Championship Quotes

March 6, 2005

Big Ten Wrestling Championship—-3-6-05, Iowa City, IAChampion’s Quotes

125 Champion, Nick Simmons (MSU)
“Mentally, I’m usually always there. This was an amazing win.”

“I felt pretty confident going into it; I have already beaten him four times this year.”

133 Champion, Mack Reiter (MN)
“I felt I had to go out there and do what I needed to do.”

“I want to be a four-time Big Ten champ, I want to be a four-year NCAA champ.”

“Think the Iowa fans are the second-best in the country; I don’t think it’s a problem coming here to Carver, they were still supportive. I felt there were no pressures coming here.”

(On being the only wrestler in the Big Ten being able to defeat Mark Jayne)”He’s one of the toughest kids in that weight class and I was able to beat him three times.”

(On freshman pressure)”I try to block out everything else and do what I need to do.”

(On not being the #1 seed)”I was happy to be seeded second, I don’t think it’s too big of a deal with seeds anyway.”

174 Champion, Pete Friedl (IL)
“We didn’t want to come off as a fluke; we wanted to have a couple champions and win this thing. We wanted to show people we deserved to be here.”

(On the last time Illinois won the tournament)”1952; that is an awful a long time.”

(On the tournament being at Carver-Hawkeye Arena)”Our coaches have been saying how tough the tournament has been to win, and this environment, Carver, is crazy.”

“You don’t want to go in there with extra pressure thinking about the team win, you first want to think of your match.”

“This feels great, this was a phenomenal win.”

184 Champion, Eric Bradley (PSU)
“I kind of feel like this was bittersweet; I didn’t feel like I did as good as I wanted to. This is a good stepping stone to prepare for nationals.”

“This whole tournament my legs felt like lead. I didn’t feel like I had as much punch as I wanted to. This week will give me time to work on that.”

“After watching the tapes, I feel he (Glynn) felt like he had to take me down and not try as much for riding time.”

“After the first time we wrestled, I feel like he didn’t get the full taste of what I can do.”

“Last year was a bad memory, but this year I am more determined and confident for nationals. Last year, I just didn’t rebound mentally.”

“Going into nationals, I want to work on widening my lead.”

Iowa Head Coach Jim Zalesky
(On the fourth place position at the end of the tournament)”We didn’t do enough right away to get a big lead. We couldn’t come back.”

“I think the problem was there wasn’t enough offense. When you get ahead, one mistake can cost you.”

“We have a bigger tournament (nationals) in two weeks and if you didn’t do well here, you can bounce back. You have to be ready for every round, every match.”

Mark Johnson (Illinois Head Coach)
“We are a team. For us to do well, everyone has to hit.”

“We knew all of the finals matches were going to be tough matches and both Alex and Pete did a great job finishing for us.”

“Hopefully we can take another step in two weeks and get a national championship.”

“Knowing we clinched it was a very sweet moment.”

“We still not where our ultimate goal is, but this is a good step.”

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