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ST. LOUIS — Five Hawkeyes advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships following second round victories Thursday night inside the Scottrade Center.
Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), Mike Evans (174), Sammy Brooks (184), and Nathan Burak (197) moved forward on the top side of the bracket and will wrestle for semifinal berths tomorrow morning beginning at 10 a.m. (CT).
“We still have a lot of wrestling to do,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “There’s some good, there’s some bad… you’re wrestling 20 matches today so there’s a lot going through your mind right now. Really what we’re doing is getting ready to go tomorrow.”
Iowa has three wrestlers competing in the consolation bracket and sits in second place after two rounds with 21 points. Ohio State leads the team race with 23 points. Oklahoma State is third (19.5), Penn State is fourth (18.5), and Missouri (18) and Nebraska (18) are tied for fifth. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions (18.5) also have five quarterfinalists.
Gilman opened the round of 16 with a 3-1 win against Penn State’s Jordan Conaway, finishing on top of a scramble in the first sudden-victory period to advance to the quarterfinals of his first NCAA Championships.
“Overtime is where my wrestling was just getting started,” Gilman said. “I don’t know how I got the takedown, I just realized I had an ankle and hip, the ref said two, and that was it. I didn’t realize I was in on the shot until it was over. That’s kind of my instincts taking over and that’s when I’m my best.”
Gilman will face Virginia Tech’s Joey Dance in the quarterfinals. Dance won a 3-1 overtime decision in the 2014 Midlands finals in their only previous meeting.
Clark recorded the first of Iowa’s two second-round major decisions. He built a 6-3 lead after two periods and opened the third with a reversal and three nearfall points. He finished with 3:04 riding time to earn the 12-4 win over Michigan’s Rossi Bruno and a date with Iowa State’s sixth-seeded Earl Hall. Clark is 3-0 all-time against Hall.
“I felt a lot better than this morning,” Clark said. “I’m just going to build throughout the tournament. Usually I get better as the tournament goes on, so hopefully that continues.”
Burak added bonus points to Iowa’s night with a 12-2 win over SIU-E’s Jake Tindle. Burak scored five takedowns and added 3:52 of riding time to earn his second major decision of the day. He won 18-4 in the opening round.
“A big part of (today) is doing what I know and I feel like I did a better job of that in the first two matches… letting it fly and trying to get bonus points,” Burak said. “That’s what is going to make a difference.”
Burak faces third-seeded Kyven Gadson of Iowa State in the quarterfinals. Gadson defeated Burak, 5-4, in their only previous meeting.
Evans and Brooks advanced to the quarterfinals with a pair of decisions. Evans scored a takedown with 20 seconds left in the second and added 1:27 of riding time to defeat Wyoming’s Andy McCulley, 4-0. He will wrestle Minnesota’s Logan Storley in the quarters. Evans and Storley have split six career matches, with Evans winning the last three.
Brooks scored a takedown in the opening period and added 1:36 of riding time to defeat Michigan’s Domenic Abounader, 4-2.
“I’d like to open up the score more and not let it be so close where it’s coming down to the last however many seconds, but I got the win and it’s one match at a time right now,” said Brooks, who will face top-seeded Gabe Dean in the quarterfinals. “Now it’s on to the next one. I’m over it.”
Brandon Sorensen fell into the consolation bracket with a 4-3 loss to Penn’s Charles Cobb. He will wrestle North Dakota State’s Clayton Ream in Friday’s wrestle-backs.
Josh Dziewa and Bobby Telford also won in the wrestle-backs and advanced through the consolation bracket. Dziewa earned a 12-3 major decision, and Telford recorded a fall in 38 seconds. It was his team best 12th fall of the season. Michael Kelly and Nick Moore lost in the consolation bracket and were eliminated from the tournament.
“Bonus points are important and there’s three between those two right there,” said Brands. “That’s good and that’s what we need to do. The things that we can control, we need to keep controlling them and when you have the chance to put the clamps on someone, put the clamps on them. It doesn’t matter what side of the bracket it’s on, front side, back side, it doesn’t matter.”
The quarterfinals and wrestle-backs begin Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT) at the Scottrade Center. Session III uses an eight-mat configuration with quarterfinals on the middle four mats and consolations on the outside mats.
Notes: Attendance was 18,414.
ROUND OF 16 RESULTS
125 – #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) dec. #11 Jordan Conaway (PSU), 3-1 SV1
133 – #3 Cory Clark (Iowa) major dec. #14 Rossi Bruno (MICH), 12-4
149 – #13 Charles Cobb (PENN) dec. #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), 4-3
174 – #3 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. #4 Andy McCulley (WYO), 4-0
184 – #9 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) dec. #8 Domenic Abounader (MICH), 4-2
197 – #6 Nathan Burak (Iowa) major dec. Jake Tindle (SIUE), 12-2
CONSOLATION ROUND RESULTS
141 – #5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) major dec. Mike Pongracz (CHAT), 12-3
157 – Alex Elder (ORST) dec. Michael Kelly (Iowa), 11-6
165 – Mitchell Polkowske (NCOL) major dec. Nick Moore (Iowa), 12-4
285 – #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) pins J.J. Everard (SDSU), 0:39
125 – #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) vs. #3 Joey Dance (VT)
133 – #3 Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. #6 Earl Hall (ISU)
174 – #3 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs. #6 Logan Storley (MINN)
184 – #9 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) vs. #1 Gabe Dean (Cornell)
197 – #6 Nathan Burak (Iowa) vs. #3 Kyven Gadson (ISU)
1. Ohio State 23
2. IOWA 21
3. Oklahoma St. 19.5
4. Penn State 18.5
5. Missouri 18
7. Cornell 17.5
8. Illinois 16.5
9. Michigan 15
Va. Tech 15