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Iowa Athletics | December 30, 2014

Kings of the mat

  Ten Hawkeyes moved to the semis for the second year in a row.

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Iowa posted a 10-1 record in the quarterfinals of the Midlands Championships on Monday. The Hawkeyes have individual title hopes at nine weights, including a pair of semifinalists at 149 pounds, and hold the lead with 110.5 points in the team race.

Iowa sits in first place with 110.5 points. Illinois is a distant second with 89.5 points, followed by Northwestern (85.0), Edinboro (59.5) and Virginia Tech (54.5).

The Hawkeyes won nine matches where they were favored, with an upset from No. 5 seed Mike Kelly at 157 against the fifth-seed Chad Walsh of Rider at 7-4. Steven Rodrigues (Illinois) upset Iowa's Josh Dziewa 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Dziewa is the No. 3 seed at 141.

This is the second consecutive year the Hawkeyes advanced 10 wrestlers from quarterfinals onto the semifinal matches. Of the 10 to advance, eight were the first to score in their quarterfinal match-ups. Of those 10 winners, there were only four takedowns recorded against the Hawkeyes.

Defending champions Thomas Gilman (125) and Mike Evans (174) move on to the semifinals, Gilman in his third appearance at the Midlands and Evans in his fourth. Gilman advanced verses Ethan Lizak of Minnesota, wrestling unattached with an 11-4 decision. Evans solidified another trip to the semifinals with a major decision, 9-0 win against the eight-seed Chad Welch from Purdue.

Third-seeded Cory Clark (133) and No. 2 seed Bobby Telford (285) both recorded falls in their quarterfinal matches. Clark pinned No. 6 Danny Sabatello (Purdue) at 2:11 and Telford put No. 10 Garrett Ryan (Columbia) on his back at 2:51. Clark and Telford have placed at the Midlands in their previous two appearances. Clark took fourth in 2012 and sixth in 2013, while Telford placed second in both 2011 and 2013.

Junior Brody Grothus advanced to the semifinal match at 149 after a 5-2 decision versus the No. 5 seed from Penn, C.J. Cobb. Grothus placed fourth at the 51st Midlands Championships last season.

Second-seeded Nick Moore was taken down by the No. 7 seed Adam Fierro at the beginning of the match, but quickly recovered with an escape and a takedown in the second period to take the victory in a 4-3 decision.

Kelly (157) recorded a 7-4 decision to Walsh and Sammy Brooks (184) used 12-3 major decision against No. 6 Ophir Bernstein (Brown) to continue into the semifinal matches.

Nathan Burak, wrestling unattached and seeded number one at 197, went into the second period with no score, but collected an escape and subsequent takedown to tally three points. The match ended in a 3-1 decision in Burak's favor, advancing the junior to the semifinals.

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