Borschel dominant in title victory

BY J.T. BUGOS | MARCH 23, 2010 7:30 AM

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Jay Borschel’s dream was in jeopardy. His ultimate goal of a national title was seemingly over, and he hadn’t made it to the finals.

Virginia’s Christopher Henrich held a 9-3 lead over the 174-pound Hawkeye with one minute to go in the second period. The Iowa faithful in attendance slumped into their seats, frowning and silent.

But Borschel didn’t go quietly into the snowy Omaha night.

Instead, he reeled off seven unanswered points over the next three minutes — takedown, escape to start the third period, another takedown, a stall point, and riding-time advantage — to complete an improbable comeback only Borschel and Iowa head coach Tom Brands thought possible.

The dream remained alive.

The next night, Borschel left no doubt in the minds of the 15,919 wrestling fans in the Qwest Center. The senior dominated top-seeded and previously undefeated Mack Lewnes of Cornell from the opening whistle, winning a 6-2 decision.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Borschel said. “A lot of hard work, especially coming out of this program. It paid off.”

Coming in to the finals match, Lewnes had yet to allow an offensive point of any kind all season. But after the title match, Borschel said that didn’t matter to him.

He was confident in his techniques and went to them, and his faith paid off with first- and third-period takedowns.

“In most matches, to win you have to first score takedowns,” Borschel said. “So that’s the game plan for me — to come out hard and strong and get that first takedown, then work on top.”

Borschel’s work on top left Lewnes helplessly flat on the mat, unable to counter or even move. The Hawkeye racked up 3:46 of riding time, illustrating his ability to wear down opponents from the top position.

Lewnes only mustered one escape and a stall point in the seven-minute match.

Afterwards, Borschel couldn’t help but grin from the time he ran off the raised stage, through the tunnel, and into the recesses of the arena.

Brands was just as excited about his senior grappler’s title bout.

“It was a routine win. I love it,” the fourth-year Iowa head coach said. “It was a routine win in the national finals, and that’s a lot to get excited about. That’s as excited as I’ve ever been with routine.”

Borschel became the second Hawkeye graduate of Linn-Mar High School to earn a NCAA title that day — the first seized seven matches prior by 125-pound redshirt freshman Matt McDonough.

Borschel credited former Iowa wrestler and Linn-Mar head coach Doug Streicher for instilling tough wrestling in the two grapplers, and McDonough did the same.

“That’s just a testament to the coaching we had in high school,” McDonough said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from as long as you have good company.”

Borschel has been in good company for the last three years and has three team national titles to prove it.

“Ten years from now, it’s going to look real good,” Borschel said. “Not really right now, but down the road that will definitely look nice to look back and be a part of it.”

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