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ON THE MAT
The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team hosts No. 23 Minnesota on Friday at 8:03 p.m. (CT). Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for youth, and free for UI students and children five years old and younger. Everyone must have a ticket to enter Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IOWA VS. MINNESOTA
Friday’s dual is the 101st meeting between Minnesota and Iowa. The schools first met in 1921, a 39-3 Iowa victory in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 71-28-1. Iowa is 34-16 all-time wrestling Minnesota at home, but the Gophers won the last meeting, 19-15, on Jan. 25, 2014. The schools have met 13 times since 2006-07, Tom Brands‘ first season as Iowa’s head coach. The Hawkeyes own a 9-4 advantage during that stretch.
|#2 IOWA vs. #23 Minnesota|
|Date||Jan. 29, 2016| 8:03 p.m. (CT)|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arean (15,077)|
|Radio||AM 800 KXIC|
|Live Stats||Track Wrestling | Twitter Game Updates|
IOWA VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Iowa is 6-0 against ranked opponents, with three wins at home and three on the road. Individually, Iowa’s probable lineup is 35-23 against ranked opponents. Three Hawkeyes are undefeated against ranked opponents. They include Thomas Gilman (5-0), Brandon Sorensen (6-0), and Nathan Burak (3-0).
STREAKING THROUGH THE BIG TEN
The Hawkeyes are 7-0 in the Big Ten, and 57-13 in individual conference matches. The Hawkeyes have won 19 consecutive Big Ten duals, the longest conference winning streak since winning 39 straight from 2007-2012. Minnesota was the last team to beat Iowa in a Big Ten dual (19-15, Jan. 25, 2014). Iowa’s 19-dual win streak ties for the fourth longest in program history. The Hawkeyes won 19 in a row from 1994-97, 21 in a row from 1989-92, 39 in a row from 2007-2012, and 98 in a row from 1974-1989.
Iowa is 7-0 in the Big Ten for the sixth time since 2006-07, Tom Brands‘ first season as head coach. Each time the Hawkeyes started 7-0, they went on to finish with an undefeated conference record while winning the Big Ten regular season dual title (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015). 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.
Iowa’s four returning All-Americans — Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), Brandon Sorensen (149), and Nathan Burak (197) — are a combined 68-1 with 44 wins by bonus points. Gilman, Sorensen, and Burak each won their respective brackets at the 2015 Midlands. Clark was 3-0 before withdrawing prior to the semifinals. The group is 20-1 against top 20 wrestlers, with two technical falls and three major decisions.
Minnesota natives Sam Stoll and Michael Kroells will meet at 285 pounds for the first time in their collegiate careers. Stoll was a two-time Minnesota state champion at Kasson-Matoville in Kasson, Minnesota. He is ranked seventh by Intermat. Kroells was a two-time state champion at Scott West High School in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. He is ranked ninth by Intermat. Stoll and Kroells have wrestled four common opponents this season. Both wrestlers defeated Alex Macki (SDSU), Tyler Kral (Purdue), and Collin Jensen (Nebraska). Stoll defeated Rutgers’ Billy Smith, 3-1, in sudden victory. Kroells lost to Smith, 2-1, in the first tiebreak.
LAST OF THE UNBEATENS
Three Hawkeyes — Thomas Gilman (17-0), Brandon Sorensen (19-0), and Nathan Burak (17-0) — enter the final week of January with unbeaten records. It is the first time since 2009-10 that three Iowa wrestlers are undefeated this late in the season. Matt McDonough (22-0), Brent Metcalf (22-0), and Jay Borschel (21-0) were undefeated entering the final week in January 2010. All three wrestlers went on to win NCAA titles. Borschel did it with an undefeated record (37-0). Both McDonough (37-1) and Metcalf (36-1) suffered their only losses of the season in the Big Ten finals. In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91 and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.
A LITTLE EXTRA ON TOP
Junior Thomas Gilman has delivered bonus points in 15 of 18 matches this season. He has opened 11 of Iowa’s 13 duals, picking up five pins, four technical falls, and one major decision in those 11 outings. His 66 dual points scored lead the team. Gilman, ranked No. 2 at 125, has six pins, five technical falls, and three major decisions. His six falls tie for second on the team and equal a single-season career high. He pinned five opponents in 2014-15.
FALLS BIG AND SMALL
Junior 125-pounder Thomas Gilman and redshirt freshman 285-pounder Sam Stoll rank 1-2 on the team in falls. Stoll has seven pins. Gilman has six. Five of Gilman’s six falls have occurred in the first period, with his quickest coming in 56 seconds. The six falls are a new career high; he had five pins in 2014-15. Four of Stoll’s first five career wins came via fall, and he’s pinned two of his last three opponents. Stoll finished his high school career with a national record 63 consecutive pins. He pinned every opponent he faced his senior season. As a true freshman in 2014-15, Stoll was 18-5 with 11 pins competing unattached.
