BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — University of Iowa wrestlers Thomas Gilman, Cory Clark, Michael Kemerer, and Sammy Brooks advanced to the finals of the 2017 Big Ten Championships following semifinal victories Saturday night at Assembly Hall.
All four wrestlers will compete for conference titles Sunday at 2 p.m. (CT) live on BTN.
Iowa has three wrestlers competing on the back side of the bracket. Brandon Sorensen (149) and Alex Meyer (174) are in the hunt for third place, and Cash Wilcke will wrestle for seventh at 197. A win by Wilcke will earn the redshirt freshman an automatic berth at the NCAA Championships.
Topher Carton was bounced from the tournament at 141, but he will wrestle for ninth place tomorrow to determine the conference’s final automatic qualifier at 141.
“We’ve got another day ahead of us and we’ve got work to do,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “We have four in the finals with two head-to-heads against Ohio State. There is a lot left to wrestle for. We’ve got day two coming up and there is work to do on both sides of the bracket.”
Clark and Brooks reached the conference finals for the second straight year. Clark won the 133-pound title a year ago and returned the finals with a 7-1 win over Minnesota’s Mitch McKee.
“I felt good. My pace was good. I was feeling good physically,” said Clark, the No. 3 seed who will wrestle for the title against top-seeded Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State. “It’s going to be a good match. I plan on getting to my stuff and controlling the pace. I need to keep the pace of the match high the whole time and it should work in my favor.”
Brooks, the No. 2 seed at 184, used a six-point move to pull away from Indiana’s third-seeded Nathan Jackson and advance with a 13-6 win.
“It’s been a slow day for me,” Brooks said. “I’ve had two matches over the span of 12 hours and the biggest thing has been getting myself ready to go with these long breaks. Now it’s time to get ready to go for tomorrow.”
Brooks faces Ohio State’s Myles Martin, the fourth seed, in the finals. Brooks defeated Martin 5-3 in Iowa City on Jan. 27.
Gilman returns to the 125-pound conference finals for the first time since a runner-up finish in 2015. The top seed won by 16-5 major decision against Michigan’s fifth-seeded Conor Youtsey.
“It’s time to finish and get it done,” said Gilman, who will wrestle Nebraska’s third-seeded Tim Lambert in the finals. “I’m feeling good. I’m putting points on the board. There are some things I can do cleaner, but mostly it’s about going out there and wrestling hard.”
Kemerer advanced to the finals with a 4-3 win over No. 6 Brian Murphy of Michigan. He scored the go-ahead takedown in the final minute, but surrendered a reversal in the final seconds to allow Murphy to tie the score, 3-3. He kicked out for an escape as time expired to earn a rematch against Penn State’s top-seeded Jason Nolf in the finals. Nolf handed Kemerer is only loss of the season on Jan. 20.
“I’m moving forward and thinking about what I have to do tomorrow,” said Kemerer. “This is a great tournament and I’m excited to go out and let it fly. That’s my mindset no matter the stage.”
The Hawkeyes are in third place after Session II with 95 points. Ohio State leads the team race with 117 points. Penn State (98.5), Minnesota (81) and Nebraska (79.5) round out the top five.
Session III begins at 11 a.m. (CT) at Assembly Hall. The championship matches follow at 2 p.m. BTN will televise the finals.
125 – #1 Thomas Gilman (IA) major dec. #5 Connor Youtsey (MICH), 16-5
133 – #3 Cory Clark (IA) dec. #7 Mitch McKee (MINN), 7-1
149 – #3 Micah Jordan (OSU) dec. #2 Brandon Sorensen (IA), 2-1
157 – #2 Michael Kemerer (IA) dec. #6 Brian Murphy (MICH), 4-3
184 – #2 Sammy Brooks (IA) dec. #3 Nathan Jackson (IND), 13-6
141 – #13 Ryan Diehl (MD) dec. #6 Topher Carton (IA), 11-9
141 – #6 Topher Carton dec. #11 Cole Weaver (IND), 6-1
165 – Cody Burcher (OSU) dec. #5 Joseph Gunther (IA), 6-1
174 – #5 Alex Meyer (IA) dec. #6 Jordan Pagano (RUT), 3-2
174 – #5 Alex Meyer (IA) dec. #8 Devin Skatzka (IND), 11-6
197 – #7 Cash Wilcke (IA) dec. #6 Jackson Striggow (MICH), 2-1
197 – #5 Ricky Robertson (WIS) dec. #7 Cash Wilcke (IA), 4-3
285 – #7 Youssif Hemida (MD) dec. Steven Holloway (IA), 6-2
125 – #1 Thomas Gilman (IA) vs. #3 Tim Lambert (NEB)
133 – #3 Cory Clark (IA) vs. #1 Nathan Tomasello (OSU
157 – #2 Michael Kemerer (IA) vs. #1 Jason Nolf (PSU)
184 – #2 Sammy Brooks (IA) vs. #4 Myles Martin (OSU)
149 – #2 Brandon Sorensen (IA) vs. #5 Kenny Theobold (RUT)
174 – #5 Alex Meyer (IA) vs. #3 Zach Brunson (ILL)
SEVENTH PLACE MATCHUP
197 – #7 Cash Wilcke (IA) vs. #8 Christian Brunner (PUR)
NINTH PLACE MATCHUP
141 – #6 Topher Carton vs. #9 Sal Profaci (MICH)
1. Ohio State 117.0
2. Penn State 98.5
3. Iowa 95.0
4. Minnesota 81.0
5. Nebraska 79.5
6. Illinois 71.0
7. Michigan 60.5
8. Wisconsin 59.0
9. Rutgers 55.5
10. Michigan State 37.5
11. Maryland 29.0
12. Purdue 25.0
13. Indiana 23.5
14. Northwestern 16.0