The Iowa wrestling squad won its first team title at the 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals since 1996 when it defeated unseeded Nebraska, 24-6, in the tournament finals Sunday afternoon at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. Sophomore Brent Metcalf (149) was named the tournament's Division I Outstanding Wrestler.
The second-seed Hawkeyes defeated Cornell (32-2), Missouri (27-9) and Michigan (23-13) en route to the finals and their fourth national duals team title in school history. Iowa went 32-8 over the course of the tournament and improved to 11-1 on the season. Nebraska fell to 9-2, and was only the second unseeded team in the 19-year history of the tournament to advance to the finals. The two-day tournament boasted an attendance total of 15,746.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 15-0 lead against the Cornhuskers, winning the first five matches by decision. Junior Charlie Falck started things off by upsetting top-ranked and defending NCAA Champion Paul Donahoe, 3-2, at 125. It was Falck's 55th career victory and his ninth-straight win. He remains undefeated at 12-0 in dual matches this season. Sophomores Joe Slaton (133), Dan LeClere (141), Brent Metcalf (149) and Ryan Morningstar (157) kept the Iowa momentum going with their decisions. Metcalf picked up his 13th straight victory, while Morningstar scored his 40th career win.
Nebraska put its first points on the board when Stephen Dwyer scored an 8-6 decision over redshirt freshman Aaron Janssen at 165. Janssen, who was filling in for injured starter Mark Perry, came back from a 4-0 second period deficit, but could not pull off the win in his first dual appearance. Hawkeye sophomores Jay Borschel (174) and Phillip Keddy (184) responded with wins of their own to seal the victory for Iowa. Borschel avenged an earlier season loss to Nebraska's Brandon Browne with a 9-4 win, and Keddy dominated Vince Jones to win 8-1.
The Cornhuskers won their second match of the dual when Craig Brester beat sophomore Chad Beatty, 4-0, at 197. Beatty, who went 1-2 at the tournament, wrestled two weight classes higher than he did at the Midlands Championships two weeks ago. Iowa senior Matt Fields closed out the dual with a 1-0 win over Jon May at heavyweight. Fields improved to 16-2 in collegiate matches and 12-0 in duals with the win.
Iowa (11-1) will open the 2007-08 Big Ten dual season next weekend. The Hawkeyes will travel to Ohio State (13-2, 1-0 Big Ten) Friday to face the Buckeyes at 6 p.m. (CT) in St. John Arena. The Big Ten Network will air a taped-delay broadcast of the dual at 8:30 p.m. The Hawkeyes will then return home to host Penn State (8-2) Sunday at 2 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. There will be a free kids wrestling clinic prior to the Penn State dual. Children from kindergarten through eighth grade can join members of the Iowa coaching staff on the mat at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to learn some fundamental techniques. The clinic will begin at Noon.
Iowa 24, Nebraska 6
125 - Charlie Falck (I) dec. Paul Donahoe (N), 3-2
133 - Joe Slaton (I) dec. Kenny Jordan (N), 11-4
141 - Dan LeClere (I) dec. Mike Rowe (N), 5-4
149 - Brent Metcalf (I) dec. Jordan Burroughs (N), 6-2
157 - Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Chris Oliver (N), 7-2
165 - Stephen Dwyer (N) dec. Aaron Janssen (I), 8-6
174 - Jay Borschel (I) dec. Brandon Browne (N), 9-4
184 - Phillip Keddy (I) dec. Vince Jones (N), 8-1
197 - Craig Brester (N) dec. Chad Beatty (I), 4-0
Hwt. - Matt Fields (I) dec. Jon May (N), 1-0