For the first time since 1996 the University of Iowa won the National Duals. At this meet, there were D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, NJCAA, and NCWA schools for a total of 80 teams. On Saturday, they had 18 mats going all day. Since I wangled myself a press pass, I got to be right down in the action. It was sensory overload. I have never in my life been around so many completely jacked guys. I’ve also never felt more Brobdingnagian. Wrestlers tend to run on the…short side. Wading through the crowds, I was like Godzilla attacking Toyko. Tiny muscular men were bouncing off me every which way. I’m pretty sure there are still a couple 125-lb wrestlers stuck to my shoe.
In the back, blue shirt: Dan Gable
Anyway, the reason this was such a great win for us is because Iowa used to be kind of a big deal in the wrestling world. Dan Gable, (Waterloo, Iowa native, collegiate record of 118-1, Olympic gold medalist), coached Iowa from 1976-97 and won 15 NCAA championships. 15 in 21 seasons. Jim Zalesky took over in 1998 and won 3 more. However, we haven’t won an NCAA title since 2000 and haven’t won the National Duals since 1996. Last year, we had a coaching change when we brought former Hawkeye wrestler and Virginia Tech coach Tom Brands back to Iowa City as the head coach. Many people think this is our year to get back to an NCAA title; a win at the NWCA National Duals was a good start.
Coaches get pretty animated during the matches.
That’s Brands on the right in the light blue,
giving the ref the business.
Our first-round draw was Cornell University. We took care of them like we were wrestling Andy Bernard’s Here Comes Treble. The final score was 32-3; we won 9 of 10 bouts, losing only the 133-lb match up and Cornell has the best 133-lb wrestler in the country. It was a drubbing.
Brent Metcalf, the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament,
shows Cornell’s Adam Frey how the mat smells.
In the quarterfinals, we got Mizzou and beat them 27-9. They managed to win 2 bouts (one with a pin), but we got the other 8.
Dan LeClere puts the hurt on Mizzou’s Marcus Hoehn.
Also, look at his arm muscles!
In the semis, Iowa defeated Michigan 23-13. We won 7 of the 10 bouts, but in their 3 wins they did have a major decision and a pin.
Ryan Morningstar (hottie) makes Michigan’s Jeff Marsh
show us how flexible he is.
This is my new Wrestling Boyfriend, Mark Perry.
He’s our best wrestler, consistently pinning his opponents.
For the finals, Iowa got 6th-ranked Nebraska. Nebraska pulled a big upset in the quarterfinals when they defeated #1-ranked Penn State. The Cornhuskers were no match for us, though. We won 24-6. We only lost 2 bouts and one of those bouts was wrestled by a back-up because our best wrestler, 165-lb Mark Perry, hurt his knee against Michigan and didn’t wrestle in the finals.
Phil Keddy (a beast) beats Nebraska’s Vince Jones 8-1.
I know it’s blurry, but I thought this was a great action shot.
Ryan Morningstar gets flipped by Chris Oliver,
though Morningstar did win 7-2.
It bodes well for us that our best guy didn’t even wrestle and we still won handily. 9 of the Top 10 D-I wrestling teams were at the National Duals, so we were wrestling against the best. Now all we need is for as many of our guys to qualify for the Nationals as possible so we can bring home NCAA banner #21 to hang in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Two more pictures of my Wrestling Boyfriend Mark Perry. At one point, momentum carried him off the mat into the press photographers and he landed right on me. He touched my shoulder getting up and I touched his leg. I think he did it on purpose to be close to me.
He’s so cute. And tall (for a wrestler).
And he’s a senior, so I’m not too dirty.
He hurt his knee, but hopefully he’ll back for our next meet.