Hawkeyes Set for Big Ten Championships

March 5, 2014

Big Ten Championship Notes

The University of Iowa wrestling team travels to Madison, Wis., to compete at the 2014 Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday. The University of Wisconsin hosts the conference tournament at the Kohl Center. The two-day tournament begins Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT). Session II starts Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT). Session III begins at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, and the finals start Sunday at 1:12 p.m. (CT).

Brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at bigten.org and uwbadgers.com.

Session 1 | Watch Live | BTDN
Session 2 | Watch Live | BTDN
Session 3 | Watch Live | BTDN
Session 4 | Watch Live | BTDN

2014 Big Ten Championships
Date March 8-9 | All Day
Location Madison, Wis. | Kohl Center
Sunday Finals BTN
Webstream: video.BTN.com
Radio AM 800 KXIC
Live Coverage TrackWrestling | Twitter Game Updates

The Big Ten Conference announced Monday that all 10 Hawkeye participants earned preliminary seeds at the 2014 conference tournament. The Hawkeyes have eight wrestlers seeded fourth or better, the most of any school. Senior Tony Ramos is the top seed at 133 pounds. Junior Nick Moore is seeded second at 165. Cory Clark (125), Mike Evans (174) and Ethen Lofthouse (184) are each seeded No. 3, while Brody Grothus (149), Derek St. John (157), and Bobby Telford (285) are seeded No. 4. Josh Dziewa (141) and Nathan Burak (197) earned No. 5 seeds at their respective weights.

The Hawkeyes’ 109 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 29 two-time winners. The Hawkeyes have won 34 team titles, twice as many as the next closest school (Illinois, 17). Iowa won 25 consecutive conference championships from 1974-1998.

The Big Ten Championships is one of nine qualifying tournaments across the country. The conference will receive at least six automatic qualifiers at every weight, including a conference-high nine qualifiers at 285 pounds, and a conference-low six qualifiers at 141 and 149 pounds. The top eight wrestlers at 133, 157, 165 and 197 earn automatic bids, as do the top seven wrestlers at 125, 174 and 184.

Eight different Hawkeyes have been named Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships. Head coach Tom Brands won the inaugural award in 1989 following his 126-pound conference title. Associate head coach Terry Brands won the honor following his 126-pound Big Ten title in 1992. Brent Metcalf was the last Hawkeye to earn the award. He is also the only Big Ten athlete to win the award twice (2008, 2009).

The 2014 Big Ten Championships feature five defending NCAA champions, and only one — Ed Ruth — earned a top pre-seed at the conference tournament. Jesse Delgado (Illinois) is the defending 125-pound NCAA champion, but the No. 2 seed in Madison. Logan Steiber (Ohio State) won the 133-pound NCAA title last year, but is pre-seeded No. 2 at 141. Derek St. John (Iowa) won the 157-pound NCAA title in 2013, but is the No. 4 seed at the 2014 conference tournament, and Minnesota’s Tony Nelson a two-time defending national champion at 285 pounds, but pre-seeded No. 5. Penn State’s Ed Ruth (184) is the only one of five defending national champions to earn a No. 1 pre-seed.

Senior Derek St. John is one of 109 Hawkeyes in school history to win a conference championship. St. John, the No. 6 seed in 2012, ran through the top three seeds to win the 157-pound Big Ten title as a sophomore. With a second championship run in Madison, St. John will be one of 55 Hawkeyes to win multiple conference titles. Twenty-nine Hawkeyes have won two Big Ten titles, 18 have won the tournament three times, and seven can call themselves four-time Big Ten champions.

