Three's Company in NCAA Finals

March 16, 2012

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Session IV Brackets

ST. LOUIS — The University of Iowa wrestling team advanced three wrestlers to the 2012 NCAA finals following semifinal competition today inside Scottrade Center. Matt McDonough, Montell Marion and Derek St. John will compete for national titles Saturday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CT). The NCAA finals will be televised live on ESPN.

McDonough will be making his third straight appearance in the 125-pound finals following a 15-7 major decision over Nicholas Bedelyon of Kent State. McDonough totaled five takedowns, two reversals and 3:38 of riding time to improve to 35-1 on the year and extend his winning streak to 27 matches. He’ll face 10th-seeded Nico Megaludis (Penn State) in the finals. McDonough earned a 3-1 overtime victory in their only career meeting.

“I wanted to come out there with a high pace,” said McDonough. “That’s what I did. Really the goal is to dominate in every single position. I wasn’t perfect. Gave up some offensive points I shouldn’t have. But that’s why you keep moving on and building, because, you know, if he gets a takedown, you can’t let it affect you. “

Marion scored a date in the 141-pound finals with a 3-1 overtime decision over Oklahoma’s No. 2 seed Kendric Maple. The wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods before Marion broke a 1-1 tie by dragging Kendric back into the playing field and finishing a takedown with 13 seconds left in the match. Marion will meet Michigan’s top-seeded Kellen Russell in the finals. He is 0-3 in his career vs. Russell. The finals appearance will be Marion’s second in three seasons. He finished runner-up in 2010.

“I took care of the first period and upped my pace in the second period,” said Marion. “I wanted to score during the duration of the match, didn’t want to go into overtime, but you win it how you can. Better awareness, better hand fighting, that was the difference.”

St. John (157) continued his run to a national championship with a 5-1 decision over third-seeded Jason Welch. St. John scored a takedown in the first period, opened the third frame with a reversal and totaled 2:06 of riding time to earn his first visit to the national finals, where he’ll face two-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake. It will be the first career meeting between the two.

Matt McDonough advanced to the NCAA finals for the third consecutive year.

“It’s preached to come (to the NCAAs),” said St. John. “That’s the goal the whole season. Even beyond the coaching staff, the fans, there’s a standard that they expect you to uphold. They’ll let you know if you’re not either way.”

In Iowa’s fourth championship semifinal bout, Tony Ramos (133) dropped a 4-2 decision to Ohio State’s second-seeded Logan Stieber. Ramos fell behind 3-0 before scoring a third-period reversal to get back into the match, 3-2, but after cutting Stieber to make the score 4-2, Ramos was unable to get the tying takedown and fell into the consolation semifinals. He’ll return to the mat Saturday morning.

Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Bobby Telford (285) became Iowa’s fifth and sixth 2012 All-Americans following a pair of victories in the consolation bracket. Lofthouse moved to the final field of eight with a 5-2 win over Michigan’s Justin Zeerip, and Telford guaranteed himself All-American honors with a 6-0 shutout over Levi Cooper of Arizona State. Telford would later extend his path through the wrestle-backs with a second period pin against Ohio’s Jeremy Johnson. The fall earned the redshirt freshman a semifinal meeting with Oregon State’s Clayton Jack.

Lofthouse dropped 3-2 decision to Ohio State’s Nick Heflin in his second consolation match. He’ll wrestle for seventh-place in tomorrow’s consolation bracket.

Action resumes Saturday morning inside Scottrade Center. The consolation rounds will be televised by ESPNU and streamed online on ESPN3 beginning at 10 a.m. The NCAA finals, televised live on ESPN, begin at 6:30 p.m. Fans can follow the entire championships on AM-800 KXIC or listen to the audio stream via Hawkeye All-Access. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action live from Scottrade Center.

IOWA’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) major dec. #5 Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent), 15-7 133 – #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) dec. #3 Tony Ramos, 4-2
141 – #3 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), 3-1 (OT)
157 – #2 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. #3 Jason Welch (Northwestern)

IOWA’S CONSOLATION RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
174 – #5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. #11 Justin Zeerip (Michigan), 5-2
174 – #9 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) dec. #5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa), 3-2
285 – #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. #9 Levi Cooper (ASU), 6-0
285 – #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) pinned #7 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), 3:45

NCAA FINALS MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. #10 Nico Megaludis (Penn State)
133 – #1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) vs. #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
141 – #1 Kellen Russell (Michigan) vs. #3 Montell Marion (Iowa)
149 – #1 Frank Molinaro (Penn State) vs. #7 Dylan Ness (Minnesota)
157 – #1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. #2 Derek St. John (Iowa)
165 – #1 David Taylor (Penn State) vs. #11 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh)
174 – #1 Ed Ruth (Penn State) vs. #3 Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford)
184 – #4 Steve Bosak (Cornell) vs. #6 Quentin Wright (Penn State)
197 – #1 Cam Simaz (Cornell) vs. #3 Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro)
285 – #2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) vs. #4 Zachery Rey (Lehigh)

IOWA’S CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed)
133 – #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #8 Zach Stevens (Michigan)/Devin Carter (VaTech)
285 – #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. #3 Clayton Jack (Oregon State)