Iowa Falls to Minnesota in Semifinals

Feb. 19, 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. – The University of Iowa wrestling team dropped a 16-15 decision to Minnesota today in the semifinals of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals. Both teams won five matches, but Minnesota scored the only bonus point of the dual to earn the one-point victory.

Iowa had won its previous 17 NWCA National Dual contests, including three team titles from 2008-10.

Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos and Montell Marion spotted Iowa a 9-0 advantage with three wins over top-10 opponents. McDonough defeated second-rated Zach Sanders 6-4 at 125 pounds to improve to 6-0 all-time against the Gopher.

Ramos and Marion waited until the sudden victory period to earn their decisions. Ramos used a five-point move to earn a 6-1 overtime victory against eighth-ranked Chris Dardanes. Marion scored a takedown with six seconds left in sudden victory to defeat No. 7 Nick Dardanes.

Minnesota earned an 11-2 major decision at 149 pounds to score what would eventually become the difference in team score. Dylan Ness, ranked No. 11, used a first period takedown and a second period reversal to distance himself from Michael Kelly in a battle of redshirt freshman.

Derek St. John then put Iowa up 12-4 with a 6-3 decision at 157 pounds, but Minnesota answered with a key win at 165 pounds when Cody Yohn avenged a previous fall with a 5-3 overtime win against Mike Evans.

Ninth-rated Ethen Lofthouse swung the momentum back in Iowa’s favor by avenging a previous loss of his own and scoring a 4-3 win over fourth-ranked Logan Storley. The victory extended Iowa’s team lead to 15-7.

Minnesota then strung together three straight decisions to rally for the 16-15 victory. Grant Gambrall (184) and Vinnie Wagner (197) both lost in their season debuts at their respective weights, and Bobby Telford was unable to get offensive against Tony Nelson in the decisive 285-pound match, a 2-0 Minnesota victory.

The Hawkeyes (13-4) return to the mat this evening at 6 p.m. Second-seeded Iowa will face fourth-seeded Illinois in the consolation finals at 6 p.m.

Top-ranked Oklahoma State earned a 19-15 win over Illinois in the other semifinal bout. The Cowboys led 16-15 heading into the 285-pound match and held on for the win when Austin Marsden scored a takedown in the final 20 seconds to defeat Pat Walker, 3-2.

NOTES: McDonough improved to 6-0 in his career vs. Sanders… Grant Gambrall made his first appearance of the year at 184 pounds… Vinnie Wagner made his first career appearance at 197 pounds.

SEMIFINALS (regional seeds)
#2 IOWA 15, #3 Minnesota 16
125 – Matt McDonough (Iowa) dec. Zach Sanders (M), 6-4; TS 3-0
133 – Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. Chris Dardanes (M), 6-1; TS 6-0
141 – Montell Marion (Iowa) vs. Nick Dardanes (M), 6-4 (OT); TS 9-0
149 -Dylan Ness (M) major dec. Michael Kelly (Iowa), 11-2; TS 9-4
157 -Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. Danny Zilverberg (M), 6-3; TS 12-4
165 -Cody Yohn (M) dec. Mike Evans (Iowa), 5-3 (OT); 12-7
174 – Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. Logan Storley (M), 4-3; TS 15-7
184 -Kevin Steinhaus (M) dec. Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 3-1; TS 15-10
197 -Sonny Yohn (M) dec. Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 7-4; TS 15-13
285 -Tony Nelson (M) dec. Bobby Telford (Iowa), 2-0; TS 16-15

FINAL FOUR RESULTS (regional seeds)
#1 Oklahoma State 19, #4 Illinois 15
#3 Minnesota 16, #2 IOWA 15