DES MOINES – There still plenty at stake for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Even though most of the individual prize and the team prize isn’t as grand anymore.
The Hawkeyes struggled in the first session of Day 2 at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena. Iowa went 2-4 in the quarterfinals and dropped to fourth with 39 points, trailing third-place Minnesota by 10.5 and leading Missouri by a half-point.
“You’re still wrestling for honors,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “There still is a lot on the line, team-wise and individually, as well.”
Iowa’s second-seeded Tony Ramos (133) and Derek St. John (157) were the only Hawkeyes to advance to the semifinals Friday morning. The Hawkeyes’ Nathan Burak capped the session with a fall in 2:34 over No. 7 seed Nathan Schiedel to move into the round of 12.
The rest of the session didn’t treat Iowa so well.
Much of the crowd was stunned when Cornell’s sixth-seeded Nahshon Garrett avenged a loss to Iowa’s two-time champion and three-time NCAA finalist Matt McDonough, scoring a takedown :10 into sudden victory overtime for a 5-3 win, keeping McDonough from the semifinals.
“He’s in unchartered territory here,” Brands said. “He’s been in unchartered territory this entire season, having three losses and now it’s four.
“He has to find a way to get tough. When we left, we talked about mindset. He’s even-keel going back.”
McDonough owned 1:01 in riding time before the third period with the scored tied 2-2. Instead of trying to let the minute advantage lead to a point, McDonough chose down, but Garrett erased riding time by controlling McDonough the entire third. Brands said that was an error.
Garrett noted he was more excited than nervous, despite losing 8-3 to McDonough in February.
“It’s the last tournament of our season,” Garrett said. “I have nothing to hold back. I have nothing to lose.”
Garrett got in on earlier shots, but the final shot was a matter of explosion and popping his hips to elevate McDonough, something he has been inconsistent in the past.
“I knew I had shot a couple of doubles. I got into his body,” said Garrett, who faces Illinois’ Jesse Delgado. “The last one was a matter of strength.”
Tony Ramos took an adjacent match immediately after McDonough’s upset loss. He faced longtime rival Jon Morrison, of Oklahoma State. The two have wrestled each other, dating back to their younger years in Illinois.
“I had to get the crowd back on our side,” Ramos said. “I was standing there and watched McDonough get taken down in overtime and for a second I thought I’m not getting upset here. That’s not going to be me.”
Ramos scored two takedowns, an escape and added a point for riding time to beat Morrison, 6-1, at 133.
“Morrison saw it happen,” Ramos said about the 125-pound upset. “That’s in his head. That gives him a little hope. You have to take that hope away.”
He added his last takedown as time ran out instead of coasting to the finish. He wanted to prove a point to all opponents.
“It sends (a message) I’m going to wrestle a full seven minutes and not take any time off,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t matter how much time is left. I was pissed I gave up the escape so I wanted another one. In short time I got that other one.”
Ramos faces Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff in the semifinals, which is a rematch of the Big Ten semifinals.
Derek St. John posted a 4-0 win over Ohio State’s Josh Demas to reach the semifinals.
Mark Ballweg (141), Mike Evans (174) and Ethen Lofthouse also lost in the quarterfinals and need a win in the consolation round to become an All-American.
Nathan Burak stayed alive in the consolations with two wins Friday. Heavyweight Bobby Telford defaulted from the tournament after injuring his right knee Thursday night in a win over Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi. Nick Moore (165) was also eliminated early Friday, losing a decision to Bloomsburg’s ninth-seeded Josh Veltre.
University of Northern Iowa had more reason to celebrate Friday morning. The Panthers secured their first All-American under three-year head coach Doug Schwab, and have three more in the round of 12, needing one more win to become All-Americans.
David Bonin (157) reached the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Virginia’s 12th-seeded Jedd Moore. Junior Ryan Loder dropped a 2-1 decision to Lehigh’s No. 3 seed Robert Hamlin, getting hit for stalling in the final period for the decisive point.
Levi Wolfensperger (133) and Joey Lazor had two wins apiece in the consolation rounds. Wolfensperger scored a fall, while Lazor had a major decision in his final match. The wins propelled UNI into an 11th-place tie with Virginia Tech with 23 points.
Iowa State still has four wrestlers alive in the consolations. Michael Moreno (165), Tanner Weatherman (174), Kyven Gadson (197) and heavyweight Matt Gibson are one win away from reach the awards stand. Last year, the Cyclones failed to have an All-American for the first time in 50 years.
The top two teams pulled away from the field. Penn State is in first with 77.5, leading Oklahoma State by 12. Minnesota is third with 49.5.
The Nittany Lions have racked up bonus points and have five semifinalists and seven remaining. Oklahoma State has the same number of semifinalists and wrestlers alive in the tournament. Minnesota has two in the semifinals and nine alive.
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