The Iowa Hawkeyes demolished the field this week as they brought home their 24th Midlands team title, breaking the tournament scoring record, which they also held. Iowa scored 189 points (up from 187.5 last year) finishing way ahead of second Illinois (130.5) by over 50 points. Host school Northwestern finished third with 106 points.
Iowa was led by a trio of champions who were point scorers, and one that was not. Cory Clark (133) claimed his title over Illinois Zane Richards with a 4-2 decision. Clark and Richards traded escapes and that was the only score throughout most of the match until Clark hit a third period takedown to go up 3-1. After an escape and riding time Clark had earned his first Midlands title. He even earned some praise from a Hawkeye great:
Also earning titles were Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285).For Evans it was his second Midlands title in as many years. He also won his title over an Illinois wrestler, Zach Brunson, with a 2-1 decision.
Burak, who was an unattached champion, won his title in exciting fashion by winning 4-3 on a late match takedown to seal his frist title. Not to be outdone Telford defeated the #1 ranked Mike McMullan of Northwestern 4-2. The title was Telford’s first in three attempts, and it felt good to get that off of his chest, “I’ve been in this situation three times, I’ve gotten second twice and that kind of lingers with a guy. It was my last chance at it and it was my last chance to get the feather in my hat with a Midlands championship.”
Thomas Gilman dropped his finals match at 125 to Virginia Tech’s Joey Dance in what was a top 6 matchup. Gilman and Dance were tied at one each until the second sudden victory period where Dance was able to hit a takedown to win 3-1.
The Hawkeyes also had four wrestlers who won their consolation bracket in Brandon Sorensen (149), Mike Kelly (157), Alex Meyer (174), and Sammy Brooks (184). Finishing 4th was seniors Josh Dziewa (141) and Nick Moore (165). Brody Grothus finished 6th at 149 after medically forfeiting out of the tournament.
Grand View (NAIA) also got a place winner in Brandon Wright (141) who finished 7th picking up wins over the #4 seed Todd Preston of Harvard and the #7 seed Shyhiem Brown of Maryland.