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Iowa wrestling wins big over Michigan

BY CODY GOODWIN | FEBRUARY 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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A day after the Iowa cagers embarrassed their Michigan counterparts, the Maize and Blue wrestling team was given a similar beating by the Hawkeye grapplers in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

No. 2 Iowa disposed of the 12th-ranked Wolverines, 26-6, on Sunday afternoon in a dual that was not close at any point during its two-hour duration. The Hawkeyes dominated eight of 10 bouts, a performance that was largely expected — save for Josh Dziewa’s upset loss at 141 pounds.

The win pushes Iowa to 13-2 in duals this season, 6-1 mark in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have just two duals left on the schedule, one of which is a conference match at No. 17 Wisconsin on Feb. 23.

Sunday was dedicated to the seniors in Iowa’s lineup — most notably, Tony Ramos, Derek St. John, and Ethen Lofthouse. And though wrestling their last matches on the Mediacom Mat was to be the main reason the 8,358 wrestling fans packed Carver, it was quickly overshadowed by one of the season’s more budding story lines.

At 149 pounds, Iowa’s Brody Grothus and Michigan’s Eric Grajales tangled in what was one of the most exciting bouts in recent memory for Iowa fans. Grothus secured a 17-14 victory over Grajales but not until the match was pushed into a tiebreaker.

The match saw scoring instances 17 different times throughout the nine minutes of wrestling. Before overtime began, with the score tied at 14, both wrestlers appeared to be gassed — but that was before Grothus looked around the arena.

“Everything was seriously a complete blur,” Grothus said. “All I could see was Tony Ramos’s face. And that gave me a little bit of a boost.”

Grothus later said he got his boost because he knew Sunday was a day for him and the other seniors, who all won as well. St. John put in a workmanlike performance in his 3-1 victory over Brian Murphy.

Ramos’s victory, a 6-1 decision over Michigan’s Rossi Bruno, was perhaps the biggest of all the seniors. With it, he finished his Hawkeye career with a perfect 34-0 record in Carver-Hawkeye. The last Iowa wrestler to do so was Brent Metcalf, who went 25-0 in Carver from 2008 to 2010.

“It’s not something I was trying to think about all week long,” Ramos said. “To me, I was trying not to make it a big thing, but it is a big thing. The last person to do it in four years was Tom [Brands].”

Sammy Brooks wrestled in place of Ethen Lofthouse at 184 pounds and scored a 9-4 win over Michigan’s Domenic Abounader.

The rest of the dual was more ho-hum than it was exciting. Cory Clark got the nod again at 125 pounds and made the most of another opportunity in a 4-1 victory over Conor Youtsey. Nick Moore, ranked fourth at 165 pounds, further distanced himself from those below him with an 8-2 win over sixth-ranked Dan Yates.

Mike Evans scored the dual’s lone bonus-point victory when he shut out Collin Zeerip 16-0. Evans managed the technical fall midway through the bout’s final period.

Iowa’s Bobby Telford closed the dual with another marquee bout against another marquee opponent, but was unable to score another win. Telford lost to Michigan’s Adam Coon based on the riding-time criteria that comes with the second tiebreaker in extra time.

“Bob Telford outwrestled the guy,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “We were in on the legs three times, and that guy didn’t come close to us. The bottom line is now we have to convert.”


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