Feb. 2014

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35 record a takedown. Telford doubled that number in the 43rd minute. "It was a big win," said Telford. "e way I look at it, it's that time of year. Every match is a Big Ten match and everyone knows what the Big Ten is all about." is year the conference is all about the heavyweight. Seven wrestlers, including the top four in the country, are rated in the top 10. Telford, who shot up two spots to No. 1 in the InterMat rankings, has defeated three of them -- No. 7 Mike McClure (Michigan State), No. 6 Adam Chalfant (Indiana) and Nelson. He also has wins over No. 12 Jimmy Lawson (Penn State), No. 13 Adam Fager (Utah Valley), and No. 9 J.T. Felix (Boise State). His remaining schedule includes three more top 10 opponents. Northwestern's Mike McMullan is rated No. 1 by WIN Magazine, and No. 3 by InterMat. Iowa wrestles at Evanston on Jan. 31. Adam Coon, rated No. 2 nationally, visits Carver- Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 9. e Michigan freshman handed Telford his only loss of the season, 3-2, in the Midlands finals. e conference dual season ends Feb. 23 in Madison, Wis., home to 10th-ranked Connor Medbery. e Badgers also host the Big Ten Championships from March 8-9. Brands said aer the Minnesota dual that each win is a boost; that it's easier to move forward following a win. It is a snowball effect, and today Telford is the Abominable Snowman. "Every match gives you confidence," said Telford. "Like I said, it is Big Ten wrestling. Aer that, you're wrestling USA." Bigger is Better By Chris Brewer B obby Telford is over the hump. But that doesn't mean it is all downhill from here. Iowa's heavyweight extended his win streak to six and improved to 5-0 in conference duals with a 3-1 overtime decision against Minnesota's second- ranked Tony Nelson on Jan. 25. He is now beyond the halfway point in the conference season and 17-1 overall. His numbers are impressive, but what he did to get there — removing a 250-pound Gopher from his back — tells the story of Telford's season to date. "It is one of those matches you see on a calendar and you mark it far away," Telford said aer defeating the two-time NCAA champion. "You don't know what you're going to do to get ready for it, but you know you're going to get ready." Telford was winless in five previous meetings against Nelson. He had twice been bounced from the conference tournament and was winless in three previous dual meetings, but he said he never walked off the mat empty handed. "Every time I wrestle him, I pick up little things about him and little critiques on myself," he said. "Aer I wrestled him last, I knew how to get out on bottom. I just knew. (UI head coach) Tom (Brands) told me it wasn't going to come easy if it doesn't happen the first time. It is not going to come easy, just run back to the center, because that repetition is going to wear on him." Nelson started on top in the third period and the heavyweights danced out of bounds two times before Telford escaped to tie the match, 1-1. Riding time wasn't a factor, and as time expired, there was no indication sudden-victory would bring a result. In the 42 career minutes Telford and Nelson shared on the mat, only once did either wrestler

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