March 19, 2010

By Roger Moore

Special to

OMAHA, Neb. - It was more of the same in the third session of the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships inside Qwest Center - the University of Iowa winning match after match.

Head coach Tom Brands' Hawkeyes pushed five into tonight's semifinals and hold a 19-point lead over the field after Friday morning's wrestling. Nine of Iowa's 10 entries will still be in competition when wrestling begins tonight at 6 (CST).

Cornell and Iowa State each advanced three to the semifinals with the Big Red in second in the team standings at 54 points. Iowa State (46), Ohio State (46) and Oklahoma (44) round out the top five.

For the third straight session, the attendance (tickets sold) registered at 15,613. And very few of those have not been at the Qwest Center.

Oklahoma State started the day with five in the quarters, but won just two of those bouts. The Cowboys started the day in second and were sixth following wrestling this morning.

Redshirt-freshman Matt McDonough (35-1) got the massive Iowa crowd flowing with a major decision in his quarterfinal bout. Senior Dan Dennis (21-1) followed with a third period takedown to beat Iowa State senior Nick Fanthorpe at 133 and sophomore Montel Marion (26-5) gave the Hawks a third semifinalist with an overtime victory over Ohio's Jermane Lindsey.

2008 NCAA champion Brent Metcalf (34-1) continued his run to the finals with a major decision of Iowa State's Mitch Mueller at 149.

Edinboro's Jarrod King (37-1), the defending champion, momentarily stopped the Iowa momentum with a narrow victory over Iowa's Ryan Morningstar at 165.

But the Hawkeyes came right back with back-to-back victories by senior Jay Borschel (35-0) at 174 and senior Phil Keddy (26-7) at 184 to continue its march toward a third straight title.

Duke senior Konrad Dudziak (17-0) beat Iowa's Dan Erekson at 285 but the round was certainly more positive than negative for the leaders.

Cornell, despite losing 2009 NCAA champ Troy Nickerson on Thursday night, pushed three to tonight's final four.

Freshman Kyle Dake (32-2) easily got by Boise State's Levi Jones in the 141-pound quarters with junior Mack Lewnes (39-0) just getting by Oregon State's Colby Covington in a marathon at 174. Sophomore Cam Simaz (40-5) gave Rob Koll his third semifinalist with a win over Wisconsin's Trevor Brandvold.

The Cyclones got off to a great start when redshirt-freshman Andrew Long (26-6) upset fourth-seeded Anthony Robles of Arizona State at 125. After Fanthorpe and Mueller each dropped their bouts Iowa State finished the session strong behind 2009 NCAA champ Jake Varner (29-0) at 197 and top-seeded David Zabriskie (24-2) at heavyweight. Zabriskie beat Missouri's Mark Ellis, the 2009 NCAA champ, in his quarterfinal.

The Buckeyes, silver medalists the last two years, saw senior 149-pounder Lance Palmer (30-2) continue his strong tournament with a pin in the quarters. It was his second fall in two days. Reese Humphrey, a runner-up at 133 in 2009, moved to the semis with a win over Lehigh's Seth Ciasulli.

Penn State, host Nebraska, American and Oklahoma State will each have two in the championship bracket tonight.

As usual, there are the usual unexpected semifinalists.

Leading the list is Binghamton sophomore 157-pounder Justin Lister (31-8). The New York native pinned third-seeded Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech in the quarters. He'll face Cal Poly senior Chase Pami tonight. Pami, an All-American last season, beat second-seeded Adam Hall of Boise State on Friday morning.

Another major surprise has been Oklahoma freshman Tyler Caldwell (31-12). The 165-pounder from Kansas knocked off Old Dominion's Chris Brown on a riding time point in the quarters. Brown beat fourth-seeded Jon Reader of Iowa State in the first round.

Caldwell's run also includes a win over Ohio State's fifth-seeded Colt Sponseller.

Purdue freshman Cashe Quiroga (28-12), a native of Indianapolis, beat fellow unseeded wrestler Fred Santiate of Boston in the quarters. Santiate knocked off Nickerson a round earlier.

Pittsburgh's Tyler Nauman (36-6), a sophomore and 10th seed at 141, beat Oklahoma State's second-seeded Jamal Parks to move to the semifinals.

The top four seeds all advanced to the semifinals at 133, 174, 197 and 285.

Check out the wrestling blog at for a short preview of the semifinals later this afternoon.