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December 30, 2007

Hawkeye domination at Midlands

EVANSTON, IL -- The University of Iowa wrestling team crowned four individual champions en route to winning the 2007 Midlands team title Sunday night in Evanston, IL. The Hawkeyes won their 19th team title in school history and their first since 2002. Iowa scored 185 points to win the 45th annual tournament. Defending team champion Iowa State placed second with 139.

The Hawkeyes went four-for-five in the finals with junior Mark Perry (165) and sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141) and Brent Metcalf (149) each winning individual titles. It was Perry's second career title and his fourth appearance in the finals. It was the first title for Slaton, LeClere and Metcalf.

Slaton set the tone for Iowa in the finals with a 6-2 upset over top seed Franklin Gomez of Indiana to remain undefeated at 12-0. LeClere followed with a narrow 5-4 upset over second seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma. Metcalf won Iowa's third straight title, racking up third-period points to beat fifth seed Jake Patascil of Purdue by an 18-5 major decision. Perry made Iowa four-for-four in the finals with his 8-0 major decision over fifth seed Jonathan Reader of Iowa State. Perry led the tournament field with four pins in a total time of 8:10. Sophomore Jay Borschel wrestled above his sixth seed, but could not pull the upset over top seed Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh and lost Iowa's final championship match, 13-4.

Also placing for the Hawkeyes were seniors Alex Tsirtsis (141-3rd) and Matt Fields (Hwt.-8th), junior Charlie Falck (125-3rd), and sophomores Phillip Keddy (184-4th) and Ryan Morningstar (157-5th). Tsirtsis was wrestling as an unattached Hawkeye.

Top-ranked Iowa (7-0) will return to Iowa City to host fifth-ranked Oklahoma State (5-1) Saturday at 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The UI Athletics Ticket Office has already sold almost 7,000 tickets for the dual meet and encourages fans to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets purchased in advance are $8 for adults and $4 for youth. Prices increase to $10 for adults and $5 for youth on match night. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hawkeyesports.com, over the telephone at 1-800 IA-HAWKS, and at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but will be closed on New Year's Day.

MIDLANDS TOP 10 FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Iowa - 185
2. Iowa State - 139
3. Central Michigan - 117.5
4. Illinois - 100
5. Northwestern - 89.5
6. Pittsburgh - 79.5
7. Tennessee-Chattanooga - 78.5
8. Indiana - 74.5
9. Purdue - 58
10. Northern Illinois - 50

IOWA'S MIDLANDS FINALS RESULTS
133 - #3 Joe Slaton (Iowa) dec. #1 Franklin Gomez (Indiana), 6-2
141 - #5 Dan LeClere (Iowa) dec. #2 Zack Bailey (Oklahoma), 5-4
149 - #2 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) maj. dec. #5 Jake Patascil (Purdue), 18-5
165 - #2 Mark Perry (Iowa) maj. dec. #5 Jonathan Reader (Iowa St.), 8-0
174 - #1 Keith Gavin (Pittsburgh) maj. dec. #6 Jay Borschel (Iowa), 13-4

IOWA'S MIDLANDS THIRD PLACE RESULTS
125 - #3 Charlie Falck (Iowa) dec. #8 Ben VomBaur (Wyoming), 4-2
141 - #1 Alex Tsirtsis (Iowa) maj. dec. Cody Cleveland (Tennessee-Chattanooga), 12-1
184 - #3 Christian Sinnott (C. Michigan) dec. Phillip Keddy (Iowa), 5-3

IOWA'S FIFTH PLACE MATCH RESULTS
157 - #5 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) dec. Jason Welch (Unattached), 9-4

Midlands Notes

Iowa's Mark Perry won the Ark Kraft Champion of Champions Award in the 165- lb. division on the strength of a pin in the semifinals against Marella and an 8-0 major decision over Iowa State's Jon Reader in the finals. Perry also took the Dan Gable Most Outstanding Wrestler Award, while earning 30 points for his team, which was an individual high for the tournament.

Jesse Linczmaier of Northern Illinois earned the fastest fall of the tournament with a pin in 30 seconds against James Nakashima of Lincoln College in the 165-lb. wrestlebacks.

Mark Perry earned hte most falls of the tournament with four in a total time of 8:10. His fastest came in just 42 seconds against Marella.

Nick Simmons' loss to Precin was only the second of his career at Midlands after piling up 24 wins. He was a three-time defending champion coming into the 2007 tournament.

New York Athletic Club's Jake Herbert took a loss in the finals at 184 lbs., which was his first ever Midlands loss in three years. Herbert won the title in both 2004 and in 2005.

Iowa's victory placed the Midlands trophy back in the hands of the Big Ten for the 13th time in 14 years. Iowa State won last year, which was the first non-Big Ten victory since Arizona State's in 1989. Iowa has now won the Midlands Championships eight times since 1990.

Of the 10 No. 1 seeds coming into the tournament, only four ended up living up to their seed and winning the championship. Illinois Mike Poeta (157 lbs.), Pittsburgh's Keith Gavin (174 lbs.), American's Josh Glenn (197 lbs.) and Northwestern's Dustin Fox (285 lbs.) all pulled off the feat.


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