kids five and under.