One streak ends, another continues
The pursuit of college wrestling history changed course for Iowa on Sunday. The 69-meet winning streak is over. The 70-match unbeaten run continues.
The No. 10 Hawkeyes and sixth-ranked Oklahoma State walked away from Gallagher-Iba Arena with a 15-15 stalemate after splitting 10 matches in a dual devoid of bonus points.
?A tie doesn?t do a lot for anyone,? Oklahoma State coach John Smith said. ?I think we had our opportunities but didn?t really take advantage of them.?
Iowa heavyweight Blake Rasing couldn?t extend the second-longest winning streak in college wrestling history, but the junior?s 3-1 overtime win against Blake Rosholt kept the Hawkeyes from suffering their first dual defeat in more than three years.
?The (winning) streak was important,? Iowa coach Tom Brands told reporters after the dual. ?It demonstrates where your program was in the past and, at the end of the streak, maybe where your program is in the present, to be realistic.?
Oklahoma State handed Iowa a 19-14 loss on Jan. 5, 2008, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and the Cowboys had their sights set on keeping the Hawkeyes away from one of their proud records. Oklahoma State won 76 consecutive duals during a 14-year run that ended in 1951, and Iowa?s string of 69 straight victories matched the second longest in NCAA history.
?When you have won 69 straight, you know how to win,? Smith said. ?You have to take it from them, it isn?t just going to fall into your lap. We didn?t take much today. We weren?t taking things from them. Maybe in a weight class or two we could have separated the score a little bit, but we didn?t take it from them.
?We let them hang in there and we chose not to compete, and in the end you get a tie. I don?t know if we are better than them, but I know that we didn?t have the attitude that we were going to stop this streak with a win.?
Freshmen Derek St. John and Ethen Lofthouse prevailed in a pair of close bouts and sophomores Matt McDonough and Mark Ballweg pulled away in the third period to claim victories for the Hawkeyes (8-0-1). But Iowa couldn?t pick up bonus points or a sixth individual win Sunday to put away a dual that swung back and forth throughout.
St. John scored a takedown with seven seconds remaining to win a 7-5 decision at 157 pounds against Neil Erisman. Lofthouse hung on for a 4-3 win against No. 10 Mike Benefiel at 174.
McDonough gave up an early takedown against No. 8 Jon Morrison before the defending NCAA champion rallied for a 7-3 win at 125. Ballweg scored a takedown and two-point near-fall in the third period to break open an 8-3 win against freshman Josh Kindig at 141.
The Hawkeyes had chances in other places. Aaron Janssen couldn?t recover after getting tossed to his back for five points early in a 6-2 loss to Dallas Bailey at 165, Grant Gambrall couldn?t escape in a 2-0 loss to Chris Perry at 184 and Luke Lofthouse couldn?t pull off an upset in a 5-3 loss to third-ranked Clayton Foster at 197.
Oklahoma State held advantages in match points (47-42), takedowns (13-9) and near-fall points (7-2).
The Cowboys (7-2-1) couldn?t cash in on their best opportunity for bonus points. Top-ranked Jordan Oliver led Tyler Clark 8-2 at the end of the first period at 133 and 10-3 late in the second. But Clark escaped with one second remaining in the second period and rode Oliver for 1:52 in the third to prevent a major decision in an 11-4 loss.
The tie was Iowa?s first since 1992 when they knotted Penn State 18-18. The Hawkeyes were deadlocked in consecutive duals at the 2003 National Duals, but criteria left with a loss to Oklahoma and a victory against Minnesota.
Criteria is only used now at the college level to determine the winner of duals that end in a tie in tournaments.
?We wanted to win, and I think we?re all pretty disappointed in how we performed,? said Perry, whose brother, Mark, won two NCAA titles at Iowa. ?We expect ourselves to perform at a higher level, and we?re going to have to perform at a higher level to win a national title as a team. There were certain people that wrestled well, but we have to finish matches and be big at the end. I think that?s what we have to work on.?
Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or email@example.com.
Iowa 15, Oklahoma State 15
125 ? Matt McDonough (I) dec. Jon Morrison 7-3.
133 ? Jordan Oliver (OSU) dec. Tyler Clark 11-4.
141 ? Mark Ballweg (I) dec. Josh Kindig 8-3.
149 ? Jamal Parks (OSU) dec. Matt Ballweg 8-4.
157 ? Derek St. John (I) dec. Neil Erisman 7-5.
165 ? Dallas Bailey (OSU) dec. Aaron Janssen 6-2.
174 ? Ethen Lofthouse (I) dec. Mike Benefiel 4-3.
184 ? Chris Perry (OSU) dec. Grant Gambrall 2-0.
197 ? Clayton Foster (OSU) dec. Luke Lofthouse 5-3.
Hwt. ? Blake Rasing (I) dec. Blake Rosholt 3-1 OT.