EVANSTON, Illinois — The University of Iowa wrestling team won four individual titles and scored a tournament-record 189.0 points to win the 52nd annual Midlands Championships on Tuesday night.
The Hawkeyes’ 189 team points broke their previous record of 187.5, set in 2013. Illinois was a distant second with 130.5, followed by Northwestern (106), Edinboro (101) and Virginia Tech (99.5). Iowa has won a record 24 Midlands team titles.
Iowa crowned four champions — Cory Clark, Mike Evans, Nathan Burak, Bobby Telford — for the first time since 2007, whenJoe Slaton, Dan LeClere, Mark Perry, and Brent Metcalf all earned first place finishes at their respective weights.
No. 3 seeded Clark took the 133 title after advancing to the finals for the first time in three trips to the Midlands Championships. He previously collected a fourth-place finish in 2012 and a sixth-place finish in 2013. Clarkimproves his overall record to 14-0 after this championship win.
“It felt good to have a first-place performance instead of a sixth and previous year fourth, so it’s a big jump for me, especially going up a weight,” Clark said. “At the same time, all this tournament is for me is a learning experience and I’ve learned a lot.”
Evans defended his championship at 174 after a 2-1 victory over the No. 2 seed Zac Bruson from Illinois. Evans is the first repeat champion since Brent Metcalf won three straight titles from 2007-2009.
Iowa 197-pounder Nathan Burak, seeded first and wrestling unattached, collected his first Midlands Championship title. He took on the sixth-seeded Timmy McCall (Wisconsin) in the finals and clinched the match with a takedown in the final seconds to win, 4-3. Burak previously came in third during his first appearance and his all-time Midlands record stands at 10-1.
Bobby Telford, the No. 2 seed at 285, walked away with a first-place finish after a battle with the top-seeded Mike McMullan of Northwestern. The pair had met five times previously and Telford improved upon his 2011 and 2013 second-place finishes.
“It’s a big win,” Telford said. “I’ve been in this situation three times, I’ve gotten second twice and that kind of lingers with a guy. It was my last chance at it and it was my last chance to get the feather in my hat with a Midlands championship.”
Thomas Gilman, the defending champion at 125, fell to the second-seeded Joey Dance from Virginia Tech, 3-1, in the second sudden-victory period. It was Gilman’s first loss of the season, tallying a record of 14-1 overall.
The Hawkeyes also closed out the Midlands Championships with four third-place finishes. Sixth-seeded Brandon Sorenson(149), No. 5 seed Michael Kelly (157), No. 10 seed Alex Meyer (174), and No. 3 seed Sammy Brooks (184) each won their consolation finalsmatches.
Josh Dziewa (141) and Nick Moore (165) both collected fourth-place finishes at the Midlands. Dziewa was defeated by the No. 10 seed Joseph McKenna (Lehigh-unattached), in a 3-1 decision. Moore ultimately fell to fourth-seeded Jackson Morse (Illinois) in a 5-2 decision.
Iowa returns to action on Jan. 2 at Rutgers. The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) and is televised on BTN. The Hawkeyes then travel to Ohio State to compete Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. (CT).
FINALS RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #2 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech) sudden victory #1 Thomas Gilman (IA), 3-1
133 – #3 Cory Clark (IA) dec. #4 Zane Richards (Illinois), 4-2
174 – #1 Mike Evans (IA) dec. #2 Zac Brunson (Illinois), 2-1
197 – #1 Nathan Burak (IA-unat.) dec. #6 Timmy McCall (Wisconsin), 4-3
285 – #2 Bobby Telford (IA) dec. #1 Mike McMullan (Northwestern), 4-2
141 – #10 Joseph McKenna (Lehigh-unat.) dec. #3 Josh Dziewa (IA), 3-1
149 – #6 Brandon Sorenson (IA) dec. #10 Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech), 6-0
157 – #5 Mike Kelly (IA) dec. #4 Chad Walsh (Rider), 4-3
165 – #4 Jackson Morse (Illinois) dec. #2 Nick Moore (IA),5-2
174 – #10 Alex Meyer (IA) major dec. Josh Snook ( Maryland), 13-5
184 – #3 Sammy Brooks (IA) dec. #4 Hayden Zillmer (N. Dakota St.), 3-1
149 – #4 Brody Grothus (IA) forfeited to #3 Rick Durso (Franklin and Marshall- unattached)