March 8, 2014
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MADISON, Wis. – Five University of Iowa wrestlers — Tony Ramos, Derek St. John, Nick Moore, Mike Evans and Ethen Lofthouse — advanced to the championship round of the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships following Saturday’s semifinal round at the Kohl Center.
Iowa sits in second place in the team standings with 121 points, one point behind Penn State. The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes both have five wrestlers in the finals. Minnesota (86) is in third place, and Ohio State (73.5) and Illinois (69.5) round out the top five.
Ramos, the No. 1 seed, advanced to his third consecutive Big Ten championship round with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over fourth-seeded Cashe Quiroga of Purdue at 133. Ramos led 4-3 entering the third period before allowing an escape and takedown. He pulled within a point, 6-5, at the one-minute mark and, after a restart with 26 seconds left, finished a double-leg with 17 seconds on the clock.
“Twenty-six seconds left you have to go to your go-to shot,” said Ramos. “I may not hit it a lot during matches, but I got the double-leg. It was open and I hit it. Once I get my hand on him I knew I could finish.”
Ramos’ win was the first of five straight for Iowa.
“We need to continue that string of matches,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “Last year we didn’t win the title, so we’ve got to win a title and we have to win a bunch of individual titles. We’ve got to win five titles tomorrow, and the guys on the backside, we have to keep them moving forward.”
St. John, the No. 4 seed at 157, defeated Wisconsin’s top-seeded Isaac Jordan, 4-3, in overtime to advance to his third conference title match in four years.
“Even though (the match) wasn’t going my way I had to keep moving,” said St. John, who recorded the winning escape with three seconds left in the first tiebreak. “I got my hips higher than his and ended up kicking out.”
St. John placed second in 2011 and won the conference championship in 2012. He’ll face Nebraska’s James Green in the finals.
Nick Moore used two takedowns and 2:11 riding time to erase an early 2-0 deficit and defeat Minnesota’s Danny Zilverberg, 8-5, at 165. Moore, the No. 2 seed, has won 12 straight matches and will face top-seeded David Taylor in the finals.
Mike Evans advanced to the finals for the third time in three trips to the conference tournament with a 3-2 win against second-seeded Matt Brown of Penn State at 174.
“Matt Brown works and you can’t sit back on your heels,” said Evans, who finished an ankle pick in the first period and escaped in the third to earn his 25th win of the season. “The score might be close, but both of us are looking to score.”
Ethen Lofthouse punched Iowa’s fifth ticket to the finals with a 5-4 win over Minnesota’s second-seeded Kevin Steinhaus. Lofthouse, the No. 3 seed at 184, scored takedowns in the first and third periods, and added an escape in the second to advance to the Big Ten finals for the first time in his career.
Cory Clark (125) and Nathan Burak (197) fell into the consolation bracket with semifinals defeats. Clark was unable to rally from an early 2-0 deficit and fell to second-seeded Jesse Delgado, 4-2, at 125 pounds, and Burak gave up a reversal in the final seconds of the first tiebreak to lose, 3-2, to top-seeded Morgan McIntosh of Penn State.
Brody Grothus fell to Illinois’ Caleb Ervin, 4-1, in the consolation bracket and was eliminated from the tournament.
The final session of the 2014 Big Ten Championships begins Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT) with the consolation semifinals. The fifth, third and championship matches begin at 1:12 p.m. (CT). The finals will air live on BTN.
Notes: Attendance was 9,405… Iowa has earned an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Championships in nine-of-10 weights… Grothus (149) is the only Hawkeye who will need an at-large selection to qualify for the national tournament. His RPI was 11th entering the postseason.
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION II
Penn State – 122
Iowa – 121
Minnesota – 86
Ohio State – 73.5
Illinois – 69.5
Nebraska – 68
Wisconsin – 58
Michigan – 49.5
Northwestern – 44
Indiana – 34
Purdue – 30
Michigan State – 15
125 – #2 Jesse Delgado (Ill) dec. #3 Cory Clark (Iowa), 4-2
133 – #1 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. #4 Cashe Quiroga (Pur), 7-6
157 – #4 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. #1 Isaac Jordan (Wisc), 4-3 TB1
165 – #2 Nick Moore (Iowa) dec. #6 Danny Zilverberg (Minn), 8-5
174 – #3 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. #2 Matt Brown (PSU), 3-2
184 – #3 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. #2 Kevin Steinhaus (Minn), 5-4
197 – #1 Morgan McIntosh (PSU) dec. #5 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 3-2 TB1
141 – #5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) pinned Brian Gibbs (MSU), 4:58
141 – #5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) dec. #8 Jesse Thielke (Wisc), 7-4
149 – Caleb Ervin (Ill) dec. #4 Brody Grothus (Iowa), 3-1
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) major dec. #11 Alex White (Pur), 10-0
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) major dec. #10 Nick Tavanello (OSU), 8-0
133 – #1 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #2 Tyler Graff (Wisc)
157 – #4 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. #2 James Green (Nebraska)
165 – #3 Nick Moore (Iowa) vs. #1 David Taylor (Penn State)
174 – #3 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs. #1 Robert Kokesh (Neb)
184 – #3 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) vs. #1 Ed Ruth (Penn State)
CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS
125 – #3 Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. #8 Nick Roberts (OSU)
141 – #5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) vs. #3 Chris Dardanes (Minn)
197 – #5 Nathan Burak (Iowa) vs. #7 Alex Polizzi (NW)
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. #3 Michael McMullan (NW)