After two rounds of the 49th Annual Midlands Championships, the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team is in first place and still has eight scoring wrestlers alive in the championship bracket.
Iowa leads host Northwestern 38.5 to 34.5, but the Wildcats only have four remaining wrestlers in the championship bracket. Illinois is third with 30 points, Lehigh is next at 29 and Oklahoma sits fifth with 28. Iowa State is currently ninth with 22 points.
The Hawkeyes will take eight of its 10 scoring wrestlers to the quarterfinals tonight, which began at 7 p.m.
Junior Matt McDonough (125), senior Tyler Clark (133), sophomore Tony Ramos (133), senior Montell Marion (141), redshirt freshman Mike Evans (165), sophomore Ethen Lofthouse (174), junior Grant Gambrall (197) and redshirt freshman Bobby Telford (heavyweight) are all still alive in the championship bracket.
Redshirt freshman Mike Kelly (149) and senior heavyweight Blake Rasing are both still alive in the consolation side of the tournament. Ramos and Clark also will meet head-to-head in one 133-pound quarterfinal match.
McDonough, Ramos, Marion, Lofthouse and Telford are all 2-0 and favored to win their quarterfinal matches. McDonough’s day so far has featured a pin and an 11-5 win, Marion earned a career-best 43-second pin and Ramos has outscored his opponents 43-12 with two technical fall wins.
Evans will face a top-seeded wrestler in Steve Fittery in the quarterfinals of 165, while Gambrall will take on No. 2 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh at 197.
Vinnie Wagner is a non-scoring wrestler for Iowa who is still alive in the championship bracket. He is just 1-0 on the day after receiving a first-round bye but will have to face No. 1 Roberty Hamlin of Lehigh in the quarterfinals.
Brody Grothus (149), Nick Moore (157) and Jeremy Fahler (184) are all non-scoring wrestlers who lost their first-round matches but are still alive in the consolation bracket. Tomas Lira went 0-2 at 197 pounds and has been eliminated from competition.
Several Hawkeyes earned wins by fall in the first two sessions, including McDonough, Marion, Moore and Lofthouse.
Rasing, the reigning Big Ten champion, went 1-1 in his first two matches, losing 4-3 and winning 3-2. Kelly also went 1-1 on the day. Both wrestlers are still alive in the consolation bracket.
Note: An update from the Midlands Championships will be posted later tonight after the quarterfinals of the championship bracket and consolation bracket conclude.