Wrestling Notebook: Hawkeyes at Rutgers/Ohio State


Jan. 1, 2015


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The University of Iowa wrestling team resumes Big Ten action Friday and Sunday with trips to No. 23 Rutgers and No. 7 Ohio State. The Hawkeyes face the Scarlett Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) at the RAC. The dual is televised live on BTN. Iowa’s dual against Ohio State begins Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) at St. John Arena.

Iowa is 1-0 all-time against Rutgers, having won the only meeting, 33-9, in 2009. The Hawkeyes are making their first ever trip to Piscataway, N.J. The Scarlet Knights are 9-0 for the first time in the program’s 82-year history.

Iowa leads the all-time series against Ohio State, 37-3. The schools split the first four meetings, 2-2, before Iowa rattled off 34 consecutive victories from 1967-2011. Ohio State ended the streak with a 21-9 win in 2012 at Columbus. Iowa won the most recent meeting, 22-9, exactly one year ago in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes last win at Ohio State was 24-10 in 2008.

University of Iowa senior Bobby Telford was named co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week by the conference office Wednesday. The weekly honor is the first of his career and the first for Iowa this season. Telford shared the weekly honor with Indiana’s Taylor Walsh. Telford recorded a pair of falls and two wins over top five opponents to win the 285-pound Midlands title on Tuesday. He defeated Northwestern’s top-ranked Mike McMullan, 4-2, with a takedown in the closing seconds to cap a 5-0 week and improve to 14-0 this season. Telford also recorded a 3-1 win in the semifinals over No. 5 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin. He opened the tournament with a pin in 2:26, and added a second fall in the quarterfinals (2:51). He has a team-best nine pins, matching his single-season career high set as a freshman in 2011-12.

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Iowa’s four returning All-Americans — Cory Clark (125), Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285) — are a combined 51-0 this season with 22 pins. Clark, Evans, and Telford are all 14-0. Telford has nine pins, one major decision, and one win via medial forfeit. Clark has pinned seven of his 14 opponents. Evans has nine wins by bonus points. Burak is 9-0 with two pins, one major decision, and one technical fall. He has claimed two tournament titles wrestling unattached at the Luther Open and Midlands Championships. He has not wrestled attached this season. All four returning All-Americans won Midlands individual titles on Dec. 30. The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American every year since 1972, a span of 43 seasons. Iowa has totaled 261 All-America honors during that stretch. The Hawkeyes crowned six All-Americans in 2014, including four-time All-American Derek St. John (157) and first-timers Clark (125) and Burak (197). Tony Ramos earned his third career All-America honor, winning the 133-pound bracket, and Evans (174) and Telford (285) were both named All-Americans for the second time in their careers.

Iowa has nine wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of the latest Intermat rankings (Dec. 26), more than any other school. Four of Iowa’s wrestlers are ranked in the top 5, including Thomas Gilman (4), Cory Clark (4), Mike Evans (2), and Bobby Telford (3). Telford has since defeated top-ranked Mike McMullan. Four more Hawkeyes are projected in the top eight, including Josh Dziewa (6), Nick Moore (7), Sammy Brooks (8), and Nathan Burak (6). Brandon Sorensen is ranked No. 10 at 149. Iowa does not have a wrestler ranked at 157.

All-Americans Cory Clark (133), Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285) led Iowa to its 24th Midlands team championship Dec. 30. All four wrestlers won individual titles at their respective weights. The Hawkeyes had 11 wrestlers place in the top four, and won the tournament with a record 189 team points. They broke their previous record of 187.5 points set in 2013.

Senior Mike Evans defeated No. 6 Zac Brunson, 2-1, in the Midlands finals to win the 174-pound title for the second straight year. Evans was 5-0 in the tournament with one major decision and one pin. Evans has opened the season with a career-best 14-match winning streak. His previous best was 11 straight.

Sophomore Sammy Brooks has 14 wins this season, and 11 have come with bonus points. Brooks is 14-1 overall with five pins, three technical falls, and three major decisions. He also has one win via medical forfeit. He has three wins over ranked opponents this season, and placed third at the Midlands Championships.

Senior Michael Kelly’s next win will be the 50th of his career. The fifth-year senior is 49-29 in his career, including a 14-1 mark with four falls this season at 157 pounds. His 49 career wins are the fifth most among active Hawkeyes, and his 36 career dual starts is fourth most among active Hawkeyes. Kelly has wrestled every match at 157 pound this season, and has a 37-4 career mark competing at 157, including an 18-1 record wrestling unattached in 2010-11. He was 5-1 as a redshirt freshman, and wrestled his entire sophomore campaign at 149. He wrestled at 157 once last year, falling to Indiana’s sixth-ranked Taylor Walsh.

The Hawkeyes’ 11th straight win over Iowa State on Nov. 29 was Tom Brands‘ 150th career win at Iowa. He is 151-15-1 (.907) in eight-plus seasons as Iowa’s head coach. Only Dave McCuskey (160) and Dan Gable (355) have more dual wins at Iowa.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 946-224-31 (.799) in 105 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 53 NCAA Champions have won a total of 81 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 110 Big Ten champions have combined for 191 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 29 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 150 All-Americans have earned All-America status 307 times, including 18 four-time, 32 three-time and 39 two-time honorees.

Iowa’s dual at Rutgers is its first of seven appearances on BTN this season. Iowa’s regular season duals at Rutgers, Minnesota, and Penn State will air live on BTN. The Hawkeyes wrestle at Rutgers on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. (CT), at Minnesota on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m., and at Penn State on Feb. 8 at 12 p.m. BTN will televise the semifinal and final rounds of the Cliff Keen National Duals, hosted by the University of Iowa on Feb. 21-22. The semifinals will air Saturday on BTN at 3 p.m. The finals will be televised Sunday at 11:30 a.m. BTN is televised the final round of the Midlands Championships, and will televise the final round of the Big Ten Championships on March 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. The 2015 conference tournament is hosted by Ohio State.

Iowa will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first national championship on Friday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. against Northwestern. Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 40 years since, the Hawkeyes have accumulated 23 team titles, more than any other school — Oklahoma State (7), Penn State (4), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), and Arizona State (1).

The Hawkeyes have seven wrestlers with NCAA Championships experience. Seniors Mike Evans (174) and Bobby Telford (285) are three-time NCAA qualifiers. Telford earned All-America honors in 2012 and 2014, while Evans earned All-America honors in 2013 and 2014. Junior Nathan Burak (197) and sophomore Cory Clark (125) also advanced to the All-America stand in 2014. Burak was making his second NCAA tournament appearance, while Clark was making his first. Senior Nick Moore (165) has competed in two NCAA Championships (2013, 2014), and last year senior Josh Dziewa (141) and junior Brody Grothus (149) made their first career appearances.

The National Wrestling Coaches Association reached an agreement with the Big Ten Network to televise the Cliff Keen National Duals Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa, on Feb. 21-22. BTN will televise the semifinals Saturday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. (CT), and the finals Sunday, Feb. 22, at 11:30 a.m.

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