Evanston, Ill. – Iowa won its two head-to-head matches against Iowa State on Tuesday and got a little help from Big Ten Conference rival Wisconsin to repeat as team champion at the Midlands wrestling tournament.
The No. 1 Hawkeyes tallied 156Â½ points to finish three points ahead of Iowa State, which was seeking its second Midlands title in three years.
Iowa State lost seven of its last eight contested matches Tuesday. The only win was David Zabriskie’s 5-2 decision for third place at heavyweight.
The Cyclones’ other points in the final round came from Nick Gallick at 141 pounds, who placed third by medical forfeit.
Perhaps the Cyclones’ struggles in the finals were best exemplified by 165-pounder Jon Reader, who lost a 5-4 overtime tiebreaker decision to Iowa’s Ryan Morningstar. It was the second time this month that Morningstar beat Reader, adding this to a 2-0 victory Dec. 6.
“I wrestled 6 minutes and 30 seconds of the match,” Reader said. “I didn’t finish the match out. When you start getting to (championship) level, that’s what you’ve got to do. That was my fault.”
Iowa can thank Wisconsin 197-pounder Dallas Herbst for helping it clinch the title. Herbst scored a 2-1 upset of No. 1 seed Jake Varner of Iowa State in the finals. A Varner win would have tied the team score, and the results of the heavyweight bouts involving Iowa State and Iowa would have given the Cyclones the title.
The Cyclone-Hawkeye matches in the finals were at 133 and at 165.
Morningstar tied his 165 match on a takedown with 3 seconds left in regulation and won with an escape with 5 seconds left in the second 30-second tiebreaker.
Iowa’s Dan Dennis beat his second highly-ranked opponent with a 4-3 victory over No. 3 Nick Fanthorpe at 133.
Dennis gained the finals by beating No. 2 Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois 5-3 in the semifinals.
Dennis escaped with 1:12 left in the third period, after Fanthorpe’s reversal 9 seconds earlier tied the bout at 3-3. Dennis refused to surrender takedowns.
“It would have been easy to concede those takedowns,” Dennis said, “but as long as you keep fighting, it’s going to be hard for your opponent.”
Kennedy shot a takedown attempt at Dennis in a tiebreaker period, but Dennis turned the move into his own scoring for the semifinals win.
Fanthorpe, who lost for the first time in 15 matches, said he did not follow his favored style.
“I didn’t wrestle my match and didn’t wrestle the way we’re taught to,” Fanthorpe said. “When you don’t score any takedowns, it’s hard to win matches.”
In the 165-pound bout, Reader used a takedown and a reversal to hold a 4-1 lead 30 seconds into the final period. Morningstar got an escape and then the takedown to force overtime.
“I’d rather take a major decision, tech fall, pin over an escape and takedown,” Morningstar said.
Morningstar said he wanted to have a big win.
“I beat some good guys in the tournament, but I feel like I didn’t really get a lot of stuff rolling,” Morningstar said. “It feels really good to get a win and have to score a takedown to do it.”
Reader said the only good aspects from Tuesday’s match were that he got better from the match, and it was not March in St. Louis, meaning the NCAA tournament.
“I got in on his legs like I need to do,” Reader said. “We’re getting better every day.”
Varner’s loss was his first in regular-season competition since a 6-4 loss Feb. 11, 2007, to Raymond Jordan of Missouri.
By: Des Moines Register (Original here)