CONSECUTIVE GOOSE EGGS
Junior Cory Clark has posted consecutive shutouts his last two times out. He defeated Luke Welch (Purdue) 12-0 on Jan. 22, and No. 14 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) 2-0 on Jan. 24. Clark is 15-1 overall, including a 5-1 mark against ranked opponents. Clark defeated No. 7 Earl Hall of Iowa State, 9-2, on Nov. 29, earned a decision against No. 15 Brance Simms of SDSU on Dec. 4, scored a major decision over Rutgers’ No. 17 Anthony Giraldo on Dec. 10, won by 7-3 decision against Wisconsin’s No. 7 Ryan Taylor, and shutout No. 14 Montoya, 2-0. His only loss this season was to Illinois’ No. 7 Zane Richards, 5-3, on Jan. 8. Clark is 27-10 all-time and has won nine of his last 11 matches against ranked opponents. He has a career record of 23-1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
GROTHUS IS BACK, BACK AGAIN
Senior Brody Grothus returned to the dual lineup with a 6-0 win against No. 17 Danny Sabatello (Purdue) on Friday, Jan. 22. It marked Grothus’ first appearance in the dual lineup since December 2014. He shares the 141 spot in the probable lineup with Topher Carton, who has a 3-2 record in the Big Ten.
BATTLE TESTED AT 149
For the seventh time this season, sophomore Brandon Sorensen has a ranked opponent on his schedule. Minnesota’s Jake Short is ranked 13th by Intermat. Sorensen is 2-0 in his career against Short, with a 4-0 decision in last season’s dual, and a medical forfeit in the opening round of the 2015 Big Ten Championships (Sorensen was leading 8-0 before Short withdrew from the match). Sorensen is 6-0 against ranked opponents, including two wins this season over No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis, and two wins over No. 5 Jake Sueflohn. Sorensen is 19-0 overall with five major decisions, three technical falls, and two pins at arguable the toughest weight class in the Big Ten. According to Intermat rankings, five of the top six wrestlers in the country are in the Big Ten. Sorensen is ranked No. 2 by Intermat, one spot behind Penn State’s Zain Retherford, and ahead of Tsirtsis (4), Sueflohn (5), and Michigan’s Alex Pantaleo (6). Two more Big Ten wrestlers crack the top 13, including Ohio State’s Hunter Steiber (11) and Short (13) Sorensen is 11-2 all-time against the Big Ten’s top rated wrestlers. He has never faced Retherford.
BURAK DRAWS TOP 5 MATCHUP
Senior Nathan Burak, ranked No. 3 by Intermat, is scheduled to face Minnesota’s Brett Pfarr, ranked No. 4 by Intermat. It is the first career meeting between the two. Pfarr wrestled at 184 last season, losing 13-6 to Sammy Brooks in the regular season dual. Burak is ranked third for the fourth week in a row. It is the second time in his career he cracked the top three. He spent one week ranked No. 3 in January 2015 before falling to Minnesota’s sixth-ranked Scott Schiller. Burak is 17-0 for the first time in his career. He started 13-0 last season. He has 10 wins by bonus points, including five major decisions, three technical falls, and two falls. The three technical falls are a single-season career high, and the two falls match his single-season career high.
HAWKEYES HIT CAREER LONGS
Junior Thomas Gilman, sophomore Brandon Sorensen, and senior Nathan Burak are all riding career-best winning streaks. All three wrestlers are undefeated this season. Sorensen has won 19 straight to open the season. He is 15-0 all-time in Big Ten duals. Burak has won 17 straight to open the season, and 18 in a row dating back to his seventh place match at the NCAA Championships. His previous career-long win streak was 13, set in the first 13 matches of 2014-15. Gilman has won 17 in a row to open the season. He has won his last 16 Big Ten duals. He has a 20-1 career Big Ten record, and an 18-1 career record at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The only conference and home loss of his career was to Minnesota’s Sam Brancale in 2014.
Junior Thomas Gilman has scored 66 of a possible 78 points in 13 duals. He has two major decisions, five technical falls, and five pins. Gilman leads Sammy Brooks and Sam Stoll by six points for most dual points scored on the team. Brooks and Stoll have scored 60 dual points.
54-0 IS A PROGRAM RECORD
Iowa recorded the largest margin of victory against a Big Ten opponent in school history on Jan. 10 at Northwestern. The Hawkeyes scored bonus points in nine matches — including five pins and a technical fall — to win 54-0, topping the previous mark of 53-0 against Illinois in 1992. The 54 points scored are the most against a Big Ten team in program history, and the 54-0 win is the largest win in series history (50-0, 1979).
DOMINANT SINCE NO. 1
Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 41 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), Ohio State (1) and Arizona State (1).
Iowa returns four All-Americans this year — Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), Brandon Sorensen (149), and Nathan Burak (197). The Hawkeyes had a tournament-high six All-Americans in 2015. Mike Evans (6th/174) and Bobby Telford (5th/285) won All-America honors for the third time, Nathan Burak (7th/197) and Cory Clark (2nd/133) became two-time All-Americans, and Thomas Gilman (4th/125) and Brandon Sorensen (4th/149) are first-time All-Americans. The Hawkeyes crowned at least one All-American for the 44th consecutive season, a stretch dating back to 1972. Iowa has totaled 267 All-America honors during that stretch.
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 969-225-31 (.799) in 104 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 35 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’ 109 Big Ten champions have combined for 195 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 29 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 152 All-Americans have earned All-America status 313 times, including 18 four-time, 34 three-time and 40 two-time honorees.
Tickets to the 2016 Big Ten Championships hosted by the University of Iowa are now on sale. All-Session tickets are $50 for adults, $40 for youth. Single dual tickets for Iowa’s remaining two conference duals are also available for purchase. Tickets are $12 for the Indiana dual (Feb. 5), and $15 for the Minnesota dual (Jan. 29). Youth tickets (18 and younger) are $10 for the Minnesota dual, and $8 for the Indiana dual. Iowa will host the National Duals on one of two dates yet to be determined (Feb. 21 or Feb. 22). Visit hawkeyesports.com or call the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS for ticket information.