The University of Iowa wrestling team is facing an uphill battle to repeat as national champs. The Hawkeyes lost four of six matches in the quarterfinals today at the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in St. Louis. Ohio State has jumped into the team lead with 61.5 points, ahead of 2nd place Iowa State with 57.5. The Buckeyes have four wrestlers in tonight’s semi-finals. The Cyclones have three; Jon Reader at 165, Jake Varner at 197 and top-seeded heavyweight Dave Zabriskie. ISU also has three wrestlers remaining in the consolation bracket.
Nebraska has moved into third place with 54.5 points and four in the semi-finals. Iowa is one-half point back of the Cornhuskers in fourth place. The Hawkeyes two semi-finalists are defending champion Brent Metcalf at 149 and Ryan Morningstar at 165. Iowa will need a strong showing from their five wrestlers in the consolation bracket for the Hawks to have any chance of repeating as national champs. Northern Iowa is 27th in the team race. The Panthers are without a wrestler in tonight’s semifinals.