OKLAHOMA CITY - The University of Iowa have three wrestlers with national title hopes alive.
Tony Ramos, Mike Evans and Bobby Telford secured All-American honors and remain in the individual title hunt.
The Hawkeyes went 3-3 in Friday's quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Iowa was fourth in the team standings with 42 1/2 points. Penn State had the lead with 61, two points ahead of second-place Minnesota. Oklahoma State was third with 56 and Cornell rounded out the top-five teams with 39 1/2.
Ramos reached the semifinals for the third straight year, beating Lehigh's Mason Beckman. Evans and Telford reached the podium for their second time as Hawkeyes, winning overtime battles. Evans scored an escape and rode out Penn State's Matt Brown for a 5-4 victory in tiebreaker 1. Telford escaped and rode out Michigan's Adam Coon for a 3-2 win in tiebreaker 2.
"Let's take care of it in regulation by scoring points," Brands said. "Do I sound like a broken record the last eight months? We just have to do a better job of scoring points and it's that simple."
Brown scored the opening takedown, but Evans answered by getting out and getting his own takedown that allowed him to end the second in a 3-3 tie. It helped put him in position to win, but Brands still urged more offense.
"The good thing about Evans is he gets taken down right away and then he gets a takedown in the first period," Brands said. "Then go get another one. But, he did what he had to do to get that takedown. It gave him a chance to win in the end."
Evans takes on Oklahoma State's defending national champion and top-seeded Chris Perry in the semifinals.
Telford had lost two closes losses to Coon. He was able to clear a big hurdle, beating the fourth-seeded freshman. Telford takes on Minnesota's two-time NCAA champion and top-seeded Tony Nelson in the semifinals.
"I think it's a big win anytime you can do something where you're exorcising a ghost there a little bit," Brands said. "He's pretty confident, right now. We have a big challenge tonight and we have three big challenges tonight, plus three more."
The other three include red-shirt freshman Cory Clark (125), Derek St. John (157) and 197-pounder Nathan Burak. Clark dropped a 10-5 decision to Illinois' defending national champion Jesse Delgado. St. John, a former NCAA champion and second seed, suffered an upset in the quarterfinal, losing to Cornell's seventh-seed Brian Realbuto, 11-4. Virginia Tech's avenged an earlier loss, defeating Burak, 6-3.
Four Hawkeyes were eliminated in the consolation bracket, including fifth-seeded Nick Moore (165) and 184-pounder Ethen Lofthouse, who finishes his career as a two-time All-American. Josh Dziewa (141) and Brody Grothus (149) also were beat out.
Dziewa, Grothus and Moore return.
"I don't think you say much about that or to those guys," Brands said. "I think you put your hand on them and let them process it."