ST. LOUIS, Missouri — The University of Iowa wrestling team advanced three wrestlers to the semifinals of the 2015 NCAA Championships on Friday afternoon at the Scottrade Center.
Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133), and Mike Evans (174) each advanced through the quarterfinals and will compete Friday night on ESPN for a spot in the NCAA Finals. The Hawkeyes have seven wrestlers in the round of 12, including four wrestlers competing on the back side of the bracket – Brandon Sorensen (149), Sammy Brooks (184), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285).
Clark, the No. 3 seed at 133, built a 5-0 lead with a takedown and three nearfall in the opening period, adding 2:27 of riding time to defeat Iowa’s State’s third-seeded Earl Hall.
“I came out ready to go,” Clark said. “I thought I wrestled pretty well, other than I kind of quit going to my attacks a little bit at the end. I definitely can’t be doing that, so that’s the one thing I can improve on coming up this next match.”
Clark wrestles Penn State’s seventh-seeded Jimmy Gulibon in the semis. Gulibon defeated Clark 8-5 in their only previous meeting earlier this year.
Evans, the No. 3 seed at 174, advanced to the semis with a 2-1 win over sixth-seeded Logan Storley of Minnesota. He escaped in the first 30-second tiebreak and used a 30-second ride out to advance to the semifinals for the second year in a row. It was the fourth straight match Evans and Storley went into overtime, all Evans wins.
“(It was a) tough ride,” Evans said. “Simple, basic ride. Stay on the hips. Stay on the ankles, keeping forward pressure and coming up when the ref wants you to. Simple, basic, hard.”
Evans wrestles Penn State’s third-seeded Matt Brown in the semis. Brown has won both meetings this year.
Gilman, the No. 6 seed at 125, scored the final six points to erase a 5-1 deficit against third-seeded Joey Dance of Virginia Tech. He scored a takedown with 36 seconds on the clock to force a 5-5 tie, and came out on top of a body lock with 25 seconds left in sudden victory to win 7-5. He will wrestle West Virginia’s Zeke Moisey in the semifinals.
Two Hawkeyes lost in the quarterfinals and fell into Friday night’s consolation round. Sammy Brooks dropped a 3-1 decision to top-seeded Gabe Dean of Cornell, and Nathan Burak lost 12-2 to Iowa State’s third-seeded Kyven Gadson.
Sorensen and Telford stayed alive on the backside of the bracket with a pair of wins. Sorensen won for the 38th time this year. He is three wins shy of tying Ed Banach’s freshman record for wins in a single season. Telford scored a fall in his first match, his team-best 13th of the season, and won 9-2 in his second bout to earn his 30th win of the season, a new single-season career high.
Brooks, Burak, Sorensen, and Telford are all one win from advancing to the All-America round.
Josh Dziewa split a pair of matches at 141 and was eliminated from the tournament. Dziewa defeated Nick Dardanes, 18-4, before falling to Lavion Mayes, 9-3. Dziewa finished the season with a career high 29 wins.
The Hawkeyes are in second place heading into the semifinals with 47.5 points. Ohio State leads the team race with 64.5 points. The Buckeyes have five wrestlers in the semis, but no one in wrestle-backs. Missouri (45), Cornell (41.5) and Edinboro (40.5) round out the top five.
“We just have to keep winning,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “You keep winning matches and the ideal way to win is to open it up and do the things you do best and score a lot of points.”
The semifinal round begins Friday at 7 p.m. (CT). ESPN will televise the semifinals. ESPNU and ESPN3 will broadcast the consolation round. Session IV uses a six-mat configuration with semifinals on the middle two mats and wrestle-backs on the four outside mats.