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Wrestling dismantles Wisconsin

BY J.T. BUGOS | FEBRUARY 22, 2010 7:30 AM

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The Iowa wrestling team completed its second-consecutive undefeated regular season on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes pounded No. 19 Wisconsin, 31-6, to earn their 61st-straight dual victory and capture their third-straight Big Ten regular-season title.

Senior 174-pounder Jay Borschel didn’t concern himself with Iowa’s impressive record after the meet, however.

“To be truthful, it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “There’s a lot more work to be done in the next month, and that’s all I and everyone else are focusing on. It’s nice, but in the long run it doesn’t mean anything unless we follow it up with Big Ten and NCAA championships.”

Four Hawkeyes also completed undefeated seasons.

Borschel and fellow seniors Brent Metcalf and Dan Erekson, along with redshirt freshman Matt McDonough, finished the season without a loss.

Metcalf and McDonough will bring a perfect 29-0 record into the Big Ten championships, while Borschel will stand 28-0 overall. Erekson is unbeaten in eight matches.

Both Borschel and McDonough earned bonus points for the Hawkeyes in their matches. At 174, Borschel secured his ninth fall of the season against Brendan Ard in 4:26

McDonough started off the dual with a major decision win over Drew Hammen at 125, 10-1, and Iowa heavyweight Erekson finished the dual with a 3-2 win by decision over Eric Bugenhagen.

“They have all been great,” senior Phillip Keddy said about the wins. “They go out there and get the job done every time, and that’s what it’s all about. They’re going up there looking to dominate, and that’s why they’re winning all those matches.”

Iowa 133-pounder Daniel Dennis won a close match against sixth-ranked Tyler Graff. Dennis and Graff were tied, 1-1, at the end of the third period, but Dennis’ riding time advantage gave him a 2-1 win.

In one of the most anticipated matches of the day, fourth-ranked Hawkeye Ryan Morningstar fell to top-ranked Badger Andrew Howe, 2-1. Howe, the defending Big Ten champion and national runner-up, limited Morningstar to just an escape in the seven-minute match to remain undefeated.

This was the second dual in a row Morningstar was unable to muster more than an escape. But unlike when Iowa hosted No. 4 Ohio State on Feb. 19, the one point wasn’t enough to secure a victory.

Luke Lofthouse tallied the only other Iowa loss in the meet at 197. Wisconsin’s seventh-ranked Trevor Brandvold, Chad Beatty’s opponent when he broke his foot at the Midlands Championships, beat Lofthouse, 4-2.

Iowa will have 12 days off before traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Big Ten championships on March 6-7. The Hawkeyes will seek their third-straight championship.

Keddy said Iowa’s confidence is high heading into the first of two critical parts of the season.

“This is the time of the year, you have to turn it up regardless of what’s happened in the past,” he said. “We can’t let our guard down at all. We still have to be ready to have the most dominant performance we can.”

Borschel said the public doesn’t remember regular season achievements, such as Iowa’s tear through its schedule, and the Hawkeyes have their eyes on a bigger prize.

“You have a whole team full of guys who believe they’re going to be the champion at their weight class,” he said. “And that makes you feel real good about the team.”


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