5 Hawkeyes Grab All-America Honors

March 21, 2015

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ST. LOUIS — Five University of Iowa wrestlers completed their respective All-America seasons today in the medal round of the 2015 NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center.

Thomas Gilman (125), Brandon Sorensen (149), Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285) are among the 80 Division I wrestlers that will be honored at the NCAA Parade of All-Americans tonight before the national finals.

The Hawkeyes are in second place entering the finals, 10 points behind Ohio State. With three wrestlers in the finals, the Buckeyes have clinched the team title.

Iowa has one wrestler in the finals. Third-seeded Cory Clark wrestles 13th-seeded Cody Brewer of Oklahoma in the 133-pound championship.

“Our focus is on Cory Clark,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “That’s where we look. We have one guy in the finals and he has an opportunity to win a championship. That’s our focus.

“They (Ohio State) did a lot of work to anchor it and we were within striking distance, but when you’re in that kind of position you’ve got to win matches. Really in any situation you want to win matches, and that’s what we’re focused on moving into tonight.”

Evans lost a pair of overtime decisions and placed sixth for the third year in a row. He finished his career with three All-America honors and 107 victories.

Telford lost in overtime in the consolation semifinals, but defeated Penn State’s Jimmy Lawson, 6-0, to place fifth. Telford won six-of-seven matches in the consolation bracket to earn his third All-America honor and finish his career with 108 wins.

Clark will be the ninth match of the finals tonight. The NCAA announced Saturday that the finals will start at 149 pounds and end at 141. ESPN will provide television coverage, and ESPN3 will provide an online stream.

“We had two seniors who were three-time All-Americans capping off their career,” said Brands. “Whether that’s the position they want to be in or not, it is an accolade, it is an accomplishment.”

Gilman pinned Cornell’s second-seeded Nahshon Garrett in the consolation semifinals, but lost to top-seeded Alan Waters, 8-4, in consolation finals to place fourth. He finished the year 31-6 and captured his first All-America honor.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Gilman said when asked about the progress that needs to be made from this year to next. “That’s about it, a lot of work to do. I need to keep scoring points.”

Sorensen advanced to the consolation finals with a 6-2 win over the fifth-seeded Chris Villalonga of Cornell, but ended his season with a 3-1 overtime loss to defending champion Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern.

“(Satisfaction) is not very high right now. It stings,” said Sorensen. “Coming off of the loss, getting beat early in the rounds, that’s not what I wanted. I came here to win and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Sorensen finished the year with 40 victories, one shy of matching Ed Banach’s single-season freshman record. He is one of four All-Americans returning next season (Gilman, Clark, Sorensen, Burak).

“Moving forward our team has probably the best depth of any other team,” said Sorensen. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming in and working throughout the summer. We just need to keep working hard and keep progressing.”

Sorensen, a redshirt freshman, and Gilman, a sophomore, are two of three underclassmen returning next season. The other is Clark, a two-time sophomore All-American.

“My heart goes out to (Clark) the second he steps on that stage,” said Gilman. “I’m really proud of him, he’s got the ability and he’s proved it and he’s just got to go get the job done. He’s a stud, watch out.”

“I think he’ll do well,” said Sorensen. “He’s a competitor, he works his tail off and he deserves it. Let’s go get a title.”

Clark will be the ninth match of the finals tonight. The NCAA announced Saturday that the finals will start at 149 pounds and end at 141. ESPN will provide television coverage, and ESPN3 will provide an online stream.

Notes: Attendance was 18,797… Iowa has crowned at least one All-American every year since 1972… the Hawkeyes have crowned 267 All-Americans during that 44-year stretch.

CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) pinned #2 Nahshon Garrett (CORN), 6:25
149 – #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. #5 Chris Villalonga (CORN), 6-2
174 – #1 Robert Kokesh (NEB) dec. #3 Mike Evans (Iowa), 6-4 SV1
285 – #5 Connor Medbery (WIS) dec. #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa), 3-1

125 – #1 Alan Waters (MIZZ) dec. #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa), 8-4
149 – #2 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) dec. #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), 3-1 SV1

174 – #12 Kyle Crutchmer (OKST) dec. #3 Mike Evans (Iowa), 2-1 TB1
285 – #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. #8 James Lawson (PSU), 6-0

197 – #6 Nathan Burak (Iowa) dec. #8 Max Huntley (MICH), 6-5

133 – #3 Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. #13 Cody Brewer (OU)

1. Ohio State – 94
2. IOWA – 84
3. Edinboro – 75.5
4. Missouri – 69.5
5. Cornell – 67.5
6. Penn State – 63.5
7. Oklahoma St. – 61
8. Minnesota – 59.5
9. Nebraska – 59
10. Virginia Tech – 55

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