DES MOINES, Iowa — The University of Iowa wrestling team advanced six wrestlers to the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships today at Wells Fargo Arena. The Hawkeyes sit in fourth place with 22 points entering Friday’s third session. Penn State (32.5) leads the team race, and Oklahoma State (29) and Minnesota (24) round out the top three.
“We need to continue to take it one match at a time,” said head coach Tom Brands. “As coaches we have to get our guys ready to wrestle. We saw some good today but I’m already looking at tomorrow. We need to wrestle all the way to completion.”
Senior Matt McDonough continued to advance through the championship bracket with a 5-1 decision over Kent State’s Steve Mitcheff at 125. Third-seeded McDonough scored a single leg takedown two minutes into the first period and never relinquished his lead. McDonough also earned points with a second period escape, a technical violation on Mitcheff and 2:19 riding time. McDonough is yet to give up an offensive point in the tournament.
Junior Tony Ramos advanced to the quarterfinals with a fall over North Carolina’s Joseph Ward at 133. The match was scoreless early in the first period before third-seeded Ramos threw Ward to his back with a headlock, recording the pin in 1:07. Ramos has two falls in the tournament and a team-high 14 this season.
Senior Mark Ballweg earned his 141-pound quarterfinal berth with a 3-2 decision over Pennsylvania’s 10th-seed Charles Cobb. The score was tied 1-1 with less than one minute left before seventh-seeded Ballweg scored on a single-leg scramble to clinch the win.
Junior Derek St. John punched his quarterfinal ticket with a 9-5 decision over Air Force’s Joshua Kreimier at 157. Second-seeded St. John jumped to an early lead with a single-leg takedown 1:11 into the match. The added takedowns in the second and third periods while compiling 2:21 riding time.
Sophomore Mike Evans scored bonus points for the Hawkeyes with an 11-3 major over Eastern Michigan’s Phillip Joseph at 174. Wrestling as a No. 2 seed, Evans struck first with a takedown 2:27 into the first period. Joseph chose to start down in the second period, and Evans turned that decision into 1:49 riding time and a two-point near fall. Evans poured it on in the third with a reversal and two more takedowns, finishing the match with 2:46 riding time.
Junior Ethen Lofthouse, the 12th-seed at 184, scored a 3-2 decision over Minnesota’s fifth-seeded Kevin Steinhaus. After trading escapes in the second and third periods, Lofthouse finished on top of a third-period scramble to score the winning takedown with under 30 seconds left in the match.
Sophomore Bobby Telford, seeded No. 6 at 285, suffered an injury in the first round and was forced to medical forfeit in round two. His status for the remainder of the tournament is to be determined.
Wrestling as the 10th seed at 165 pounds, Nick Moore recorded a fall over Kent State’s Caleb Marsh. Moore held a 3-2 leading through two periods before earning the Hawkeyes some bonus points. Nathan Burak also advanced through the consolation bracket with a 4-0 win over Harvard’s James Fox.
Session III of the NCAA Championships begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. ESPNU will televise the tournament and ESPN3 will provide a live stream of the event. Fans can listen to the championships online via Hawkeye All-Access or on the radio at AM-800 KXIC. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action live from Wells Fargo Arena.
NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION II (Top five)
1. Penn State 32.5
2. Oklahoma State 29
3. Minnesota 24
5. Oregon State 16