The University of Iowa will be bringing home a top three finish from St. Louis this weekend as five All-American wrapped up their placewinning matches this afternoon with one more wrestler still to go in the finals. Ohio State officially clinched their program’s first NCAA title during the consolation round, and currently have 94 points with three in tonight’s finals. The Hawkeyes, who sit in second, have 84 points, which is a 8.5 point lead over third place Edinboro who have two wrestlers in the finals tonight. Returning All-American Cory Clark will be the lone finalist for Iowa tonight at 133 pounds, giving Iowa their third straight year in which they have placed a wrestler into this weight class’s final (Ramos back-to-back in 2013 and 2014). Clark also keeps a 26 year streak alive in which Iowa has had at least one wrestler competing in the finals.
You can catch the finals on ESPN starting at 7 PM CT. Ohio State’s Logan Stieber will be attempting to become the sport’s 4th four-time NCAA champion, so the 141 pound finals will be the tenth match of the night. That means that Clark’s final will be the ninth match.
First time All-Americans Thomas Gilman (125) and Brandon Sorensen (149) both wrestled all the way back to the third place match, with Gilman doing it in exciting fashion, picking up a fall over returning NCAA runner-up Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) on a late match throw. The fall by Gilman set up a rematch with Alan Waters, who beat Gilman at the National Duals in February. This meeting would see Waters the victor yet again, as he the Missouri wrestler stormed to a come from behind win after he threw Gilman to his back for a four point move. Sorensen also defeated his Cornell opponent Chris Villalonga, which setup a rematch with Big Ten finals opponent Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) for the third place match. Tsirtsis would come out on top by getting to his offense in sudden victory for the 3-1 SV win.
Junior Nathan Burak (197) finished one spot higher on the stand than a year ago when he defeated Michigan’s Max Huntley 6-5 to finish 7th at the NCAA championships. Burak is now a two-time All-American for head coach Tom Brands and will be a key piece in the 2015-16 lineup for the Hawkeyes.
Finally, both Bobby Telford (285) and Mike Evans (174) finished their Hawkeye careers as three-time All-Americans when both were dropped to the 5th place match at their respective weights. For Telford it was a long road back to the stand after he lost in the first round to Spencer Myers (Maryland). From there Telford strung together five straight wins to reach the stand, and picked up a sixth win over Jimmy Lawson (PSU) to take 5th. Telford finishes his career with 108 wins and both he and his teammate became the 33rd and 34th three-time All-Americans for the program. Evans ran into the buzzsaw Robert Kokesh in the consolation semifinals, and then lost his next match to Oklahoma State’s Kyle Crutchmer to finish 6th. Evans finishes his career with 107 wins, and both Telford and Evans finish in the top 40 for career wins in program history.
CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) pinned #2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 6:25
149 – #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. #5 Chris Villalonga (Cornell), 6-2
174 – #1 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) dec. #3 Mike Evans (Iowa), 6-4 SV1
285 – #5 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) dec. #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa), 3-1
3rd PLACE RESULTS
125 – #1 Alan Waters (Missouri) dec. #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa), 8-4
149 – #2 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) dec. #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), 3-1 SV1
5th PLACE RESULTS
174 – #12 Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State) dec. #3 Mike Evans (Iowa), 2-1 TB1
285 – #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. #8 James Lawson (PSU), 6-0
7th PLACE RESULTS
197 – #6 Nathan Burak (Iowa) dec. #8 Max Huntley (Michigan), 6-5