The University of Iowa University of Iowa

NCAA Wrestling Tournament off to an Ambivalent Start

After an exciting day and two sessions full of wrestling, the University of Iowa wrestling team currently sits in second place with 21 points just behind Ohio State’s 23. Despite Iowa’s good team standings thus far the team has been underperforming in a way. Only five Hawkeyes have advanced to the quaterfinal with three of Iowa’s five losses being suffered by three of Iowa’s wrestlers within the top 5 seeds.

The first Iowa wrestler to receive an upset was #5 Josh Dziewa who lost 6-3 to unseeded freshman Kevin Jack  (North Carolina State). Following this upset at 141 lbs came two more Iowa losses at 157 and 165 lbs. Both Michael Kelly (157) and Nick Moore (165) were unseeded and lost to seeded opponents #6 Josh Demas (OH St.) and #7 (NW) Pierce Harger respectively.

Then the next upset came at the end of the first round when heavyweight #3 Bobby Telford gave up a takedown and two nearfall points during the first period to his unseeded opponent Spencer Myers (Maryland). Telford bravely tried to battle back after scoring a takedown in the third period but could not finish on a series of shots afterwards. He ended up finishing out the match 5-7.

The final upset of the night for the Hawkeyes happened in the 149 lbs bracket. #4 Brandon Sorensen suffered a tough loss by decision after he decided to cut #13 Charles Cobb (Penn) with only 30 seconds left in the match but then could not score the winning takedown. Cobb’s escape gave him the win by decision 4-3.

Even though only eight out of the ten Hawkeyes remain (with Kelly and Moore out of the tournament) Iowa is still in the hunt for the team championship. Iowa was not the only team to suffer upsets. In fact upsets seemed to be the rule rather than the exception within the first two sessions of the NCAA Championship which seems to be the only thing that is keeping Iowa in the race for the team championship.

The third session will commence at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20. Eight Hawkeyes are still competing with five that still have a chance at gold. Even though Iowa’s wrestling team has faced some adversity in the first to rounds, they are still in the hunt.