OMAHA, Neb. – Iowa completed its dominating run through the NCAA championships with three of its five finalists winning national titles Saturday night.
Matt McDonough won at 125 pounds, Brent Metcalf at 149 and Jay Borschel at 174 before a partisan Iowa crowd of 16,000 at the Qwest Center.
Borschel was among five wrestlers to end with perfect seasons. The others were No. 1 seeds Jayson Ness of Minnesota at 133, J.P. O’Connor of Harvard at 157, Andrew Howe of Wisconsin at 165 and Jake Varner of Iowa State at 197.
Also winning titles were Cornell’s top-seeded Kyle Dake at 141, Missouri’s sixth-seeded Max Askren at 184 and top-seeded heavyweight David Zabriski of Iowa State.
Zabriskie decisioned Oklahoma State’s Jared Rosholt 3-2. Rosholt, the second seed, is from Sandpoint.
Iowa, which clinched a third straight team title and 23rd overall during Friday’s semifinals, finished with 134.5 points. Cornell had 90 points and Iowa State 75.
The Hawks crowned their most individual champions since 1998. Last year they advanced only one wrestler to the finals, Metcalf, and he lost.
“This is a better feeling for sure,” coach Tom Brands said. “A part of you isn’t satisfied because you hurt for your guys who didn’t win. So I don’t want to wear it on my sleeve too much, but I feel good.”
Ness (31-0) decisioned the Hawks’ Daniel Dennis in the evening’s most dramatic match, earning a 6-4 victory after scoring a takedown and near fall in the last 6 seconds.
Iowa’s McDonough (37-1) decisioned Iowa State’s Andrew Long 3-1 for his fourth victory over him this season. It was the first time since 1980, and second time ever, that two freshmen met in a final.
The second-seeded Borschel (36-0) won a meeting of unbeatens, 6-2 over Cornell’s No. 1 Mack Lewnes, who surrendered his first takedown of the season.
Metcalf (36-1) won the 149 title in 2008 and was the national tournament’s outstanding wrestler. Last year, he had a 69-match winning streak ended by North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell in the finals. This season Metcalf won 31 in a row before a surprising 9-3 loss to Ohio State’s Lance Palmer on March 7.
Dake’s 7-3 decision over Iowa’s Montell Marion completed a 34-2 season. The freshman scored a takedown and near fall the second period to take control.
Howe (36-0) scored an easy 9-3 decision over Penn State’s sixth-seeded Dan Vallimont a year after losing in the finals.
Varner (31-0), a four-time finalist, won his second straight title with his 3-2 win over Nebraska’s Craig Brester.