Apr. 13, 2003
University of Iowa sophomore wrestler Steve Mocco has earned the MikeHoward Most Valuable Wrestler Award for the 2002-03 season. He received the award at the team’sannual awards banquet Sunday in Iowa City.
Mocco, the 2003 NCAA and Big Ten heavyweight champion, posted a perfect 34-0 season recordin collegiate competition. The North Bergen, NJ, native became Iowa’s first heavyweight nationalchampion since Lou Banach (1983) and the Hawkeyes’ first heavyweight Big Ten champion sinceJohn Oostendorp (1992). Mocco led the team in dual team points scored (97), pins (15) andquickest pin (16 seconds). He also earned Iowa’s most pins award. He was also named 2003 BigTen Wrestler of the Year. Mocco won titles at the Midlands Championship and Kaufman BrandOpen, earning Big Ten Wrestler of the Week accolades on Jan. 2 for his performance at theMidlands.
Junior Cliff Moore won the John and Dorothy Sill Award for Most Dedicated Wrestler. Moore,from Dubuque, IA, won the 133-pound Big Ten title and earned his second all-America honor witha sixth-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships. His season record was 31-9.
Moore also shared the team’s all-America Award with senior Jessman Smith. Smith won the 2003Big Ten title at 184 pounds, and earned his second all-America honor with a fourth-place finish atthe NCAA tournament. A native of Des Moines, IA, Smith posted a 37-2 season record. He alsoearned the team’s J. Donald McPike, Sr. Award, which is given annually to a graduating senior withthe highest grade-point average. He has a 3.11 GPA with a double-major in psychology and healthand sport studies.
Redshirt freshmen Ty Eustice and Joe Johnston shared the Mike McGivern Award, given to theteam’s most courageous wrestler. Eustice, from Blue Earth, MN, posted a 20-9 record at 149pounds in his first season with the Hawkeyes and was runner-up at the Big Ten Championships.Johnston, from Prairie Village, KS, went 33-15 after joining the varsity lineup in January at 157pounds. He placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships.
Seniors Matt Anderson and Luke Moffitt shared the team’s Sacrifice Award. Anderson, fromShenandoah, IA, posted an 8-7 record at 157 and 165 pounds, missing most of the dual meet seasondue to injury. He returned for the Big Ten Championships, where he placed eighth at 165. Moffitt,from Estherville, IA, went 20-13 at 141 pounds.
Junior Ryan Fulsaas earned the team’s Most Improved Wrestler Award. The Ridgeway, IA, nativewas 21-12 at 197 pounds, after going 13-22 in his first two seasons with the Hawkeyes.