March 23, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa — University of Iowa wrestlers Ethen Lofthouse and Mike Evans concluded their All-America seasons at the NCAA Championships today, earning fifth and sixth place, respectively, during the medal round at Wells Fargo Arena.
With only championship matches left in the balance, Iowa is assured a fourth-place finish with 69 team points. Penn State is pacing the field with 114.5 points. Oklahoma State (111.5), Minnesota (99), and Cornell (61) round out the top five.
Lofthouse dropped a 3-2 decision to Central Michigan’s second-seeded Ben Bennett in his first match of the session, but rebounded with a 6-2 win over Maryland’s Jimmy Sheptock in the fifth-place bout. The two-time All-American scored takedowns in the first and third periods while compiling 1:08 riding time.
“I feel good about that match,” said Lofthouse. “I felt good I went right back to the leg. It took longer than I wanted but I still finished. I feel pretty good right now.
“I’m still not where I wanted. Fifth place isn’t what I wanted by any means. I have a goal still. My goal last year was to be a national champ, my goal this year was to be a national champ, and my goal for next year is to be a national champ. I feel good that I finished the right way, but I didn’t get what I wanted, and there’s motivation right there for next year.”
Evans finished in sixth place following a pair of losses to Nebraska’s Robert Kokesh and Ohio State’s Nick Heflin. He wraps his sophomore season as the 148th wrestler in school history to earn All-America honors.
Tony Ramos and Derek St. John will both compete for national titles this evening. The finals will be televised on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the championships online via Hawkeye All-Access or on the radio at AM-800 KXIC. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action live from Wells Fargo Arena.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION V (Top five)
1. Penn State 114.5
2. Oklahoma State 111.5
3. Minnesota 99
4. IOWA 69
5. Cornell 61
IOWA’S MEDAL ROUND RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
174 – #4 Robert Kokesh (NEB) dec. #3 Mike Evans (IOWA), 3-2
174 -#8 Nick Heflin (OSU) pinned #3 Mike Evans (IOWA), 2:10
184 -#2 Ben Bennett (CMU) dec. #12 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA), 3-2
184 – #12 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA) dec. #7 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland, 6-2 (1:08 RT)