2008 National Duals

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.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with wrestling, a normal dual meet is two schools head-to-head. The National Duals for D-I is 16 schools in a bracket. Each match-up in the bracket consists of, essentially, its own dual meet. 10 bouts, one in each weight class, and the team with the higher team score advances to the next round. In a bout, a wrestler gets an individual score based on points awarded by a referee for take-downs, escapes, near-falls and pins. After a three-period bout totaling 7 minutes, the wrestler with the higher score wins. A win is called a “decision” and is worth 3 points for the team. A “major decision” is worth 4 points and means the victorious wrestler won by more than 8 points. A pin ends the match, even if the 3 periods are not over, and is worth 6 points.

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.

30 thoughts on “2008 National Duals

  1. OOOOOOOH, guys in spandex rolling around on the floor with other guys. Did you wear tights?

    I wore the required uniform.

    So, tights.

    Seriously, nice win for Iowa to get back in the swing of things – although I don’t really know anything about wrestling, I’ve always known of Grable and Iowa’s history of success.

  2. I was kind of a wrestling groupie in HS. But the guys are way hotter in college. (I guess when you’re 14, HS wrestlers are hot). I’m not totally a fan of the rolling around togther part. I always said “they should just both go out to the mat in their wrestling unis, and whoever looks better in it wins.”

  3. I felt the two minutes it took Perry to untangle himself from Photographer’s Row was a bit much until I realized Andrea was clinging to his leg with all her might.

  4. Great post, Andie. So many young, delectable, muscular boys. It’s like a buffet!

    LOSE THE SHIRT, CROSBY.

    Seriously. All the better to judge his flat, rock-hard abs.

  5. I think this is only like the 3rd time in Ladies…. history that you mentioned my school, Nebraska. And then you go and post a picture of a guy I know (Vince Jones) getting his shit handed to him. The Ladies… will never love Nebraska….

    (But if you decide to try to love Nebraska, check out a fellow by the name of Ade Dagunduro on our basketball team. Delicious.)

  6. Ladies, this is one of my happiest days! Even though your Hawkeyes put a whoopin’ on my Tigers (though your boyfriend Perry won a close one over our guy), I am so happy that your are covering the world’s oldest and greatest sport. I haven’t even covered the National Duals on my blog yet! (Staying out until 4 am will do that to a girl.) Yay Ladies!

  7. BTW, in team scoring there is also tech fall, worth 5 points. You get a tech fall if you are ahead of your opponent by 15 points or more. I’m not sure how common this is in the collegiate level, but it was there in high school.

    The only people who have any clue how wrestling is scored either wrestled themselves or were one of the girls who managed a team. Kinda like lacrosse, only less respected.

  8. girls who managed a team

    The girl who managed the wrestling team in my HS actually bought a varsity jacket for it. It had the wrestling logo on the back, with her class year, and said “STAT” on one sleeve. WHAT A LOSER. That’s worse than a marching band varsity jacket.

  9. I think we should make letter jackets for ourselves, with all the logos of the sports we watch on the back, and “WATCH” on the sleeve.

    Great post, Andie – you’re like our roving reporter of wrestling.

  10. Oh, and Andie, though Cornell’s 133 is pretty good, he is not the top 133. Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State (who doesn’t go to National Duals because they’re a bunch of… not nice words) is. Your boy Joey Slaton is no slouch, either.

  11. No letters for activities at my school, that is pretty lame.

    But I got letters for marching band (i know, loser), but there was no way in hell i was putting “band” on my jacket. Mine was for real sports, like track and soccer (not a total loser, afterall).

  12. My younger brother was an all-state wrestler in high school, and well, it makes that whole inability to beat up your younger brother thing in perspective.

    And I did not get my academic or activity letter in high school because they were not offered until 2001.

  13. I think we should make letter jackets for ourselves, with all the logos of the sports we watch on the back, and “WATCH” on the sleeve.

    Ha! I would totally rock that jacket.

  14. All-girls school is weird about sports. I got a varsity letter for managing the soccer and swim teams. Ironically, I did NOT receive a varsity letter for actually being a member of the varsity crew team.

    Every time I come back to this post, I am seized by the urge to bite. NOM NOM NOM.

  15. Wooo, look at all these wrestling fans come out of the woodwork!

    Anon, I forgot all about the tech fall. I haven’t seen one since high school. I have never wrestled nor managed a team. I think it’s just a requirement that if you grow up in Iowa, you know your wrestling.

    Chitown, Illinois and OSU are both lamers for pussing out on Nat’l Duals.

    I had a letterman jacket in HS and I put all my stuff on there: athletics, music, theatre and academics. All the stuff other than athletics were just small bars or whatever, so I thought it was okay to include. : )

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