Feb. 13, 2011

Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)
Score: #2 Iowa 30, #10 Michigan 7
Records: U-M (10-5, 5-3 Big Ten), Iowa (15-0-1, 7-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 18 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 7 p.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Senior/junior captain Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) stayed perfect on the season with an overtime victory over third-ranked Montell Marion at 141 pounds, but the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team claimed just one other victory -- sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) at 149 -- dropping the last six bouts in a 30-7 loss at No. 2 Iowa on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 13) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes opened and closed the dual meet with pins, scoring an upset in the latter, and claimed four of the five swing matches to control the dual throughout. Michigan earned wins at 141 and 149 pounds, pulling within two points after splitting the opening two matches.

Russell, ranked No. 1 nationally at 141 pounds, captured the marquee match of the dual, using a late rally to win a wild one in overtime against Marion, 9-5. After dictating the early pace with a pair of deep double-leg opportunities, Russell found himself in a hole late as Marion finished on two third-period single legs, fighting to score the second one midway through the frame. Down three points, Russell secured a escape on the edge and kept scrambling, turning the corner to score the tying takedown with just 15 seconds left in regulation. The Wolverine captain struck on a duck under early in the extra frame, taking Marion straight to his back to add a two-point near fall. The win was Russell's third in a row against a nationally-ranked opponent in overtime and improved Russell's season record to 29-0.

Grajales cruised to a 13-3 major decision in the subsequent match at 149 pounds, using five takedowns to knock off Matt Ballweg. Grajales struck immediately, striking on a drag before riding out the remainder of the first. He added a second-period double leg and three takedowns in the third, including a pair of counter attacks, and accumulated 4:54 in riding-time advantage to claim his sixth Big Ten win.

Junior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) battled eighth-ranked Tony Ramos for the bulk of the 133-pound match but let it slip away at the end, falling 7-2 after a big Iowa third period. Stevens set the early tone but could not finish on a pair of deep single legs. The two wrestlers traded escape points in the second and third before Ramos took his first advantage midway through the final frame, countering a Stevens shot to score and scrambling to put the Wolverine on his back for another two points. He converted on a low single off a late restart to ice the match.

The Hawkeyes claimed five straight decisions from their ranked wrestlers through the middleweights and lowerweights to pull away in the team race before heavyweight Blake Rasing secured an upset win against junior/sophomore Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) in the final bout. Apland took the match's first lead, using Rasing's forward pressure to create an angle and score a single-leg takedown on the edge in the first and ride out the period. The Wolverine heavyweight, ranked 10th nationally, fought out of a body lock late in the second but could not do it a second time when Rasing locked it up again, bringing Apland straight to his back to earn the pin at 6:11.

Iowa preceded Rasing's win with narrow decisions at 174, 184 and 197 pounds. No. 11-ranked Ethen Lofthouse won the former weight behind a big first period, using a pair of early takedowns to edge senior/junior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS), 6-4. Zeerip scored on a reversal along the edge of the mat in the first to keep the score close but could not penetrate Lofthouse's defenses.

Junior/sophomore Hunter Collins (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy HS) also kept the 184-pound match close, cutting the gap in the third period but falling to 12th-ranked Grant Gambrall, 9-6. The Hawkeye converted on three takedowns, including two in the opening frame to gain early control, before Collins took over the momentum midway through the match. The Wolverine wrestler nearly scored a reversal on the edge late in the second, settling instead for an escape, and finished on a third-period single leg but ran out of time to come back at the end.

Fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo (Clinton Twp., Mich./Chippewa Valley HS) took the first lead against eighth-ranked Luke Lofthouse at 197 pounds but could not hold on late, falling 7-3 after a pair of Iowa takedowns. After spending about 45 seconds deep on a single leg, 11th-ranked Biondo finally finished midway through the first, sweeping Lofthouse's leg to bring him down and claim the early edge. Lofthouse controlled the final two frames, however, scoring on two single legs of his own in the middle frame and building up 1:10 in time advantage.

The Wolverines (10-4, 5-2 Big Ten) will close out the dual portion of their 2010-11 campaign on Friday (Feb. 18), heading to East Lansing, Mich., for a road match at intrastate rival Michigan State. The dual is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Jenison Field House.

#2 Iowa 30, #10 Michigan 7
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score 125 -- #1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) pinned Sean Boyle, 3:56 Iowa, 6-0 133 -- #8 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. #19 Zac Stevens, 7-2 Iowa, 9-0 141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) dec. #3 Montell Marion, 9-5 SV Iowa, 9-3 149 -- Eric Grajales (U-M) major dec. Matt Ballweg, 13-3 Iowa, 9-7 157 - #7 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec. #20 Brandon Zeerip, 10-3 Iowa, 12-7 165 --#13 Aaron Janssen (Iowa) dec. #19 Dan Yates, 11-4 Iowa, 15-7 174 -- #11 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. Justin Zeerip, 6-4 Iowa, 18-7 184 -- #12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) dec. Hunter Collins, 9-6 Iowa, 21-7 197 -- #8 Luke Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. #11 Anthony Biondo, 7-3 Iowa, 24-7 Hwt -- Blake Rasing (Iowa) pinned #10 Ben Apland, 6:11 Iowa, 30-7
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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