Wrestling Notebook: B1G Championships

March 3, 2015


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The University of Iowa wrestling team travels to Columbus, Ohio, to compete at the 2015 Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday. Ohio State University hosts the conference tournament at St. John Arena. The two-day event begins Saturday at 10 a.m. (ET). Session II starts Saturday at 6 p.m. Session III begins Sunday at 12 p.m., followed by the finals at 3 p.m. The finals will be televised by BTN.

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

Sophomores Thomas Gilman and Sammy Brooks, and redshirt freshman Brandon Sorensen earned the No. 1 pre-seed for the 2015 Big Ten Championships. All three are competing at the Big Ten Championships for the first time. Gilman and Sorensen both ran through the conference dual season with undefeated records. Gilman was 9-0 in the Big Ten and 24-3 overall. Sorensen was 8-0 in the Big Ten and 31-3 overall. Both wrestlers are ranked fourth nationally at their respective weights. Brooks is ranked eighth nationally with a 23-4 overall record. He was 8-1 in Big Ten duals. Iowa is one of two schools with three top-seeded wrestlers. Tournament host Ohio State is the other. The Hawkeyes have no one seeded lower than seventh, and they are the only team with 10 wrestlers seeded eighth or better.

2015 Big Ten Championships
Date March 7-8 | All Day. (CT)
Location Columbus, Ohio | St. John Arena
Sunday Finals BTN
Webstream: btn2go.com
Radio AM 800 KXIC
Live Coverage TrackWrestling | Twitter Game Updates

The Hawkeyes’ 109 Big Ten champions have won a total of 195 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 eight qualifying tournaments across the country. The NCAA has awarded the conference 86 of the 260 automatic qualifying bids for the national championships in St. Louis on March 19-21. The Big Ten will receive as few as five automatic bids at 125, and as many as 12 at 133 pounds. The top seven finishers at 149, and the top eight at 141, 157, and 165 automatically qualify for nationals. The top nine at 197 and 285 earn automatic bids, as do the top 10 at 174 and 184.

Since 1989, the year the Big Ten record book first recognizes the award, eight different Hawkeyes have been named Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships. Head coach Tom Brands won the 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).

No. 1 IN RPI
Five Hawkeyes were ranked at the top of their class in the NCAA RPI rankings released Feb. 26. Cory Clark (133), Brandon Sorensen (149), Sammy Brooks (184), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285) are ranked No. 1 in RPI at their respective weight classes. Three more Hawkeyes are in the top five, including Thomas Gilman (5th/125), Josh Dziewa (4th/141), and Michael Kelly (5th/157). The RPI is among the criteria the NCAA uses when selecting at-large participants for the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The 70 at-large selections will be announced March 11 after the qualifying tournaments are complete.

Thomas Gilman, 125 POUNDS
? Gilman is making his first Big Ten Championships appearance.
? 11-2 career record against tournament field.
? The only Hawkeye to go 9-0 in conference duals.
? Leads Iowa with five technical falls and eight major decisions.
? Led Iowa with 62 points in dual meets.
? 5-3 record against ranked opponents.
? 2013 Midlands champion.

Cory Clark, 133 POUNDS
? Clark is making his second Big Ten Championships appearance. He placed fourth at 125 pounds in 2014.
? Team-best five match win streak.
? 7-4 record against ranked opponents.
? 7-4 career record against tournament field.
? Ranks second on the team with nine falls.
? 2014 Midlands champion.

Josh Dziewa, 141 POUNDS
? Dziewa is making his third tournament appearance.
? He placed placed fifth in 2014, and did not place while competing at 149 pounds in 2013.
? 9-6 career record against tournament field.
? 6-3 record against ranked opponents.
? Won four of his last six against ranked opponents.
? Has 79 career dual wins, third among active Hawkeyes.

