Dec. 22, 2003
Iowa (5-1) will compete at the 41st annual Midlands Championships Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 29-30, in Evanston, IL. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus. All-session tickets are available ($45) and can be purchased from the Northwestern University Athletic Ticket Office at (847) 491-2287. Session start times and individual session ticket prices are as follows:
Session I-9:30 a.m.-Monday-NA/$7/$5
Session II-7 p.m.-Monday-$10/$8/$6
Session IV-7 p.m.-Tuesday-$14/$10/$8
R- reserved seating, AB – adult bleacher seating, SB – student bleacher seating
The Hawkeyes will be vying for their third consecutive Midlands title. But it will not be an easy task as 12 of the top 25 teams in the nation, including Illinois and Iowa State, are scheduled to compete in the two-day tournament.
Hawkeye seniors Luke Eustice (125) and Tyler Nixt (174) both placed second in their respective weight classes at the 2002 Midlands. Both are listed as title favorites as their 2002 opponents have either changed weight classes or will not be competing. Northern Iowa’s Dylan Long is the defending champion at 141 pounds, but Hawkeye senior Cliff Moore recently defeated him by a 15-4 major decision. Several other Hawkeyes are listed among the favorites at their respective weight classes.
Former Hawkeye Head Coach Dan Gable will be one of 17 former Midlands competitors who have won Olympic Gold medals honors. He has also been named the honorary tournament director.
LAST YEAR AT MIDLANDS
Iowa won its 18th team title and crowned two individual champions at the 40th annual Midlands Championships in Evanston, IL. Iowa scored 129.5 team points, beating runner-up Ohio State (96.5).
Sophomore Steve Mocco claimed his second individual title at heavyweight, while senior Jessman Smith won his first title at 184 pounds. Mocco won his 50th career collegiate match with a 4-2 win over Ohio State’s Tommy Rowlands in the finals. Mocco scored the most team points (29) of the 363 Midlands competitiors, and led all wrestlers with the most number of pins in the quickest time (three in 5:13) and the quickest fall of the tournament (16 seconds). Smith, who defeating Cornell’s Clint Wattenberg, 6-5 in the finals, scored 28 team points for the Hawkeyes.
Hawkeye Assistant Coach Joe Williams won his ninth consecutive Midlands title, a tournament record, with a 6-3 decision over Iowa junior Tyler Nixt at 174 pounds. Williams holds Midlands records for most career wins (50), consecutive wins (46), consecutive placements (10), number of titles won at 174 pounds (6), and number of wins at 174 pounds (30).
Nixt and junior Luke Eustice (125) were runners-up, while Hawkeye junior Cliff Moore (133) and redshirt freshman Ty Eustice (149) both placed fifth.
HEAD COACH Jim Zalesky
Jim Zalesky is in his seventh season as head coach at the University of Iowa. He has a school and career record of 100-19 (.840). Named National Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999, and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2000, he has led the Hawkeyes to three NCAA (1998-00) and two Big Ten titles (1998, 2000). Zalesky has coached nine NCAA Champions, 19 Big Ten Champions and 32 all-Americans at Iowa. A three-time national champion and one of Iowa’s 15 four-time all-Americans, Zalesky was an assistant coach and head recruiter at Iowa under Dan Gable for seven seasons (1991-97). He was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the N.W.C.A. in 1992 and 1997. Undefeated as a junior and senior, Zalesky ended his career on an 89-match winning streak.
Hawkeye Head Coach Jim Zalesky picked up his 100th career victory Dec. 11 as Iowa defeated Northern Iowa, 27-10, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Hawkeye senior Cliff Moore started things off with a 15-4 major decision over Northern Iowa’s second-ranked Dylan Long at 141 pounds. Moore bounced back after his loss at Iowa State, recording all six takedowns in the match. Iowa sophomores Ty Eustice and Joe Johnston followed with a decision and major decision at 149 and 157, respectively. Eustice recorded a 5-2 win over Panther Jon Garvin at 149. Johnston recorded all nine takedowns in the match in his 19-9 win over Panther Nick Baima, including five takedowns in the third period.
