Iowa grapplers take share of Big Ten dual title


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The Iowa wrestling team had to take care of business, and that’s what it did Sunday. The Hawkeyes made the drive to Madison, Wis., with the chance to clinch a share of a Big Ten regular-season dual title, and they did to the tune of a 28-10 victory over No. 17 Wisconsin (12-6, 5-3 Big Ten).

The dual victory gave second-ranked Iowa (15-2, 7-1) its second-straight dual title and sixth since the team’s 2008 honor.

The dual started at 125-pounds with Iowa’s Cory Clark recording a quick takedown and reversal in the first period before recording a fall in 2:03.

In what was supposed to be the marquee matchup of the afternoon, Tony Ramos took the mat but instead the Badgers’ Tyler Graff stayed mat side, and Matt Cavallaris came from the tunnel to take a beatdown from Ramos, the nation’s third-ranked 133-pounder.

Ramos opened the bout with 5 takedowns, and added a final one in the third period for a fall in 6:32.

“I was able to get a lot of my hips in, and I was trying to let him stand up, do it again, and maybe catch a tuck or something,” Ramos said. “I caught a leg, which caused me to get that deep arm bar on the far side and from there ran it over and got the fall.”

After Ramos’ pin, an Iowa starter got an off day of his own. Backup 141-pounder Ethan Owens took the mat against Wisconsin’s Jesse Thielke. Owens, wrestling in place of Josh Dziewa, suffered a 12-1 major decision, which pushed the score to 12-4 after three bouts.

After a win by Brody Grothus, defending 157-pound NCAA champion Derek St. John’s tilt with Isaac Jordan was one of a string of three matches without a takedown for the Hawkeyes. No. 2 St. John dropped a 3-1 decision to Jordan.

Including the bout at 141, Iowa did not record a takedown in the ensuing matches until Nick Moore took the mat at 165 pounds. Moore, ranked fourth, (according to InterMat) took down Ben Cox six times en route to an 18-4 major decision.

After Moore’s win, Mike Evans scored 1 takedown at 174, and Ethen Lofthouse used 3 takedowns for a 11-5 decision over Dylan Iczkowski.

While Clark, Ramos, Moore, Evans, and Lofthouse used takedowns to win, the rest of the five starters recorded 0.

“We have to put more points on the board,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said in a release. “Our guys know they have firepower. It has to be realized, and it is realized when it becomes lopsided and things start to open up. We have to give ourselves more opportunities and that is the bottom line.”

With the dual title in the Hawkeyes’ pocket, the team will be back inside the Wisconsin Field House after taking next weekend off. The Big Ten championships will be held in Madison on March 8 and 9.
When Iowa makes the drive up north, Brands will still want more points. The eight-year head coach pointed to his 133- and 165-pounders as models for his team to build on.

“We’d like to duplicate Nick Moore and Tony Ramos [when we come back],” Brands said in a release.

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