Hawkeyes To Compete At Midlands

Dec. 22, 2004

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Iowa (2-1) will compete at the 42nd annual Midlands Championships Wednesday-Thursday December 29-30 in Evanston, IL. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus. All-session passes are $48 for reserved seats, $36 for adult bleacher seating and $30 student bleacher seating. Tickets can be purchased from the Northwestern Athletic Ticket Office at (847) 491-2287. Session start times and individual session ticket prices are as follows:

Session — Time — Day — Tickets — (R/AB/SB)
Session I — 9:30 a.m. — Wednesday — NA/$8/$6
Session II — 7 p.m. — Wednesday — $11/$9/$7
Session III — Noon — Thursday — $13/$10/$8
Session IV — 7 p.m. — Thursday — $15/$12/$9
R – reserved seats, AB – adult bleacher, SB – student bleacher

In Iowa’s quest to regain the Midlands team title, it will have to fight off over 60 teams, including second-ranked Iowa State and defending champion and third-ranked Illinois.

While no Hawkeyes are listed as individual title favorites, two are listed as strong contenders. Junior Ty Eustice, who placed sixth in 2003, could contend for the 149-pound title, while junior Paul Bradley (184) could challenge defending champion and top-ranked Greg Jones of West Virginia. The Hawkeyes have several newcomers that will be making their first Midlands appearance.

The 157-pound weight class look to be the most hotly contested. At 157, all eight 2003 Midlands placewinners are expected to return. Defending Midlands champion Alex Tirapelle of Illinois, defending NCAA Champion Matt Gentry of Stanford and NCAA runner-up Jake Percival of Oregon lead the field.

Coming off two straight Midlands wins, Iowa placed fifth with 79.5 points at the 2003 tournament. Illinois won with 102.5. Hawkeye seniors Luke Eustice (125) and Tyler Nixt (174) led the team with runner-up finishes. Senior Cliff Moore (141) placed third, sophomore Ty Eustice (149) placed sixth and senior Ryan Fulsaas (197) placed eighth. High school senior Alex Tsirtsis, who was competing unattached, went 2-2 at 141 pounds.

Iowa has won the most team titles (18) of any team in the Midlands 42-year history. The Hawkeyes won their first team title in 1974, and proceded to win nine of the the next 11 tournaments. Iowa also won team titles in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002. Other team winners include Iowa State (6), Michigan State (3), Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (3), Michigan (2), Arizona State (1), Illinois (1), Minnesota (1), North Carolina (1) and Oklahoma State (1). Team scores were not kept at four tournaments (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995.)

Seven former Hawkeyes are enshrined in the Midlands Hall of Fame. Ed Banach, Chris Campbell, Steve Combs, Tim Cysewski, Barry Davis, Randy Lewis and Chuck Yagla are all members of the Midlands Hall of Fame.

Former Hawkeye Joe Williams holds the most individual titles in Midlands history, winning 10. Other former Hawkeyes to win at least three titles are Tim Cysweski (5), Mark Ironside (4), Royce Alger (3), Ed Banach (3), Jim Heffernan (3), Randy Lewis (3) and Chuck Yagla (3).

Several Hawkeyes also hold Midlands weight class records. Mark Ironside has the most wins (27) at 141 pounds, and he and Tim Cysewski hold the most titles (4 each) at that weight. Jim Heffernan holds the most titles (3) at 157, while Joe Williams holds the most wins (35) and titles (6) at 174.

The University of Iowa wrestling team improved to 2-1 with a 23-13 win over Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls December 9. The Hawkeyes won six matches, and had five true freshmen compete in the dual. The Panthers fell to 0-2 on the season. Iowa opened the dual with wins from freshman Alex Tsirtsis (141) and juniors Ty Eustice (149) and Joe Johnston (157). The three Hawkeyes each improved to 7-1 on the season. Sophomore Oleg Polyatskiy filled in for redshirt freshman Mark Perry at 165, losing a 3-0 decision to Nick Baima. Perry did not compete due to academic responsibilities. Junior Paul Bradley (184) won his 40th career dual with a 16-6 major decision over Alex Dolly, improving to 3-0 on the season. Freshman Matt Fields (Hwt) scored a 10-1 major decision over Michael Shedek, improving to 7-1 on the season and junior Mario Galanakis closed the dual with a 10-4 win over Patrick Sharp at 133, improving to 3-0 on the season.

Iowa 23, Northern Iowa 13
141 Alex Tsirtsis (I) maj. dec. C.J. Ettleson (UNI), 17-7
149 Ty Eustice (I) dec. Jeff Harrison (UNI), 5-3
157 Joe Johnston (I) tech. fall Chris Bitetto (UNI), 23-6 in 6:31
165 Nick Baima (UNI) dec. Oleg Polyatskiy (I), 3-0
174 Eric Hauan (UNI) dec. Luke Lofthouse (I), 6-5
184 Paul Bradley (I) maj. dec. Alex Dolly (UNI), 16-6
197 Sean Stender (UNI) maj. dec. Dane Pape (I), 13-5
Hwt. Matt Fields (I) maj. dec. Michael Shedek (UNI), 10-1
125 Chris Helgeson (UNI) dec. Charlie Falck (I), 3-1
133 Mario Galanakis (I) dec. Patrick Sharp (UNI), 10-4

HEAD COACH Jim Zalesky
Jim Zalesky is in his eighth season as head coach at the University of Iowa. He has a school and career record of 108-23 (.824). Named National Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999, and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2000, he has led the Hawkeyes to three NCAA (1998-00) and three Big Ten titles (1998, 2000, 2004). Zalesky has coached 10 NCAA Champions, 20 Big Ten Champions and 36 all-Americans at Iowa. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in June 2004, the University of Iowa Letterman’s Club Hall of Fame and the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994.

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.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 776-198-30 (.788) in 93 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles, including nine of the last 14, and 31 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 47 NCAA Champions have won a total of 73 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 24 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 124 all-Americans have earned all-America status 254 times, including 16 four-time, 27 three-time and 28 two-time honorees.

KXIC Radio (AM-800) will air nine Hawk Talk with Jim Zalesky radio shows this season. The show will be live from LaCasa Mexican Restaurant in Iowa City from 6-7 p.m. Here are the show dates:

January 4, 18, 25
February 1, 15
March 1, 15

The Hawkeye wrestling staff of Jim Zalesky, Troy Steiner, Tim Hartung, Cliff Moore and Mike Zadick earned a total of seven NCAA titles, 12 Big Ten titles and 17 all-America honors. Their combined college career wrestling record is 619-88-1 (.875), including four undefeated seasons.

Tickets for each of Iowa’s remaining six home duals and the 2005 Big Ten Championships are on sale at the University of Iowa Athletic Ticket Office. Single-match tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for youth if purchased in advance and $10 for adults and $5 for youth if purchased at the door. All-session tickets for the Big Ten Championships are $35 for adults and $20 for youth.

The 75th NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will be held March 17-19 at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, MO. This will be the first time in tournament history that the meet will be held in the same venue back-to-back years. All-session tickets are $100 and are available at 877/722-1604 or www.stlsports.org/wrestling.