After opening the first session with 65 points and the overall team lead the Iowa Hawkeyes now trail the Ohio State Buckeyes heading into the final day of the Big Ten conference tournament. Iowa looked to be in great shape placing seven wrestlers into tonight’s semifinal round, but the Hawkeyes got a little roughed up.

Team Race After Day One
1. Ohio State 102.5
2. Iowa 101.0
3. Minnesota 86.5
4. Michigan 80.5
5. Illinois 79.0

All ten Hawkeyes remained alive heading into this round, but the consolation bracket took its toll on the team leaders as seniors Mike Kelly (157) and Nick Moore (165) each lost their second round consolation bouts to be eliminated from finishing in the top eight. Kelly was pinned in :55 by returning All-American Anthony Perrotti of Rutgers and Moore lost his match 2-1 to Nebraska’s Austin Wilson. Sammy Brooks’ 4-1 decision over Ohio State’s Kenny Courts was the lone bright spot for the Hawkeyes as the 184 pound top seed remains alive.

Thomas Gilman Iowa
Top seeded Thomas Gilman will be one of four Hawkeyes wrestling in the finals tomorrow

On the front side Iowa got off to a great start when Thomas Gilman (125) had to get a hard earned 5-4 victory over Jordan Conaway of Penn State. Earlier in the year during the dual Gilman was able to beat Conaway by the same margin, and Gilman was able to earn the victory in the third period this time around and fend off a late charge by Conaway. Gilman will have a big team score battle when he faces Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State tomorrow.

All-American Cory Clark was unable to keep the Hawkeye momentum rolling at 133 as Chris Dardanes of Minnesota picked up a 6-2 win in the tie breaks. Both wrestlers were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, but Dardanes picked up a takedown after a Clark escape in the first tiebreak period.

Senior Josh Dziewa was however a surprise at 141 when he picked up a 5-1 decision over the #2 seed Nick Dardanes of Minnesota. Dziewa was able to score a first period takedown to take a 2-1 lead after the escape. Dziewa added an escape in the second and a clutch third period takedown to make the final score 5-1 over the former All-American. The outcome was a role reversal after Dziewa lost the dual meeting 7-3 in Minneapolis. Dziewa will face three-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber of Ohio State tomorrow afternoon.

Top seeded Brandon Sorensen continued the Hawkeyes good run with a 2-0 win at 149 over Michigan’s Alec Pantaleo. Much like their last meeting which Sorensen won 2-1, the Hawkeye freshman was able to get a second period rideout and third period escape for the match’s only points and will have a rematch against returning NCAA champion Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern in tomorrow’s 149 finals. Last time the pair met, Sorensen won in the ultimate tie breaks, with Sorensen winning on total riding time over Tsirtsis.

Senior Mike Evans had an identical match with Penn State’s Matt Brown at 174, losing the match 2-0. In almost an exact remake of the dual meeting, the pair went scoreless in the first, followed by Brown scoring an escape in the second and Brown then riding Evans the full two minutes for the win. Evans will now have to wrestle back in will what will most likely be heavy implications for which wrestler gets the #3 and #4 seed for the NCAA tournament against Minnesota’s Logan Storley.

At 197 Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder was able to get revenge over Nathan Burak with a 3-2 victory. Both of Burak’s points came via escape while Snyder scored his points on a first period takedown and third period escape.

Heavyweight Bobby Telford closed out the Hawkeye semifinals with a 3-1 sudden victory over top seed Connor Medbery of Wisconsin. Both wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third period, but in the end Telford was able to repeat his Midlands performance and come out on top. Tomorrow Telford will face his old nemesis Mike McMullan of Northwestern in the finals, with the pair going 1-1 against each other on the season, and McMullan winning the most recent meeting in sudden victory over the Hawkeye.

Due to NCAA qualifying spots, Mike Kelly and Nick Moore both were placed into the 9th place bracket for their weights. Kelly opened with a 8-0 major decision over Michigan State’s Travis Curley, and will face Penn State’s Luke Frey for 9th. Moore picked up a third period fall in his bracket over Minnesota’s Nick Wanzek, and will face Garrett Hammond also of Penn State for 9th. In previous meetings Kelly won 7-4 over Frey and Hammond won 4-2 over Moore.

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle