Three to Semis

March 18, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

The University of Iowa advanced three wrestlers to the semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships Friday morning at the Wells Fargo Center. Sophomores Matt McDonough (125) and Grant Gambrall (184), and junior Montell Marion scored quarterfinal victories to advance to Friday night’s semis. All three wrestlers are guaranteed All-America status. An additional four Hawkeyes are still competing in the consolation round.

Iowa sits in third place in the team standings with 52 points. Cornell leads with 61 points. Penn State trails the Big Red with 60.5 points. Cornell has five wrestlers remaining, four in the semifinals. Penn State has four wrestlers alive in the championship bracket and three in the consolation round.

McDonough, the defending 125-pound NCAA champion, opened the third session with an 11-0 major decision over seventh-seeded Ryan Mango of Stanford. The second-seeded Hawkeye racked up three takedowns and three nearfall points en route to his third bonus-point victory of the tournament. He’ll face third-seeded Brandon Precin of Northwestern in the semis. McDonough owns a 2-1 record against Precin this season. McDonough has won the last two meetings, including a pin in the Iowa-Northwestern dual and a 3-1 decision in the Big Ten championship finals.

The fifth-seeded Marion scored a takedown as time expired to record an 8-7 win over Illinois’ fourth-seeded Jimmy Kennedy. Last year’s NCAA runner-up at 141 pounds, Marion scored six third-period points to erase a 4-0 deficit. Marion trailed 5-2 after two periods before chasing Kennedy to the edge of the mat and picking up a takedown and stalling point to tie the match, 5-5. Facing a riding-time deficit, Marion cut Kennedy loose before recording another stalling point and takedown on the edge of the mat as time expired. Kennedy held on to the riding time point, but Marion advanced the 141-pound semis with the 8-7 decision. Marion will face top-seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan in the semifinals.

Gambrall used two overtime periods to upset Wisconsin’s 5th-seeded Travis Rutt, 4-2. The wrestlers traded escapes during regulation and then again in the first overtime period before the 12th-seeded Gambrall turned a reversal in the second tiebreak to earn the 4-2 win. Gambrall will face No. 9 Quentin Wright in Friday’s 184-pound semifinal.

Redshirt freshman Derek St. John (157) and senior Luke Lofthouse (197) both fell in the quarterfinals and will need to record one consolation victory to secure All-America honors. St. John, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 3 David Taylor (PSU) and No. 5 Lofthouse lost a 10-3 decision to Kent State’s No. 4 Dustin Kilgore.

Redshirt freshman Tony Ramos (133) and senior Aaron Janssen (165) each posted 2-0 records Friday morning to remain alive in the consolation round. Ramos used seven takedowns to post an early morning 21-4 win over Kent State’s Tyler Small before scoring a sudden victory 7-5 decision over Minnesota’s David Thorn. Janssen notched 11 takedowns in his 23-8 tech. fall over Binghamton’s John Lister. He later used a pair of takedowns to defeat Cornell’s Justin Kerber, a former high school teammate, 6-2. Both wrestlers are one victory away from earning All-America honors.

Junior Blake Rasing (HWT) and sophomore Ethen Lofthouse (174) were both knocked from the tournament following losses in Friday’s wrestle backs. The seventh-seeded Rasing fell to No. 4 Dominick Russo III of Rutgers 8-6. Ethen Lofthouse, the tournament’s No. 9 seed, dropped a 6-5 decision to Boston’s Hunter Meys. Rasing’s season ends with a Big Ten title and an 18-7 record. Ethen Lofthouse finished his redshirt freshman season with a 20-10 mark.

NCAA TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION THREE (Top 10 Teams)

Place Team – Points

1. Cornell – 61

2. Penn State – 60.5

3. Iowa – 52

4. American – 49

5. Oklahoma State – 44.5

6. Wisconsin – 41

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7. Lehigh – 37

8. Arizona State – 35

Boise State – 35

10. Minnesota – 33

NCAA QUARTERFINAL RESULTS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)

Championship Bracket

125 – #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) major dec. #7 Ryan Mango (Stanford), 11-0

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141 – #5 Montell Marion (Iowa) dec. #4 James Kennedy (Ill), 8-7

157 – #3 David Taylor (PSU) dec. #6 Derek St. John (Iowa), 6-3

184 – #12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) dec. #4 Travis Rutt (Wisc), 4-2 TB-2

197 – #4 Dustin Kilgore (Kent) #5 Luke Lofthouse (Iowa), 10-3

Consolation Bracket

133 – #6 Tony Ramos (Iowa) tech. fall Tyler Small (Kent), 21-4

133 – #6 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. David Thorn (Minn), 7-5 SV

165 – #11 Aaron Janssen (Iowa) tech. fall John Lister (Bing), 23-5

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165 – #11 Aaron Janssen (Iowa) dec. #9 Justin Kerber (Cornell), 6-2

174 – Hunter Meys (BOSTU) dec. #9 Ethen Lofthouse, 6-5

HWT – #4 Dominick Russo III (RUTG) dec. #7 Blake Rasing (Iowa), 8-6

NCAA SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)

125 – #2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. #3 Brandon Precin (NW)

141 – #5 Montell Marion (Iowa) vs. #1 Kellen Russell (Mich)

184 – #12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) vs. #9 Quentin Wright (PSU)

NCAA CONSOLATION MATCH-UPS (Numbers indicate tournament seeds)

133 – #6 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #5 Lou Ruggirello (HOFS)

157 – #6 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo)

165 – #11 Aaron Jansen (Iowa) vs. #7 Shane Onufer (Wyoming)

197 – #5 Luke Lofthouse (Iowa) vs. #11 Jerome Ward (Iowa State)

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