Hawkeyes Aim for U.S. World Team

June 10, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Carver-Hawkeye Arena is still months away from hosting the 2012 USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials, but University of Iowa wrestling fans should take notice this weekend when the USA Wrestling World Team Trials are staged in Oklahoma City.

Seven formers Hawkeyes, including Iowa assistant coach Mike Zadick, and one current Hawkeye, Tyler Clark, will fight for the opportunity to represent Team USA at the World Wrestling Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 11-19.

The World Team Trials is a two-day event, but each weight class will be determined in a single day of competition.

Zadick (60kg) and Clark (60kg), two-time All-American Ryan Morningstar (74kg), and former All-Americans Dan Erekson (96kg) and Luke Lofthouse (96kg) will compete in Friday’s Sessions I and II.

Former NCAA runner-up Daniel Dennis (55kg), two-time NCAA Champion Brent Metcalf (66kg) and former All-American Joe Johnston (66kg) will compete in Saturday’s Sessions I and II.

Each competitor must advance through four rounds of Session I for the right to face the defending U.S. Open champion in Session II. The winner of the best-of-three Session II will earn a roster spot on the United States World Team. Both days will run identical schedules. Session I begins at 10 a.m. (CT) and Session II begins at 6:30 p.m.

Metcalf will have a redemption opportunity in the 66kg weight class. A three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion at Iowa, Metcalf entered the U.S. Open as the No. 1 seed before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Teyon Ware. Metcalf, a 2010 World Team member, came back to place third in the Open and earn an automatic qualifying spot at this weekend’s trials. A run through Session I would set up a rematch with Ware in Session II — this time for a spot on the U.S. World Team. Metcalf defeated Ware 4-1, 2-0 at last year’s World Team Trials.

Joe Johnston, an All-American in 2005 and 2006, earned a National Coach Wildcard berth and will also compete at 66kg for spot on the U.S. Team.

Zadick, who has made three of the last four U.S. World Teams at 60 kilos, has only competed in two events this season. He’ll need to get through Session I for a chance to face Reece Humphrey, who knocked off Zadick in the semifinals of the U.S. Open. Hawkeye junior Tyler Clark is also competing at the Trials following his runner-up finish at University Nationals.

Former Hawkeye heavyweight Dan Erekson advanced to the 96kg finals of the U.S. Open before falling to Jake Varner, a former two-time NCAA Champion. A run through Session I would give Erekson a rematch with Varner in the finals. Lofthouse, an NCAA All-American last season, will also compete for the 96kg title after securing a spot at the World Team Trials with a championship at the Northern Plains Trials.

Morningstar will need to advance through Session I for a shot at 2011 NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner Jordan Burroughs. Morningstar advanced to the World Team Trials following a fourth place finish at the U.S. Open.

Dennis captured the Northern Plains Trials Championship to earn a spot at the Trials at 55kg. A run through Session I would earn him a date with three-time U.S. Open champion Sam Hazewinkel.

Complete results from the World Team Trials can be found at themat.com. A live webcast is also available at themat.tv/live-events.

Many of the same national champions, Olympians, World medalists and former Hawkeyes competing at the World Team Trials will compete in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22 for the right to represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympics. Tickets to the USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials are now available at hawkeyesports.com or iowacitytolondon.com.