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Iowa Wrestling: Upsets put Hawks in tough spot after first round of NCAAs

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Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands was not too pleased with his team’s performance during opening-round action at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday afternoon.

Two ranked wrestlers were upset in their first matches and only seven of the 10 grapplers advanced to the championship bracket. Because of that, the Hawkeyes are stuck in ninth place after the first session with just 8.5 points.

“We left some points out there,” said Brands. “We have to be more ready to go next round. Take downs were hard to come by, and we need to be popping."

Defending national champion Derek St. John won his opener at 157 pounds by decision and the Hawkeyes, who finished just behind, three-time defending champion Penn State in the Big Ten Championships, also got first-round decisions from 2013 runner-up Tony Ramos (133), Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197) and Bobby Telford (285), while Cory Clark (125) and Brody Grothus (149) both earned wins in their NCAA tournament debuts.

Clark, the No. 8 seed, scored 18 unanswered points to win by technical fall over Edinboro’s Kory Mines, 18-2, and Grothus, the 13th seed, defeated West Virginia’s Mike Morales, 4-3, thanks to riding-time advantage.

Ramos struggled in his opening match but snuck past Pittsburgh’s Shelton Mack. St. John, 3-1. Ramos scored all three points in the final period to escape.

St. John defeated Lehigh’s Joey Napoli, 4-1, in his opening match. The difference was a second-period takedown and 2:07 of riding time.

Evans and Burak both won their first matches 8-2 and Telford began his quest for another all-American honor with a 6-1 win over Virginia’s Anthony Vizcarrondo.

The Hawkeyes put themselves behind the eight ball as a team when Nick Moore and Ethan Lofthouse were both upset at 165 and 184, respectively. Josh Dziewa (141) also lost his opening match. All three wrestlers will return to the mat Thursday night in the consolation round and each won will have to win four straight matches to advance to the all-America round.

“Each loss hurts,” said Brands. “You want 10 guys to still go for what the prize is, and now you have to redefine the prize. We’ll get them out, move forward and be on the mat tonight. We’ll take it one at a time."

Defending champion Penn State leads Oklahoma State 16.5 to 13.5 at the top of the team standings, while Edinboro and Minnesota are tied for third with 11 points. Nebraska is fifth with 9.5 an Cornell, Iowa State and Oregon State all have nine points in a tie for sixth.

TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION I

1. Penn State 16.5

2. Oklahoma St. 13.5

3. Edinboro 11

Minnesota 11

5. Nebraska 9.5

6. Cornell 9

Iowa State 9

Oregon St. 9

9. IOWA 8.5

Wisconsin 8.5

IOWA'S FIRST ROUND RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed).

125 - #8 Cory Clark (Iowa) tech fall Kory Mines (Edinboro) 18-2

133 - #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. Shelton Mack (Pitt) 3-1

141 - #13 Steven Dutton III (Michigan) dec. Josh Dziewa (Iowa) 4-1

149 - #13 Brody Grothus (Iowa) dec. Mike Morales (West Virginia) 4-3

157 - #2 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. Joey Napoli (Lehigh) 4-1

165 - Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) major dec. #5 Nick Moore (Iowa) 15-7

174 - #4 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. Bryce Hammond (CS-Bakersfield) 8-2

184 - Victor Avery (Edinboro) dec. #5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) 5-3

197 - # 11 Nathan Burak (Iowa) dec. Shane Woods (Wyoming) 8-2

285 - #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. Anthony Vizcarrondo (West Virginia) 6-1

IOWA’S SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed).

125 - #8 Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. #9 Tyler Cox (Wyoming)

133 - #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #14 Zane Richards (Illinois)

149 - #13 Brody Grothus (Iowa) vs. #4 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma)

157 - #2 Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. Aaron Walker (Citadel)

174 - #4 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs. Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg)

197 - #11 Nathan Burak (Iowa) vs. #6 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg)

285 - #5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. #12 Spencer Myers (Maryland)

IOWA’S CONSOLATION MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed).

141 - Josh Dziewa (Iowa) vs. Nick Flannery (Buffalo)

165 - #5 Nick Moore (Iowa) vs. Jackson Morse (Illinois)

184 - #5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) vs. Zack Hernandez (Colorado)

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