Iowa crowns four individual champs, team wins Midlands Championships
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Iowa won four individual titles and scored a tournament-record 189.0 points Tuesday night to win the 52nd annual Midlands Championships.
The Hawkeyes' 189 team points broke their previous record of 187.5, set in 2013. Illinois was a distant second with 130.5, followed by Northwestern (106), Edinboro (101) and Virginia Tech (99.5). Iowa has won a record 24 Midlands team titles.
Iowa crowned four champions -- Cory Clark, Mike Evans, Nathan Burak, Bobby Telford -- for the first time since 2007, when Joe Slaton, Dan LeClere, Mark Perry, and Brent Metcalf all earned first place finishes at their respective weights.
The third-seeded Clark took the 133 title after advancing to the finals for the first time in three trips to the Midlands Championships. He previously collected a fourth-place finish in 2012 and a sixth-place finish in 2013. Clark improves his overall record to 14-0 after this championship win.
"It felt good to have a first-place performance instead of a sixth and previous year fourth, so it's a big jump for me, especially going up a weight," Clark said. "At the same time, all this tournament is for me is a learning experience and I've learned a lot."
Evans defended his championship at 174 after a 2-1 victory against the No. 2 seed Zac Bruson from Illinois. Evans is the first repeat champion since Brent Metcalf won three consecutive titles from 2007-2009.
Iowa 197-pounder Burak, seeded first and wrestling unattached, collected his first Midlands Championship title. He took on the sixth-seeded Timmy McCall (Wisconsin) in the finals and clinched the match with a takedown in the final seconds to win 4-3. Burak previously came in third during his first appearance and his all-time Midlands record stands at 10-1.
Telford, the No. 2 seed at 285, walked away with a first-place finish after a battle with the top-seeded Mike McMullan of Northwestern. The pair had met five times previously and Telford improved upon his 2011 and 2013 second-place finishes.
"It's a big win," Telford said. "I've been in this situation three times, I've gotten second twice and that kind of lingers with a guy. It was my last chance at it and it was my last chance to get the feather in my hat with a Midlands championship."
Thomas Gilman, the defending champion at 125, fell to the second-seeded Joey Dance from Virginia Tech 3-1 in the second sudden-victory period. It was Gilman's first loss of the season, tallying a record of 14-1 overall.
The Hawkeyes also closed out the Midlands Championships with four third-place finishes. Sixth-seeded Brandon Sorenson (149), No. 5 seed Michael Kelly (157), No. 10 seed Alex Meyer (174), and No. 3 seed Sammy Brooks (184) each won their consolation finals matches.
Josh Dziewa (141) and Nick Moore (165) both collected fourth-place finishes at the Midlands. Dziewa was defeated by the No. 10 seed Joseph McKenna (Lehigh, unattached) in a 3-1 decision. Moore ultimately fell to fourth-seeded Jackson Morse (Illinois) in a 5-2 decision.