To the surprise of absolutely no one, the University of Iowa wrestling team won their third consecutive NCAA title. The Hawkeyes crowned three individual champions, while cruising to the top spot which is the 23rd in school history. Five Hawkeyes went into the finals Saturday night in Omaha, and for the first time since 1997 eight Iowa wrestlers were named all-American. Or if you still aren’t convinced of the Hawkeye domination, take a look a this. In the tournament, Iowa posted a 39-13 record, in amassing 134.5 points, which is the tenth highest in NCAA history. Cornell was second with 90 points.
Red shirt freshman, Matt McDonough started it all off at 125, as the ex-Linn Mar Lion defeated Iowa State’s Andrew Long 3-1. McDonough finishes the season 37-1. At 149, Brent Metcalf avenged his only loss of the season, by beating Lance Palmer of Ohio State 3-2. Two weeks ago, Palmer beat Metcalf to win the Big Ten title. The Davison, MI native ends his time at Iowa with a 108-3 record, a two time NCAA and Big Ten champion, and was named all-American three times.
Iowa’s third champion, also was an ex-Linn Mar Lion, Jay Borschel at 174. Borschel knocked off, previously unbeaten and top ranked Mack Lewnes of Cornell 6-2. Borschel closes the season at 37-0, which led the Hawkeyes this season, and will end his collegiate career with a 98-10 record. He was also Big Ten champion in 2010, and a three time all-American.
Final postscript on the Saturday night finals, one has to feel bad for Hawkeye senior and 133 pounder Daniel Dennis. Dennis held a 4-2 lead with five seconds to go, before top seeded Jayson Ness of Minnesota scored a take down and two back points to take the title. Dennis closes his Iowa career with a 69-28 overall record, and twice was named all-American. Also Hawkeye sophomore Montell Marion lost in his bid to win and NCAA title at 141, going down to Kyle Dake of Cornell 7-3.
So where to from here for Tom Brands and his Iowa wrestlers? As Brands told Hawkeyesports.com “With our seniors, people are probably writing us off for next year, but our stable isn’t exactly empty.” http://www.hawkeyesports.com/sports/m-wrestl/recaps/032010aaj.html And in his Tom Brands way, he is probably correct. McDonough and Marion will both be back. As will NCAA qualifier Jake Kerr. Luke Lofthause, Grant Gambrill, Aaron Janssen, Nate Moore and Blake Rasing all logged significant mat time during the season and will be in the wrestling room ready to defend Iowa’s title next season.
One of the strengths of the Brands program is depth. With Iowa’s legendary off-season workout and conditioning program, it can be expected that someone that we don’t know about will emerge next season as a leader and NCAA champion. Though we knew they were excellent wrestlers, who would have guessed the success this season of McDonough and Marion? So, while we may know who is back on the roster next year, we may not know until the season starts who the stars of the 2010-11 team will be. And when Brands says the stable isn’t empty, he very much is speaking the truth.
So congratulations are in order to this senior class of wrestlers. Three NCAA team titles, Three National Dual crowns, Three Big Ten championship, and 60 straight dual wins. That is quite a list for perhaps the greatest wrestling class ever assembled. thanks to WCF for the statistical numbers www.hawkeyesports.com/sports/m-wrestl/recaps/032010aaj.html
you can read more Jeff Hare at http://www.didyouharethat.com