Match Notes: No. 2 Iowa at Montana State Northern

Feb. 10, 2016


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The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team travels to Havre, Montana, this week to face Montana State University Northern on Friday at 8 p.m. (CT).


The Northern Lights compete in the Frontier Conference in NAIA Division I. They host wrestling meets in the MSU-Northern Armory Gymnasium (2,100). The Lights are six-time NAIA national champions. Friday is the second meeting in the all-time series. Iowa shutout the Northern Lights, 50-0, on Nov. 26, 1995, in Great Falls, Montana. The Northern Lights are coached by Tyson Thivierge, a 2003 graduate of Montana State Northern. Thivierge won the 2002 NAIA National Championship at 184 pounds. Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands was an assistant at Montana State Northern from 2001-02.

Iowa defeated Indiana 45-0 on Feb. 5 to finish the conference schedule 9-0 and guarantee least a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Penn State is 8-0 in the Big Ten. If the Nittany Lions defeat Michigan State on Saturday, Feb. 13, they will share the title with Iowa. The Hawkeyes have won or shared eight of the last nine Big Ten dual championships, and have won or shared the regular season title nine 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.

The Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten regular season 9-0 with a 75-15 record in individual conference matches. The Hawkeyes have won 21 consecutive Big Ten duals, the longest conference winning streak since winning 39 straight from 2007-2012. Iowa has not lost a Big Ten dual since falling at home to Minnesota, 19-15, on Jan. 25, 2014. Iowa’s 21-dual win streak ties for the third longest in program history. The Hawkeyes won 21 in a row from 1989-92, 39 in a row from 2007-2012, and 98 in a row from 1974-1989.

Iowa’s four returning All-Americans — Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), Brandon Sorensen (149), and Nathan Burak (197) — are a combined 75-2 with 49 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 21-2 against top 20 wrestlers, with two technical falls and four major decisions.

Thomas Gilman, Brandon Sorensen, Alex Meyer and Sam Stoll finished the regular season 9-0 in conference duals. Since 2007, Tom Brands‘ first season as Iowa head coach, a wrestler has navigated a perfect Big Ten regular season 17 times. Gilman did it last year to become the first Hawkeye to go 9-0 in conference duals (last season was the first year the Big Ten schedule included nine regular season duals). Sorensen was 8-0 in the Big Ten last year, but did not wrestle against Michigan State. He is 17-0 all-time in Big Ten duals. Stoll is 9-0 all-time, and Meyer is 13-0 all-time in Big Ten duals.

Junior Alex Meyer (14-0) and redshirt freshman Sam Stoll (9-0) are undefeated in their careers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Both wrestlers have one regular season dual remaining at home, a Feb. 22 date against an opponent that will be announced Feb. 14. The Hawkeyes host the 2016 Big Ten Championships on March 5-6. Meyer (9-0) and Stoll (9-0) both finished the Big Ten regular season unbeaten.

Sophomore Brandon Sorensen is 7-0 against ranked opponents, and 5-0 against top 10 foes, including two wins against No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis, and two wins against No. 5 Jake Sueflohn. Sorensen is 21-0 overall with five major decisions, three technical falls, and two pins at arguably the toughest weight class in the Big Ten. According to Intermat rankings, five of the top seven 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 Sueflohn (4), Tsirtsis (6), and Michigan’s Alex Pantaleo (7). Sorensen is 11-2 all-time against the Big Ten’s top-rated wrestlers. He has never faced Retherford.

Thomas Gilman (19-0) and Brandon Sorensen (21-0) enter the second week of February with unbeaten records. There are 18 Division I wrestlers without a loss (minimum 10 matches). Gilman is one of two unbeaten 125-pounders, Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello is 16-0. Sorensen is one of three unbeaten 149-pounders. Penn State’s Zain Retherford (23-0) and Missouri’s Lavion Mayes (22-0) are also undefeated. It is the first time since 2012-13 that two Iowa wrestlers are undefeated this late in the season. Derek St. John was 22-0 at 157 before losing to No. 19 Kyle Brady (Missouri) at the NWCA National Duals, 4-3. He went on to win the NCAA title with a 31-2 record. Tony Ramos was 26-0 at 133 before falling in the Big Ten finals. He finished runner-up to Logan Stieber at both Big Tens and nationals. 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.

Junior Thomas Gilman has delivered bonus points in 16 of 19 matches this season. He has opened 12 of Iowa’s 15 duals, picking up six pins, four technical falls, and one major decision in those 12 outings. His 76 dual points scored lead the team, his seven falls are a career best, and his five technical falls tie his career best set in 2014-15.

Junior 125-pounder Thomas Gilman and redshirt freshman 285-pounder Sam Stoll have combined for 15 falls this season. Six of Gilman’s seven falls have occurred in the first period, with his quickest coming in 56 seconds. The seven falls are a new career high; he had five pins in 2014-15. Four of Stoll’s team-high eight falls have been against Big Ten 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.

Senior Nathan Burak has a team-high four technical falls, one more than his career total entering the season. He is 18-1 overall with 11 wins by bonus points, including five major decisions, four technical falls, and two falls. The five major decisions are a career best, and the two falls match his single-season career high. Burak opened the season with a career-high 17 straight wins. His only loss was to Minnesota’s fourth-ranked Brett Pfarr, 6-5, on Jan. 29. CLARK WARMS UP
Junior Cory Clark has posted two shutouts and a fall his last three times out. He defeated Luke Welch (Purdue) 12-0 on Jan. 22, and No. 14 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) 2-0 on Jan. 24. He pinned Minnesota’s Sam Brancale in 4:59 on Jan. 29. Clark is 17-1 overall, including a 5-1 mark against ranked opponents. He 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 25-1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Junior Thomas Gilman and sophomore Brandon Sorensen are riding career-best winning streaks. Sorensen has won 21 straight to open the season. He is 17-0 all-time in Big Ten duals. Gilman has won 19 in a row to open the season. He has won his last 18 Big Ten duals. He has a 22-1 career Big Ten record, and a 20-1 career record at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Junior Thomas Gilman has scored 76 of a possible 90 points in 15 duals. He has two major decisions, five technical falls, and six pins.

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).

Iowa is 8-0 against ranked opponents, with five wins at home and three on the road. Individually, Iowa’s probable lineup is 39-25 against ranked opponents. Two Hawkeyes — Thomas Gilman (6-0), Brandon Sorensen (6-0) — are undefeated against ranked opponents.

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.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 973-225-31 (.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. Iowa will host the National Duals against an opponent not yet determined on Feb. 22. Visit or call the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS for ticket information.

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