Hesston Johnson put the Panthers on the board at 165 with a 7-3 win over Iowa sophomore Cole Pape. Hawkeye senior Tyler Nixt regained control at 174 with his 6-3 decision over Eric Hauan. It was the fifth-straight time that Nixt beat Hauan in his career, and the second time this season. Nixt improved to 16-0 on the season with the win. Iowa sophomore Paul Bradley fought through injury to defeat Northern Iowa’s Eric Pedretti, 12-4. The match was halted several times due to Bradley bleeding, and he received stitches matside during one of the timeouts. Hawkeye senior Ryan Fulsaas won by forfeit at 197 pounds, before Panther Michael Shedek defeated Iowa redshirt freshman Ryan Fuller, 4-2 in sudden victory, at heavyweight. At 125, Hawkeye senior Luke Eustice rode Northern Iowa’s Chris Helgeson the entire third period and scored late nearfall points to win the match, 10-5. Eustice remains undefeated at 8-0 with the win. Northern Iowa put the last points on the board with Patrick Garcia’s 14-3 major decision over Hawkeye junior Trent Goodale at 133.
IOWA WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 768-194-30 (.789) in 92 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles, including nine of the last 13, and 30 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 46 NCAA Champions have won a total of 71 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 13 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 98 Big Ten Champions have won a total of 179 conference individual titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 24 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 124 all-Americans have earned all-America status 250 times, including 16 four-time, 26 three-time and 30 two-time honorees.
BRANDS NAMED TO OLYMPIC STAFF
University of Iowa Assistant Coach Tom Brands has been selected by USA Wrestling as one of the coaches for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team that will participate in Athens, Greece. Brands joins USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson and Zeke Jones on the staff. This selection has been forwarded, for final approval, to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Brands served as the Assistant Coach of the 2003 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which placed second in the World Championships. He was also the Assistant Coach of the 2002 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which did not compete in the World Championships in Iran due to a threat of violence. All three Olympic Coaches were teammates on the only U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Teams to win the World Team title (1993 in Toronto, Canada and 1995 in Atlanta, GA).
“It is a big job,” said Brands. “It takes a lot of energy and commitment from the national governing body, the coaching staff and the athletes. When they all come together, great things can happen. The framework is in place.”
Brothers Luke and Ty Eustice are the 10th set of brothers to wrestle together in the Hawkeye varsity lineup since the 1950s. The 10 other brother pairs were Don and Tom Huff (1961), Mark and Scott Trizzino (1981), Lenny, Larry and Jim Zalesky (1981-82), Ed and Lou Banach (1981-83), Marty and Lindley Kistler (1984-85), Jim and John Heffernan (1987), Tom and Terry Brands (1989-92), Troy and Terry Steiner (1991-93), and Ryan and Randy Fulsaas (2001).
Freshmen Ben and Brett Stedman are the fifth set of twins to wrestle for the University of Iowa. Ed and Lou Banach, Tom and Terry Brands, Troy and Terry Steiner and Randy and Ryan Fulsaas are the other four.
Several brother pairs have also had wrestling success at Iowa. The Banach’s and Brands’ each won Big Ten and NCAA titles the same year twice in their careers, and earned all-America honors three times. The Zalesky’s, Kistler’s and Steiner’s each earned all-America honors twice in their careers, with the Kistler’s winning Big Ten titles the same year twice and the Zalesky’s winning conference titles once. The Heffernan’s earned all-America honors in 1987.
WE’RE GOIN’ STREAKIN’
Iowa has won its last 10 home duals, dating back to the 20-15 loss to Michigan on Feb. 15, 2002. Iowa’s longest home winning streak is 55 duals (Jan. 9, 1977-December 18, 1983 against Oklahoma State).
Carver-Hawkeye Arena has been the home for Iowa wrestling since 1983. The Hawkeyes have a record of 137-9 (.938) in the arena, which includes a record 10 victories during the 1986 season. Iowa has recorded 16 undefeated seasons in the arena, with the most recent (8-0) occurring last year. The dual wrestling attendance record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 15,291, which was set when Iowa defeated Iowa State on February 22, 1992. The arena seats 15,500 for a dual wrestling meet. The Hawkeyes are scheduled to host the 2005 Big Ten Championships in Carver-Hawkeye.
The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Jim Zalesky, Tom Brands, Joe Williams, Royce Alger and Bill Zadick all wrestled at the University of Iowa. They earned a total of 12 NCAA titles, 12 Big Ten titles and 17 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 637-48-6 (.926), including five undefeated seasons.