Brandon Sorensen, 149 POUNDS
? Sorensen is making his first Big Ten Championships appearance.
? 8-3 record against ranked opponents.
? 9-0 career record against tournament field.
? 31 wins are a team high.
? 8-0 in Big Ten duals.
? Tied for third on the team with six falls, ranks second with seven major decisions.
? Only wrestler in the country with wins over two reigning NCAA finalists.
? Named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 13 and Jan. 27.
? Only losses have been to teammate Brody Grothus (3-2) at the Luther Open, and current No. 1 David Habat (3-2) at the Midlands Championships.

2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships logo

Michael Kelly, 157 POUNDS
? Kelly is making his second Big Ten Championships appearance, but first since 2012 when he competed at 149.
? 2-7 record against ranked opponents.
? 4-10 record against tournament field.

Nick Moore, 165 POUNDS
? Moore is making his third Big Ten Championships appearance (4th/2013; 2nd/2014).
? 2-6 record against ranked opponents.
? 10-4 career record against tournament field.
? Six falls ranks third on the team.

Mike Evans, 174 POUNDS
? Evans is making his fourth Big Ten Championships appearance, he is a three-time runner-up. Once at 165 (2012) and the last two years at 174.
? 8-1 record against ranked opponents.
? 15-11 career record against tournament field.
? Won his first 20 matches of the season before a 2-0 loss to then-No. 3 Matt Brown.
? Has 101 career wins, more than any active Hawkeye.
? Named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 24.
? 2014 Midlands champion.

Sammy Brooks, 184 POUNDS
? Brooks is making his first Big Ten Championships appearance.
? 8-4 record against ranked opponents.
? 11-1 career record against tournament field.
? 37-9 all-time record wrestling at 184 pounds.
? 16 of his 23 wins have been by bonus points.
? Ranks third on the team with six major decisions.
? Ranks fourth on the team with three technical falls.
? Third on the team with seven falls.

Nathan Burak, 197 POUNDS
? Burak is making his third Big Ten Championships appearance (4th/2013; 5th/2014).
? 6-3 record against ranked opponents.
? 13-11 career record against tournament field.
? Seven of last eight matches have been against ranked opponents (4-3).
? 2014 Midlands champion.

Bobby Telford, 285 POUNDS
? Telford is making his fourth Big Ten Championships appearance (2nd/2012; 3rd/2013; 4th/2014).
? His next win will be career win No. 100.
? 10-2 record against ranked opponents.
? 16-8 career record against tournament field.
? Has three wins over top five opponents.
? Both losses this year have been in overtime.
? 11 of last 14 opponents have been ranked (9-2).
? Leads team with 10 falls.
? Named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 31 and Feb. 10.
? 2014 Midlands Champion.

The Hawkeyes visit Columbus for the second time this season. Iowa won the final four bouts to defeat Ohio State, 18-14, on Jan. 4. The Buckeyes were one of five ranked opponents Iowa defeated on the road this year. The Hawkeyes finished their road schedule with a 6-0 record, including four wins against top 10 opponents. Iowa traveled 5,226 miles since opening the dual schedule at Rutgers on Jan. 2. That includes 3,370 miles in the air — Rutgers, Ohio State, Maryland, Penn State — and 1,856 miles on the road to Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes also won the Midlands Championships on Dec. 30, a 460 mile roundtrip trip to Evanston, Illinois.

Iowa’s five seniors enter the championships with a combined 11 appearances in the conference tournament. Bobby Telford and Mike Evans are both making their fourth tournament appearance. Josh Dziewa and Nick Moore are making their third appearance, and Michael Kelly is making his second appearance, but his first since 2012. The Hawkeyes have three wrestlers making their Big Ten Championships debuts. They include sophomores Thomas Gilman and Sammy Brooks, and redshirt freshman Brandon Sorensen. Sophomore Cory Clark is making his second appearance, and junior Nathan Burak is competing for the third time.

Iowa won the Big Ten regular season dual title with a 22-9 win over Michigan on Feb. 13. The Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten season 9-0, one dual ahead of Nebraska (8-1) and Ohio State (8-1). The Hawkeyes have won or shared seven of the last eight Big Ten dual championships, and have won or shared the regular season title eight times since the conference started recognizing a dual meet champion in 1999. Iowa won the title outright in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015, and shared the title in 2003 and 2014.

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