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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Iowa wrestling team advanced four Hawkeyes to the finals at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday night. Thomas Gilman, Josh Dziewa, Brandon Sorensen and Bobby Telford will wrestle for conference titles Sunday at 3 p.m. (ET). BTN will televise the event.
The Hawkeyes were 4-3 in the semifinal round and 2-2 in the consolation bracket. Sammy Brooks picked up a pair of wins to stay alive on the backside of 184. Michael Kelly and Nick Moore were both eliminated with losses.
“We did some work that was good to keep us in there when we had some things fall apart a little bit,” said UI head coach Tom Brands.
Gilman collected two takedowns and an escape to edge out the No. 5 seed Jordan Conaway of Penn State, 5-4, at 125. He trailed 4-3 in the third before finishing on the edge for the go-ahead takedown with 45 seconds left in the third. He faces the No. 3 seed Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State in Sunday’s finals.
“It’s not how I wanted to do it, but it’s the postseason and as long as you’re winning matches that’s all that matters,” said Gilman.
Josh Dziewa upset second-ranked Nick Dardanes (Minnesota), 5-1, at 141. Dziewa scored takedowns in the first and third periods and added a second period escape to advance to the finals against top-seeded Logan Stieber (Ohio State).
“I went after my attacks and I scored,” said Dziewa. “I shot maybe three times in the match and scored on the two of them. That tells me I can shoot five, six, seven, eight times, and score five, six, seven, eight times.” There is still the finals and still room to improve.
Top-seeded Brandon Sorensen advanced to the finals at 149 after a 2-0 decision over Michigan’s fifth-seeded, Alex Pantaleo. Sorensen rode Panteleo for 1:52 in the second period and added an escape in the third to advance to the finals, where he will face defending Big Ten and NCAA champion Jason Tsirtsis.
“It feels good to get the win and help the team,” Sorensen said before adding there is room to improve. “You’re always looking to score and that’s what I’m looking to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re up 14 or down two, you stay focused and keep going after your points.”
Bobby Telford became Iowa’s fourth finalist when up upended top-seeded Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 3-1, in sudden victory. Telford and Medbery exchanged escapes in the second and third period before Telford finished a quick single leg with 15 seconds left in the first overtime. Telford faces Northwestern’s Mike McMullan in the finals.
“When I went to the leg I wasn’t worried about getting it up,” said Telford. “I wanted to lock it out, get my head tight, control the match. The cutback was there, so I hit the cutback.”
Action at St. John Arena resumes on Sunday, March 8 at 1 p.m. ET and Championship matches are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
“We have four finalists and we need to do some work,” said Brands. “A lot of it is in our hands if you’re talking about the team race, but really it’s about being strong individually and continuing that path.”
After Day 1 of competition, Iowa is in second place with 101 points. Ohio State leads the pack with 102.5 and Minnesota hangs at third with 86.5. Michigan (80.5), Illinois (79), and Penn State (78.5) fall into fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.
The Hawkeyes and Ohio State are the only two teams to advance four wrestlers to the finals, followed by Minnesota (3), and Wisconsin, Penn State, and Northwestern (2).
SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #1 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) dec. #5 Jordan Conaway (PSU), 5-4
133 – #1 Chris Dardanes (MINN) dec. #5 Cory Clark (Iowa), 6-2 TB2
141 – #6 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) dec. #2 Nick Dardanes (MINN), 5-1
149 – #1 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. #5 Alec Pantaleo (MICH), 2-0
174 – #2 Matt Brown (PSU) dec. #3 Mike Evans (Iowa), 2-0
197 – #1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) dec. #4 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 3-2
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. #1 Connor Medbery (WIS), 3-1 SV1
157 – #8 Anthony Perrotti (RUT) pinned #7 Michael Kelly (Iowa), 0:55
*157 – #7 Michael Kelly (Iowa) major dec. #14 Travis Curley (MSU), 8-0
165 – #9 Austin Wilson (NEB) dec. #7 Nick Moore (Iowa), 2-1
*165 – #7 Nick Moore (Iowa) pinned #8 Nick Wanzek (MINN)
184 – #1 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) major dec. #10 Patrick Kissel (PUR), 16-4
184 – #1 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) dec. #5 Kenny Courts (OSU), 4-1
*9th place matches for NCAA allocations
125 – #1 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) vs. #3 Nathan Tomasello (OSU)
141 – #6 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) vs. #1 Logan Stieber (OSU)
149 – #1 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) vs. #2 Jason Tsirtsis (NU)
285 – #4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. #3 Mike McMullan (NU)