EVANSTON, IL -- For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team has gone undefeated in dual competition. The Hawkeyes improved to 24-0 with a 34-13 win at #19 Northwestern (9-8-1, 2-5-1 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon. Iowa also clinched the 2009 Big Ten regular season title with a perfect 8-0 mark in conference competition. The Hawkeyes have posted 12 undefeated and untied seasons in school history, and the 2009 season has produced the most victories ever.
"We are in the post-season now," said Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands. "We need to have everyone contributing in a dominating way. We've had some good performances, but I don't think we have all come together as a group during a meet yet. We need to put together a good string of wins. When that happens, good things will follow."
Iowa went 7-3 at Northwestern, scoring bonus points in six matches, to score its 38th straight dual win. Juniors Brent Metcalf (149), Chad Beatty (197) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) pinned their Wildcat opponents, junior Jay Borschel (174) scored a match-termination technical fall, and juniors Daniel Dennis (133) and Ryan Morningstar (165) posted major decisions. Metcalf extended his winning streak to 61 and ends the regular season with a perfect 29-0 record. Dennis and Morningstar both picked their 25th season victories, while Dennis extended his winning streak to nine. Erekson, who was making his first start since the beginning of the month due to injury, scored his 45th career victory and 10th season pin.
Iowa's three losses were to higher ranked Wildcat opponents. At 125, #4 Brandon Precin caught Hawkeye senior Charlie Falck in a scramble situation, recording the pin in 4:19. Falck is ranked fifth in the country with a 19-3 record. Precin is now 25-2, winning 23 of his last 24 bouts. At 157, #14 Jason Welch scored an 11-3 major decision over unranked Hawkeye sophomore Matt Ballweg. At 184, third-ranked Phillip Keddy gave top-ranked and undefeated Jake Herbert a run for his money, but lost the bout, 3-2. It was the closest that any opponent has wrestled Herbert this season and showed improvement from the Hawkeye junior. Keddy's only other loss this season was a 15-1 major decision to Herbert at the Midlands finals in December.
Iowa's next competition will be March 7-8 at the 2009 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The event will be held by Penn State University at the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park, PA. The Hawkeyes, who are the defending team champion, will vy for the school's 33rd conference team title.
Iowa 34, Northwestern 13
125 - Brandon Precin (N) pinned Charlie Falck (I), 4:19
133 - Daniel Dennis (I) maj. dec. Bobby Joyce (N), 14-4
141 - Alex Tsirtsis (I) dec. Keith Sulzer (N), 5-1
149 - Brent Metcalf (I) pinned Andrew Nadhir (N), 4:28
157 - Jason Welch (N) maj. dec. Matt Ballweg (I), 11-3
165 - Ryan Morningstar (I) maj. dec. Dominic Marella (N), 12-3
174 - Jay Borschel (I) tech. fall Robert Kellogg (N), 21-4 in 6:11
184 - Jake Herbert (N) dec. Phillip Keddy (I), 3-2
197 - Chad Beatty (I) pinned Aaron Jones (N), 1:55
Hwt. - Dan Erekson (I) pinned Paul Rands (N), 0:57