Hawkeyes At NCAA Championships

March 15, 2004

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Iowa will try for its seventh NCAA title title in 10 years, its 10th in the last 14 seasons and its 21st title overall at the 2004 NCAA Championships, Thursday thru Saturday in St. Louis, MO. All matches will be held at the Savvis Center, which has a capacity of 20,000.

Radio — Morrie Adams and four-time Iowa all-American Mark Ironside will call the action live on AM-800 KXIC. To listen to the broadcast online, go to the wrestling schedule page on www.hawkeyesports.com. Click on the match you want to hear using Real One Player software. Broadcasts are available using the College Sports Pass, which can be purchased for $6.95 per month or $44.95 per year, or the College Sports Superpass for $13.95 per month.

Television — The championship finals will air live on ESPN2 Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (CT).

The 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships are scheduled for March 18-20 in St. Louis, MO. All matches will be held at the Savvis Center in downtown St. Louis. All-session tickets are $110 and available from the University of Iowa Athletic Department (800-424-2957). Session times are as follows (all are Central):

Session I Thursday, March 18 11 a.m.
Session II Thursday, March 18 6:30 p.m.
Session III Friday, March 19 10 a.m.
Session IV Friday, March 19 6 p.m.
Session V Saturday, March 20 10 a.m.
Session VI Saturday, March 20 5:30 p.m.

NCAA Championships results will be available throughtout the tournament at www.ncaasports.com.

Iowa is the only school in the nation to advance its entire team to the tournament. It is the 17th time in school history that the Hawkeyes have advanced 10 qualifiers. Minnesota advanced nine, eight schools advanced eight (Cornell, Hofstra, Illinois, Iowa State, Lehigh, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin) and five schools advanced seven (Michigan, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Purdue and West Virginia).

The last time Iowa had 10 NCAA qualifiers was 1998, which was Head Coach Jim Zalesky’s first season at the helm of the Hawkeye program.

A pre-championships press conference will be held Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Room 42 of the Savvis Center. Coaches from the top five teams according to the most recent N.W.C.A. rankings will be in attendance.

Credentials may be picked up Wednesday at the Savvis Center media entrance from noon-4 p.m. and throughout the rest of the tournament. No media parking passes will be available.

A fan guide containing a schedule of events, directions to and a map of the Savvis Center, and information on parking, tickets the NCAA Fan Experience and the Opening Celebration is available on the NCAA website at http://images.sportsline.com/images/ncaasports/wrestling/2004wrestling_fan_guide.pdf.

Iowa holds five NCAA Championships records. The Hawkeyes hold records for most team points (170 in 1997), largest margin of victory (73.25 points in 1986), number of consecutive team titles (nine from 1978-86), most finalists (six in 1986 and 1997) and most champions (five in 1986 and 1997).

The University of Iowa won its 31st Big Ten team wrestling title at the 2004 Big Ten Championships in Columbus, OH. The Hawkeyes scored 129.5 points in their winning effort. Runner-up Minnesota made a late charge at the title, but their 124.5 points fell short. Hawkeye Head Coach Jim Zalesky was named 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year. It was the second time that Iowa won the conference team trophy under Zalesky and the second time that he earned the coach of the year honors – both happening previously in 2000.

The Hawkeyes qualified all 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1998, and the second time in Zalesky’s tenure as head coach. Iowa was the only team in the nation to qualify its entire team.

Iowa crowned one champion from its five finalists. Senior Cliff Moore won his second consecutive Big Ten title with a 6-2 win over unseeded Doug Withstandley of Purdue. Seniors Luke Eustice (125), Tyler Nixt (174) and Ryan Fulsaas (197) and sophomore Paul Bradley (184) all placed second. Eustice lost a 5-3 decision to Wisconsin’s Tom Clum, while Nixt lost a 5-3 decision in the second tiebreak period to Purdue’s Ryan Lange in a rematch of the 2003 Big Ten finals. Bradley lost a 3-2 decision to Penn State’s Eric Bradley and Fulsaas lost a 7-2 decision to three-time Big Ten champion and defending NCAA Champion Damion Hahn of Minnesota.

Other Iowa placewinners were sophomores Ty Eustice (3rd-149), Joe Johnston (4th-157), Cole Pape (6th-165), Trent Goodale (7th-133) and redshirt freshman Ryan Fuller (7th-Hwt.)

Hawkeye heavyweight Steve Mocco won his first national title at the 2003 NCAA Championships in Kansas City, MO. He defeated Air Force’s Kevin Hoy, 8-3, in the finals. With the win, Mocco became Iowa’s first heavyweight national champion since Lou Banach in 1983. Mocco finished the season undefeated at 35-0, improving his career mark to 72-3.

Iowa placed eighth in the tournament with 57.5 points – its lowest finish since 1972 when the Hawkeyes placed 11th. Oklahoma State won the team race with 143 points, winning its first national team title since 1994. Defending champion Minnesota placed second with 104.5 points.

Hawkeyes Jessman Smith and Cliff Moore each earned their second all-America honors. Smith placed fourth at 184 pounds and Moore placed sixth at 133 pounds.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 774-197-30 (.788) in 92 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles, including nine of the last 13, and 31 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’ 99 Big Ten champions have won a total of 180 conference individual titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 25 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.

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. The 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).

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Jim Zalesky, Tom Brands, Royce Alger and Bill Zadick all wrestled at the University of Iowa. They earned a total of nine NCAA titles, 10 Big Ten titles and 13 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 508-39-6 (.919), including four undefeated seasons.

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).

Several brother pairs have also had wrestling success at Iowa in the same seasons. 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.

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.