Iowa all-American applauds Gilman's pre-match tactics

Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. – There were a lot of memorable moments in the Iowa camp during the top-ranked Hawkeyes' 23-12 stomping of No. 2-ranked Minnesota last Friday before 13,603 fans at Williams Arena.

For Hawkeye heavyweight Bobby Telford, none topped the one that occured during pre-dual introductions when 125-pounder Thomas Gilman heard his named called and went on the mat for a customary handshake. But when Minnesota's Ethan Lizak didn't meet him in the middle of the mat, Gilman marched inside the Gophers' maroon-and-gold huddle and waited.

"Thomas Gilman put on an undercard-show knockout hit during shaking hands," Telford said. "He went over there and got right in their face. … Then he went out on the mat and does what he does on the mat best."

Fifth-ranked Gilman completely controlled freshman Lizak, scoring a 23-7 win by technical fall to improve to 20-1 on the season.

Clark's big stretch: The time is now for Iowa 133-pounder Cory Clark, who started the season 14-0 but has lost three of his last five matches.

To close the Big Ten Conference dual season, seventh-ranked Clark (16-3) has upcoming bouts against No. 13 Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland on Friday, No. 3 Jimmy Gulibon of Penn State on Sunday, and No. 6 Rossi Bruno of Michigan on Feb. 13.

Clark, a sophomore from Southeast Polk, itemized several things he needs to fix coming off Friday's 5-3 loss to Minnesota's top-ranked Chris Dardanes — steering clear of hand-fighting, taking shots from angles instead of straight on and creating more action altogether. Clark's previous two losses occurred because of digging too deep of a hole in the first period.

The matchup against Gulibon is especially intriguing — the two faced twice in 2012 high-school all-star events at 126 pounds, with Gulibon (of Pennsylvania) winning both. They haven't met since, with Clark moving up to 133 this year.

"He was quick and stayed in pretty good position," Clark recalled. "I think he got to me in the high-crotch."

More loss recovery: Wrestlers by nature remember the losses well. And Telford was still kicking himself Tuesday about his 3-1 loss to Northwestern's Mike McMullan on Jan. 23, which dropped him from the nation's No. 1 ranking at heavyweight.

Telford had beaten McMullan to win the Midlands Championships, but let his counterpart roll through for the winning takedown in the dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Telford, now ranked No. 4, has three competitive bouts to close the season — against Maryland's No. 16 Spencer Myers, one of Penn State's two nationally ranked heavyweights (Jon Gingrich or Jimmy Lawson) and Michigan's No. 6 Adam Coon.

"Tom (Brands) said it. It's not a good thing to say, but it's not a thing I want to hear, but I'd rather learn from it now than in the end of March (at the NCAA Championships)," Telford, a senior, said. "That's how I'm taking it. It's just stupid. You get a single-leg and bring it up high on the guy, you don't let him roll. And when he does roll, you knock him down."