Three Hawks in NCAA Wrestling finals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Three Hawks in NCAA Wrestling finals

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The team title is most likely out of reach, but the Iowa Hawkeyes can crown as many as three  individual champions at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

2010 NCAA Champion Matt McDonough at 125, Montell Marion at 141 and Derek St. John at 157 will all be competing for titles Saturday night.

McDonough will be making his third straight appearance in the 125-pound finals following a 15-7 major decision over Nicholas Bedelyon of Kent State. McDonough totaled five takedowns, two reversals and 3:38 of riding time to improve to 35-1 on the year and extend his winning streak to 27 matches. He'll face 10th-seeded Nico Megaludis (Penn State) in the finals. McDonough earned a 3-1 overtime victory in their only career meeting.
 
"I wanted to come out there with a high pace," said McDonough. "That's what I did.  Really the goal is to dominate in every single position.  I wasn't perfect.  Gave up some offensive points I shouldn't have. But that's why you keep moving on and building, because, you know, if he gets a takedown, you can't let it affect you. "
 
Marion scored a date in the 141-pound finals with a 3-1 overtime decision over Oklahoma's No. 2 seed Kendric Maple. The wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods before Marion broke a 1-1 tie by dragging Kendric back into the playing field and finishing a takedown with 13 seconds left in the match. Marion will meet Michigan's top-seeded Kellen Russell in the finals. He is 0-3 in his career vs. Russell. The finals appearance will be Marion's second in three seasons. He finished runner-up in 2010.
 
"I took care of the first period and upped my pace in the second period," said Marion. "I wanted to score during the duration of the match, didn't want to go into overtime, but you win it how you can. Better awareness, better hand fighting, that was the difference."
 
St. John (157) continued his run to a national championship with a 5-1 decision over third-seeded Jason Welch. St. John scored a takedown in the first period, opened the third frame with a reversal and totaled 2:06 of riding time to earn his first visit to the national finals, where he'll face two-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake. It will be the first career meeting between the two.
 
"It's preached to come (to the NCAAs)," said St. John. "That's the goal the whole season. Even beyond the coaching staff, the fans, there's a standard that they expect you to uphold. They'll let you know if you're not either way."
 
In Iowa's fourth championship semifinal bout, Tony Ramos (133) dropped a 4-2 decision to Ohio State's second-seeded Logan Stieber. Ramos fell behind 3-0 before scoring a third-period reversal to get back into the match, 3-2, but after cutting Stieber to make the score 4-2, Ramos was unable to get the tying takedown and fell into the consolation semifinals. He'll return to the mat Saturday morning.
 
Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Bobby Telford (285) became Iowa's fifth and sixth 2012 All-Americans following a pair of victories in the consolation bracket. Lofthouse moved to the final field of eight with a 5-2 win over Michigan's Justin Zeerip, and Telford guaranteed himself All-American honors with a 6-0 shutout over Levi Cooper of Arizona State. Telford would later extend his path through the wrestle-backs with a second period pin against Ohio's Jeremy Johnson. The fall earned the redshirt freshman a semifinal meeting with Oregon State's Clayton Jack.
 
Lofthouse dropped 3-2 decision to Ohio State's Nick Heflin in his second consolation match. He'll wrestle for seventh-place in tomorrow's consolation bracket.
 
The Hawkeyes sit in third place with 93 points. Penn State leads the team race with 124 points. Minnesota (101.5), Cornell (86) and Ohio State (60) round out the top five.
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