MINNEAPOLIS — The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling advanced through the quarterfinals of the NWCA Cliff Keen National Dual Meet Championship with a 21-16 win over No. 9 Cornell tonight at Williams Arena.
The teams split 10 matches, but the Hawkeyes opened the dual winning a top-five matchup, and scored bonus points in each of its other four wins.
“We split 10 matches, 5-5, so it was tight,” said head coach Tom Brands. “We advanced as a team, which is good, but we’ve got a lot to talk about with each individual. We’ll look forward and get ready for Minnesota.”
Top-ranked 125-pounds Matt McDonough got the Hawkeyes started, though not immediately. He gave up a takedown two seconds into the match before escaping and adding a takedown to take a 3-2 lead into period two. He scored a reversal and takedown in the second frame, and put together a two-minute ride in the third period to defeat No. 5 Nahshon Garrett, 8-3.
Tony Ramos extended the Iowa lead to 9-0 with a fall in 6:11 at 133 pounds. Ramos scored five takedowns in the first, three in the second and was working on nearfall points when finished the pin in the third.
“I went out, wrestled hard, and knew I had worn him down,” said Ramos. “Coach said go for the pin, so I worked on top, worked the legs and got the fall.”
Cornell (14-4) cut the lead to 9-6 with consecutive 3-1 wins at 141 and 149 pounds. Mark Ballweg and Michael Kelly both gave up third-period takedowns in their respective losses.
Derek St. John extended the Iowa lead to 13-6 with a major decision at 157. The nation’s top-ranked 157-pounder scored a takedown with 20 seconds left to secure bonus points and put the final touches on a 12-3 win.
Cornell answered at 165 when top-ranked Kyle Dake defeated Nick Moore, 13-4, pulling the Big Red back within three points, 13-10.
Mike Evans then pushed the Hawkeye lead back to seven with an 11-2 win at 174. Evans scored a takedown in the first period, extended his riding time to 3:48 with a ride-out in the second, and worked in three more takedowns in the final period to earn his seventh major decision of the season.
Trailing 17-10, Cornell forced a decisive heavyweight bout with wins at 184 and 197. Ethen Lofthouse dropped a one-point decision to fourth-ranked Steve Bosak at 184, and Nathan Burak fell 6-3 at 197.
Iowa (20-1) needed a win at 285 to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals, and sixth-ranked Bobby Telford delivered with a 9-0 shutout over Jacob Aiken-Phillips. Telford opened the first period with a takedown, scored a reversal to begin the second, and added another takedown in the third en route to the major decision.
“It was just another match,” Telford said when asked if he was ready for the dual to be decided at heavyweight. “Like I said last time, you have 10 matches, you get what you get done, and you should have good results.”
The Hawkeyes return to the mat Saturday at 1 p.m. at Williams Arena. Iowa will face third-seeded Minnesota in the semifinals of the NWCA Cliff Keen National Dual Meet Championship. The two teams split 10 matches when they last met on Jan. 26, but Iowa won the dual 16-15 on criteria.
Notes: Attendance was 2,007… McDonough is 9-1 this year against ranked opponents… Ramos’ pin was his 10th of the season… Iowa improves to 11-1 against ranked opponents… the Hawkeyes’ 20 dual wins are more than any other team in the country… Iowa has won 20 or more duals six times in school history, including four the last six seasons.
#2 IOWA 21, #9 Cornell 16
125 – #1 Matt McDonough (IA) dec. #5 Nahshon Garrett (C), 8-3; 3-0
133 – #2 Tony Ramos (IA) pinned Bricker Dixon (C), 6:11; 9-0
141 – #10 Mike Nevinger (C) dec. #8 Mark Ballweg (IA), 3-1; 9-3
149 – Chris Villalonga (C) dec. Michael Kelly (IA), 3-1; 9-6
157 – #1 Derek St. John (IA) major dec. Jesse Shanaman (C), 12-3; 13-6
165 – #1 Kyle Dake (C) major dec. #13 Nick Moore (C), 13-4; 13-10
174 – #3 Mike Evans (IA) major dec. Duke Pickett (C), 11-2; 17-10
184 – #4 Steve Bosak (C) dec. Ethen Lofthouse (IA), 3-2; 17-13
197 – Jace Bennett (C) dec. Nathan Burak (IA), 6-3; 17-16
285 – #6 Bobby Telford (IA) major dec. Jacob Aiken-Phillips (C), 9-0; 21-16