Final Notes of 2015-16

March 28, 2016


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The Hawkeyes finished the 2015-16 season with a Big Ten regular season title, two Big Ten Tournament champions, six All-Americans, and 10 academic All-Big Ten honors. The Hawkeyes owned an overall record of 16-1, won at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.


Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), and Brandon Sorensen (149) each reached the finals of their respective weight classes at the 2016 NCAA Championships, and all three return next season. The trio combined for a 83-6 record in 2015-16, including a 33-6 mark against ranked opponents. They combined for 20 major decisions, 10 technical falls, and 20 pins. The Hawkeyes have had at least one wrestler in the NCAA finals every year since 1990, and in 40 of the last 41 seasons dating back to 1975.

The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American in 45 consecutive seasons, a stretch dating back to 1972. Iowa has totaled 273 All-America honors during that stretch. The Hawkeyes had six All-Americans in 2016, tying Penn State, Oklahoma State, and Virginia Tech for most in the NCAA tournament. Cory Clark (2nd/133) and Nathan Burak (4th/197) won All-America honors for the third time, Thomas Gilman (2nd/125) and Brandon Sorensen (2nd/149) became two-time All-Americans, and Alex Meyer (8th/174) and Sammy Brooks (8th/184) are first-time All-Americans. Iowa and Virginia Tech are the only school returning five 2016 All-Americans.

Juniors Cory Clark (133) and Sammy Brooks (184) both won Big Ten titles at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 6. Clark defeated three top 10 opponents and avenged his only loss of the season (at the time) by defeating Illinois’ Zane Richards, 2-1, in the first tiebreak in the finals. Brooks was 4-0 in the Big Ten tournamanet. He defeated Nebraska’s T.J. Dudley, 6-4, in the finals. Clark and Brooks became the 110th and 111th conference champions in school history. The 111 individual champions have combined for 197 conference titles.

The Hawkeyes hosted the “Grapple on the Gridiron” and set an NCAA dual attendance record when 42,287 fans flocked to Kinnick Stadium to witness Iowa defeat Oklahoma State, 18-16, on Nov. 14. The dual shattered the previous NCAA dual attendance record of 15,996 set by Penn State in 2013 (vs. Pitt). The Hawkeyes have led the country in NCAA dual attendance 10 consecutive seasons. Iowa averaged an NCAA record 12,166 fans in eight home dates and, including the 2016 Big Ten Championships, welcomed a total of 132,913 wrestling fans through the gates of Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That number will grow when the University of Iowa hosts the 2016 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on April 9-10.

Iowa defeated Indiana 45-0 on Feb. 5 to finish the conference schedule 9-0 and share Big Ten regular season title with Penn State. 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.

Thomas Gilman, Brandon Sorensen, Alex Meyer and Sam Stoll had unblemished Big Ten regular seasons (9-0). 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 in 2014-15, becoming the first Hawkeye to ever own a 9-0 record in conference duals (2014-15 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 in Big Ten duals, and Meyer is 13-0 all-time in Big Ten duals.


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 (5), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Ohio State (1) and Arizona State (1).

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 974-226-31 (.799) in 106 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’ 111 Big Ten champions have combined for 197 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 29 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa. Iowa’s 154 All-Americans have earned All-America status 319 times, including 18 four-time, 36 three-time and 40 two-time honorees.

Junior 125-pounder Thomas Gilman and redshirt freshman 285-pounder Sam Stoll shared the team lead with 10 falls each. Eight of Gilman’s 10 falls occurred in the first period, with his quickest coming in 56 seconds. The 10 falls are a new career high; he had five pins in 2014-15. His 10th fall of the season was in sudden victory of the NCAA semifinals against top seed and defending NCAA champion Nathan Tomasello. Stoll finished his rookie season with 10 pins. As a true freshman in 2014-15, Stoll was 18-5 with 11 pins competing unattached. He finished his high school career with a national record 63 consecutive pins. He pinned every opponent he faced his senior season.

Sophomore Brandon Sorensen was named co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 5. He won the 149-pound bracket at the 2015 Midlands Championship on Dec. 30. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native went 6-0 with a pair of wins over ranked opponents, defeating seventh-ranked Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska) in the semis and third-ranked Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) in the finals. He also had a pin and technical fall in the opening rounds. The weekly conference honor was the third of Sorensen’s career. He was recognized two times in January 2015.

Junior Sammy Brooks was named Big Ten and USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on Nov. 16. The Oak Park, Illinois, native used four takedowns and eight nearfall points to earn a 17-2 technical fall over Oklahoma State’s Jordan Rogers at the “Grapple on the Gridiron” on Nov. 14. Brooks’ bonus points at 184 pounds gave Iowa a 15-13 lead and proved to be the difference in the Hawkeyes’ 18-16 win over the top-ranked Cowboys.

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).

The Hawkeyes are 233-23 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. The Hawkeyes have recorded 20 undefeated seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most recent in 2012-13 (9-0). Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted four Big Ten Championships (1983, 1994, 2005, 2016) and four NCAA Championships (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The Hawkeyes have won five tournament titles on their home mat, including the 1983 and 1994 Big Ten Championships, and the 1986, 1991 and 1995 NCAA Championships.

Iowa won three individual titles and scored 152 points to win the 53rd annual Midlands Championships. Thomas Gilman (125), Brandon Sorensen (149), and Nathan Burak (197) led Iowa to its tournament record 24th Midlands team title.

The Hawkeyes won eight-of-10 matches to top Iowa State, 33-6, on Nov. 29 at Hilton Coliseum. The win was Iowa’s 12th straight in the series, and awarded Iowa possession of the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for sixth consecutive year. Iowa has owned the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy every year since its inception in 2010.

Mike Howard Award (Most Valuable): Cory Clark
J. Donald McPike Award (Highest GPA): Nathan Burak
Mike J. McGivern (Most Courageous): Sam Stoll
John & Dorothy Sill (Most Dedicated): Nathan Burak, Thomas Gilman
Most Pins Award: Thomas Gilman and Sam Stoll (10)
Most Improved Award: Sam Stoll
Coaches Appreciation Award: Jake Kadel and Patrick Rhoads

10 Hawkeyes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, including Nathan Burak, Trevor Graves, Brody Grothus, Jake Kadel, Kris Klapprodt, Phillip Laux, Logan McQuillen, Alex Meyer, Patrick Rhoads, and Logan Thomsen. Iowa has had 80 academic All-Big Ten honorees since 2007, head coach Tom Brands‘ first year.

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