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Ramos, Rasing upset at Hawkeye wrestle-offs

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | NOVEMBER 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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Two returning starters lost their weight classes in the Iowa wrestling team's wrestle-offs this past weekend.

Sophomore Tony Ramos dominated junior Aldon Isenberg in a 15-8 decision in the second round of 133 pounds, but the returning All-American fell to senior Tyler Clark, 4-2, in the finals.

Clark posted a 43-20 record at 125 pounds when he wrestled at Iowa State his freshman and sophomore years. After transferring to Iowa before the 2009 season, Clark redshirted and returned to action in 2010; he posted a 6-3 record at 133 pounds. Clark won an 8-2 decision over senior J.J. Krustsinger in the preliminaries.

Iowa saw another upset when redshirt freshman heavyweight Bobby Telford won a 2-0 decision over defending Big Ten champion Blake Rasing.

Telford earned 1 riding-time point in the second period and managed an escape in the third to win the match without a take-down by either wrestler.

"Bob Telford is a motivated heavyweight," head coach Tom Brands said during the team's media day on Nov. 9. "He's what you would expect young guys to come into the program as: motivated and hungry and not worrying about what's in from of them but to stamp their name in that record book."

Brands called the scuffle over the heavyweight spot a "healthy competition" and said it gives depth to the class.

"Every year I've been here, there's been a battle for the weight class," Rasing said on Nov. 9, referring to his past competition with Dan Erekson and Jordan Johnson. "It's the same thing every year, but maybe a different face."

Redshirt freshman Mike Evans took 165 in a 4-2 decision over classmate Nick Moore on Nov. 12. Evans redshirted at 174 for the 2010-11 season, but Brands praised him for taking initiative and dropping down a weight class for his first year as a Hawkeye.

The Hawkeyes' 197 spot was open after losing Luke Lofthouse to graduation. Sophomore Tomas Lira claimed the spot on Nov. 12 when he pinned redshirt freshman Josh Haug in 4:43.

Sophomore Jake Ballweg won a 13-4 major decision over true freshman Jake Kadel in the prelims and continued to dominate the 149 class when he took true freshman Body Grothus in finals, 9-3.

Sophomore Ethen Lofthouse defended his spot at 174 when he defeated true freshman Kris Klapprodt in a 22-7 technical fall during his only match of the weekend on Nov. 12.

Returning All-American Derek St. John held the 157 classwhen he won in two major decisions — 15-2 against Joey Trizzino and 12-4 against Michael Kelly.

Returning All-American and national champion Matt McDonough pinned redshirt freshman Matt Gurule in 4:26 in the 125-pound finals. Gurule also lost to Isenberg, 13-9, at 133 during prelims.

Sophomore Dylan Carew (149) didn't compete in the wrestle-offs as a precautionary measure; he is recovering from a pair of ACL injuries. Returning All-American and NCAA runner-up Montell Marion also didn't make an appearance on the mat, but he is expected to wrestle at 141 during his senior season.

Follow DI wrestling reporter Molly Irene Olmstead on Twitter.


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