COLLEGE WRESTLING: Hawkeyes can’t catch Penn State

MADISON, Wis. – University of Iowa senior Tony Ramos won the 133-pound Big Ten title during championship round action of the conference tournament Sunday at the Kohl Center.

The Hawkeyes finished second in the team standings with 135 points, trailing only Penn State’s 140.5 points.

Nine Iowa wrestlers finished in the top-five of their respective brackets, the most of any school. All nine placewinners earned an automatic berth to the 2014 NCAA Championships.

The top-seeded Ramos earned his first career Big Ten title by downing second-seeded Tyler Graff of Wisconsin, 2-1. Ramos, who finished second at the 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Championships, used a second-period escape and 1:37 of riding time to defeat Graff.

Iowa also recorded four runner-up finishes. Derek St. John (157), Nick Moore (165), Mike Evans (174) and Ethen Lofthouse (184) all placed second at their respective weights.

Iowa returns to the mat March 20-22 at the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City. The NCAA will announce the tournament field Wednesday.

“We have to be strong and we have to go forward, and we have the team for that,” said Iowa coach Tom Brands. “We have the mental makeup for that with this team and the emotional makeup. We have a lot of good guys and we need to win more matches.”

UNI qualifies 7 for NCAA

KENT, Ohio – UNI wrestling grabbed two more spots for the NCAA national tournament en route to a second-place team finish in the final day of the Mid-American Conference Championships.

UNI will take seven wrestlers, the most since 2007-08. Six Panthers qualified in 2008-09.

The Panthers led by 7.5 the team standings starting the final day of the tournament. Missouri closed the gap to just four points at the start of the medal rounds, and surged ahead in the finals to win the title for the second year in a row. The Tigers edged out UNI by 2.5 points, winning 118.5-116.

UNI crowned four champions in Dylan Peters (125 pounds), Joe Colon (133), Joey Lazor (141) and Cooper Moore (165). Ryan Loder came in second at 184, Blaize Cabell collected third at 285, Cody Caldwell was fourth at 174 and Jared Bartel took sixth at 197.

ISU crowns two champs

NORMAN, Okla. – Iowa State took home a pair of Big 12 titles Saturday as Lelund Weatherspoon and top-ranked Kyven Gadson both won their weight classes at 184 and 197, respectively.

Weatherspoon notched Iowa State’s first title of the evening, defeating Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd, 4-3.

Weatherspoon (24-9) is the first Iowa State freshman to win a Big 12 title since heavyweight David Zabriskie in 2007.

Gadson (25-2) won his second consecutive Big 12 title, defeating Oklahoma’s No. 7 Travis Rutt 4-3 in the second tiebreak period. The Waterloo native joins his late father Willie Gadson (1975-1976) as a two-time conference champion. They became the first father-son duo in program history to both be two-time conference title winners.

Iowa State placed third in the four-team Big 12 event. Oklahoma State won with 98.5 points, followed by Oklahoma (63.5), ISU (45.5) and West Virginia (26).