OKLAHOMA CITY - Seven wasn't heaven for the University of Iowa.
Despite advancing seven to the second round, the Hawkeyes had a bit of a disappointing start to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Thursday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Iowa tied Wisconsin for ninth with 8 1/2 points after the first session.
Cory Clark kicked off the tournament for the Hawkeyes with an 18-2 technical fall over Edinboro's Kory Mines. Tony Ramos (133), Brody Grothus (149), defending national champion Derek St. John (157), Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak at 197 and heavyweight Bobby Telford all won by decision.
Iowa Coach Tom Brands said the team left some points on the mat. He said the Hawkeyes losses, and even a few of the wins, boiled down to not being ready to compete from the start.
"It's a matter of being ready to go more than anything," Brands said. "Even some of the guys that had some success today. Takedowns were hard to come by it seemed like. We have to be popping."
The Hawkeyes were victims of two of the bigger upsets of the first session. Fifth-seeds Nick Moore (165) and Ethen Lofthouse (184) both lost opening matches to unseeded wrestlers. Moore lost a wild, 15-7, bout with Bloomsburg's Josh Veltre. Edinboro's Victor Avery beat Lofthouse, 5-3. Josh Dziewa at 141 also fell into consolation competition.
The losses made the road tougher for both to become All-Americans, and hurt, especially the team's standing."They all hurt," Brands said about losses. "It doesn't matter what you're seeded. You have 10 guys with their goals of what the prize is and now we have to redefine the prize and we'll find out how tough they are."