A season of strange upsets in college wrestling just got stranger, as University of Minnesota, ranked third, defeated No. 2 Iowa, 19-15, in front of 10,588 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City Saturday afternoon.
To add to the upset nature of the dual, five of the individual match victories could be classified as upsets, with two defending NCAA champs -- Iowa’s Derek St. John, and Minnesota’s Tony Nelson -- both losing their matches.
St. John, crowned 157-pound champ at the 2013 NCAAs in Des Moines, fell to Minnesota’s Dylan Ness, 7-4, while Nelson, two-time heavyweight titlewinner in 2012 and 2013, lost to Hawkeye big man Bobby Telford, 3-1 SV 1.
It’s been a rough January for both St. John and Nelson. Just last weekend, St. John lost to Nebraska’s James Green, 9-7, in Lincoln, Neb…. while Nelson was defeated by Michigan’s Adam Coon, 4-2, last Sunday, and, on the previous weekend, fell to Northwestern’s Mike McMullan, the man Nelson had defeated for his 2013 Big Ten and NCAA titles.
Each team won five individual matches. The critical difference for the Golden Gophers was bonus points garnered by 125-pounder Sam Brancale (pinning Thomas Gilman), and Scott Schiller getting a major decision win over Nathan Burak.
"This is Big Ten, Division I wrestling," said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. "We have to be sharper than that. We have to be ready to battle. It's pretty clear that we regressed a little bit as a team, but made strides individually. That's probably how you would sum it up."
It was a day of notable firsts. For Iowa’s Michael Evans and Telford, it was their first-ever wins against Minnesota’s Logan Storley (in three matches) and Nelson (in five bouts)… while, for St. John, it was his first loss inside Carver-Hawkeye in 31 matches. It was Minnesota’s first win in Iowa City since 2007, while Iowa broke a string of 26 straight conference dual wins at home.
With the win, Minnesota is now 8-1 for the season, and 5-2 in Big Ten competition, while Iowa is now 11-2, and 4-1 in the Big Ten. (Iowa’s just-before-Christmas dual-meet loss to Penn State was not officially part of the conference schedule, and, therefore, does not count for the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten record.)
- 125: Sam Brancale (Minnesota) pinned Thomas Gilman (Iowa), 2:03
- 133: No. 3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. No. 9 David Thorn (Minnesota), 6-2
- 141: No. 11 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) dec. No. 5 Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota), 1-0
- 149: No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 13 Brody Grothus (Iowa), 5-3
- 157: No. 14 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) dec. No. 2 Derek St. John (Iowa), 7-4
- 165: No. 4 Nick Moore (Iowa) dec. Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota), 3-2
- 174: No. 6 Michael Evans (Iowa) dec. No. 5 Logan Storley (Minnesota), 2-1 TB
- 184: No. 9 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. No. 10 Sam Brooks (Iowa), 8-6
- 197: No. 1 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) maj. dec. No. 16 Nathan Burak (Iowa) 16-5
- Hwt: No. 3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) 3-1 SV 1
About the photos: The two 2013 NCAA champs who lost at the Iowa-Minnesota dual -- Iowa’s Derek St. John (left), and Minnesota’s Tony Nelson -- shown as they won their national titles nearly a year ago.
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