Iowa advanced to the final four of the College Wrestling National Duals by winning a regional tournament in Ames Sunday. The Hawkeyes beat Virginia Tech 31-3 and Oregon State 22-14 to claim the championship of the regional hosted by Iowa State University. Iowa racked up four major decisions and two technical falls in their two meets, but it was the losses and occasional lapses in intensity that bothered coach Tom Brands. “When you get taken down, you (shouldn’t) put your head on the mat…when a guy picks me up and puts me down on the mat, I come back up. It’s really that simple. That’s what sticks in my head right now,” Brands said. At 141 pounds, Iowa’s Montell Marion – ranked sixth – beat fourth-ranked Michael Mangrum of Oregon State 6-4 in overtime. But, Marion was in no mood to celebrate the Hawkeye’s victories in Ames.
“We haven’t won anything yet,” Marion said. “We want to get this (National Duals) team title. Then, we want to win the Big Ten title and then go to the nationals and win that. We’ve had some hiccups along the way. We’ve lost three duals…but we feel like we’re that number one team. The thing is, we have to go out there and prove it every time we step on the mat.” Iowa State beat Wisconsin, but lost to Oregon State 27-12 in the semi-finals. Cyclones coach Kevin Jackson watched his team lose two matches by pin and one by technical fall. “Obviously, we’re a little disappointed because we thought we had a great chance to make the final,” Jackson said. “We’ve got some young guys who have to understand bonus points are huge in a dual meet. We gave up two falls and a tech fall by freshmen. That just can’t happen.” Northern Iowa finished 5th in the regional, losing to Virginia Tech, but beating Wisconsin. The Panther’s Joe Colon scored a 13-2 win over Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter, who entered the tournament as the number one ranked wrestler at 133 pounds. Colon also pinned his opponent from Wisconsin.
“I feel pretty good…it’s good momentum. Things are going in the right direction and it’s showing. I just need to get better from here, keep working hard like I have been and it’s going to pay off come the national tournament,” Colon said. The sophomore at UNI, a Clear Lake native, is currently ranked 11th at 133. The National Dual Championship Tournament will take place next Sunday at a site to be announced later today (Monday).
(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)