IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa won seven of 10 matches to defeat No. 4 Ohio State (6-1, 0-1) Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Sophomore Mike Evans (174) and freshman Nathan Burak (197) upset a pair of Buckeyes to help Iowa improve to 11-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
“We did some good things,” UI head coach Tom Brands said, “but I need to see more toughness. We’re waiting to get good and waiting will not get it done. We had some efforts that I can live with, but we are not wrestling to our ability. We can be better.”
Top-ranked Matt McDonough (125) opened the dual with a 10-5 win against No. 12 Nikko Triggas. McDonough scored two first-period takedowns, opened the second frame with an escape and used a reversal and two nearfall points to earn his 37th consecutive win.
Tony Ramos used 14 takedowns to cruise to a 30-14 win against Kyle Visconti, who was filling in for top-ranked Logan Stieber at 133 pounds. Ramos, rated No. 2 at 133, and Stieber were expected to meet for the first time since last year’s NCAA semifinals, but Stieber did not weigh in and Ramos rolled to an easy win to give Iowa a 7-0 advantage in the team score.
The Buckeyes trimmed Iowa’s lead to 7-6 when No. 2 Hunter Stieber and No. 14 Cam Tessari wrestled to decisions against No. 8 Mark Ballweg and No. 19 Michael Kelly at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively.
Top-ranked Derek St. John then recorded the first of five consecutive Hawkeye wins with a 4-2 victory at 157 pounds. No. 19 Nick Moore (165) followed with a 4-2 decision to increase Iowa’s lead to 13-6 and Mike Evans took the last breath from Ohio State when he topped No. 2 Nick Heflin in sudden victory at 174 pounds.
Evans didn’t score an offensive point in the first three periods, but he used three escapes and one point for stalling to force overtime with the score tied at four. When he got to the sudden victory period he wrapped Heflin in his arms and slammed him to the mat for a five-point move that increased Iowa’s team lead to 16-6 and helped Evans run his career record at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to 12-0.
“I knew I had to be careful in that position,” Evans said of his bearhug on the edge of the mat, “but I thought I had the momentum. I thought he was tired and when we locked up I knew I had to finish. It was big. I think it got us going.”
Ethen Lofthouse (184) and Nathan Burak (197) followed Evans with consecutive wins against ranked opponents. No. 9 Lofthouse rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to top No. 16 Kenny Courts 5-3 and Burak won his Big Ten debut with a 3-2 win against No. 9 Andrew Campolattano.
Burak’s win was Iowa’s fifth in a row and gave the Hawkeyes a 22-6 lead. Ohio State made the final score 22-9 in the 285-pound match, where No. 4 Bobby Telford lost for the first time this season 3-2 to No. 13 Peter Capone.