Iowa Wraps Up Third-Straight Team Championship
March 19, 2010
As it would turn out, Iowa only needed two days to clinch its third-straight NCAA Championship.
With five wrestlers in Saturday night's final, and 120.5 team points heading into the last day of competition, the Hawkeyes wrapped up the team title Friday night after building a 45-point lead over second-place Cornell following the fourth session of the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships held at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
The top-ranked Hawkeyes have five wrestlers vying for individual championships Saturday night. Iowa State is third in the standings with 67 points, Wisconsin is fourth with 62 and Oklahoma State is fifth with 60.5 points. Ohio State (56.5), Minnesota (55) and Penn State (47) rank seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
In total, nine conference grapplers advanced to their respective weight class championship matches, which will take place Saturday night. Additionally, 19 others remain in the consolation brackets and are in contention for All-America honors.
At 125 pounds, Iowa's Matt McDonough, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year at the Big Ten Championships, advanced to the championship bout following a 14-3 major decision in the semifinal round against Purdue's Cashé Quiroga.
It will be an all-Big Ten final at 133 pounds and a rematch from the Big Ten Championships when Minnesota's Jayson Ness and Iowa's Daniel Dennis meet in the final. Ness advanced to the final with a 1-0 decision over Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver while Dennis advanced with a 5-3 sudden victory over Michigan State's Franklin Gomez. At the conference meet, Ness defeated Dennis for the Big Ten title.
Dennis' teammate Montell Marion will compete for the 141-pound title Saturday and will face top-seeded Kyle Dake of Cornell. Marion's 7-6 decision over Pittsburgh's Tyler Nauman in the semifinals clinched the Hawkeye a spot in the final.
In likely one of the most anticipated matches of the championships will be at 149 pounds when Ohio State's Lance Palmer and Iowa's Brent Metcalf meet in the final. The two met two weeks ago in the final at the Big Ten Championships, where Palmer issued Metcalf his first loss of the season in winning the conference crown. Palmer advanced to the national championship bout with a 2-0 win over Penn State's Frank Molinaro, while Metcalf used a 6-2 decision over Oklahoma's Kyle Terry to advance to the final.
The Big Ten also features two wrestlers competing for the 165-pound as Wisconsin's Andrew Howe and Penn State's Dan Vallimont will square off for the national crown. Howe aims for an undefeated season after his 4-1 decision over Oklahoma's Tyler Caldwell led him to the title bout. Vallimont earned a 3-1 sudden victory over second-seeded Jarrod King of Edinboro to advance to the final.
At 174 pounds, Iowa's Jay Borschel clinched his spot in the weight class final with a tight 10-9 victory over Christopher Henrich of Virginia. Borschel will face top-seeded Mack Lewens of Cornell for the 174-pound title.
The championships will continue Saturday morning with third-, fifth-, and seventh-place matches taking place at 11 a.m. ET and can be seen on ESPNU. The championship bouts will take place at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised live by ESPN.