Redshirt freshman Cory Clark enters the Big Ten tournament with a 15-0 record. He has scored bonus points in 11-of-15 wins, including nine pins and two major decisions. 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 Hawkeyes have two wrestlers making their Big Ten tournament debuts, and three wrestlers making their fourth appearance. The first-timers include redshirt freshman Cory Clark and sophomore Brody Grothus. Clark is seeded third at 125 pounds, and Grothus is the No. 4 seed at 149. Seniors Tony Ramos, Derek St. John and Ethen Lofthouse are each making their fourth appearance at Big Tens. Ramos placed third as a freshman in 2011, and was runner-up in 2012 and 2013 at 133 pounds. St. John was a runner-up in 2011, won the 157-pound title in 2012, and placed third in 2013. Lofthouse has placed third in each of the previous three seasons. He competed at 174 pounds from 2011-12 before bumping up to 184 in 2013. Sophomore Nathan Burak (197) and juniors Nick Moore (165) and Josh Dziewa (141) are making their second appearance at the conference tournament. Juniors Mike Evans (174) and Bobby Telford (285) are making their third appearance.

Junior Josh Dziewa made his Big Ten Championships debut last year in the 149-pound bracket. Dziewa was 15-2 entering the tournament, with all 17 matches coming at 141 pounds. Dziewa bumped up to 149 for the postseason and was eliminated in consecutive 3-2 decisions (Andrew Alton, Caleb Ervin). This year Dziewa is the No. 5 seed at 141. He enters the tournament 21-6 overall, 6-1 in the Big Ten.

Individually, Iowa’s lineup is 41-29 against ranked opponents. Bobby Telford leads all Hawkeyes with seven wins over top 20 opponents.
Iowa lineup vs. ranked opponents
125 — Cory Clark (3-0)
133 — Tony Ramos (5-2)
141 — Josh Dziewa (3-5)
149 — Brody Grothus (4-5)
157 — Derek St. John (5-3)
165 — Nick Moore (5-2)
174 — Mike Evans (4-3)
184 — Ethen Lofthouse (2-2)
197 — Nathan Burak (3-3)
285 — Bobby Telford (7-4)

Iowa won a share of the Big Ten regular season dual title when it defeated Wisconsin, 28-10, on Feb. 23. The Hawkeyes finished the dual season with a 7-1 conference record, sharing the regular season title with Minnesota (7-1) and Penn State (7-1). Iowa has won or shared six of the last seven Big Ten regular season titles.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 941-224-31 (.799) in 104 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 52 NCAA Champions have won a total of 80 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 109 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 29 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 148 All-Americans have earned All-America status 301 times, including 17 four-time, 32 three-time and 38 two-time honorees.

The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American every year since 1972, a span of 42 seasons. Iowa has totaled 255 All-America honors during that stretch. The Hawkeyes have five All-Americans on this year’s squad. Derek St. John is a three-time All-American and 2013 NCAA Champion. Tony Ramos placed third in 2012 and runner-up in 2013. Ethen Lofthouse placed seventh in 2012, and fifth in 2013. Mike Evans earned his first All-America honor with a sixth-place finish in 2013, and Bobby Telford placed fifth in 2012.

Since 1974, only seven schools have captured the NCAA Championship. During that 40-year span, the Hawkeyes have won 23 team titles, including nine straight from 1978-86. The other schools include Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Penn State (3), Iowa State (2), Arizona State (1) and Oklahoma (1).

The University of Iowa wrestling program led the nation in attendance for the eighth consecutive season according to the annual Division I attendance report released March 4 by Roby Publishing. Iowa averaged 8,835 fans in seven duals, setting an NCAA single season attendance record of 61,843. The Hawkeyes averaged at least 8,000 fans for the sixth consecutive season, and own the three highest single season averages in NCAA history (9,014 in 2012; 8,764 in 2013). In 2013-14, Iowa became the first school in NCAA history to host three duals with more than 10,000 fans — Penn State (13,747), Minnesota (10,588), and Oklahoma State (10,141). When considering the Iowa City Duals — which Iowa hosted Nov. 22 against Baker, Cornell College, and Iowa Central — a school record 67,556 fans attended wrestling meets inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.