Dec. 1, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Mathematically it appears to be a lopsided tradeoff, but for University of Iowa freshman heavyweight Sam Stoll, two hours in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex equals seven minutes on a mat.
Stoll is on a roll with four consecutive wins by fall and — dating back to his redshirt season — 10 wins in his last 11 matches. The only setback in that stretch was at the season-opening Grapple on the Gridiron when he dropped a 6-1 decision to Oklahoma State senior Austin Marsden, who is ranked No. 4 in the nation.
“(UI associated head coach Terry Brands) says all the time that two hours in (the room) correlates to seven minutes on the wrestling mat,” Stoll said. “You look at that Marsden match; I probably won the first four minutes of the match and lost the last three. Maybe that correlated to a practice in here when I was winning for 40 minutes and then I took 20 minutes off.”
Since the opener, Stoll has increased his comfort level and victory total. He won by forfeit against Maryland, then posted falls against Sean Medley of Grand Canyon, Quelton Toliver of Iowa Central, Eric Tucker of Cornell College, and Quean Smith of Iowa State.
While he has enjoyed early success on the mat, it isn’t the case in the practice room where assistant coach Ben Berhow and Bobby Telford of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club typically have the upper hand.
“It’s not eternal when you’re getting your lunch handed to you. There is light at the end of the tunnel and there is a reason why you come in here and tax yourself every day and get up for the challenges.”
UI wrestling coach
UI head coach Tom Brands says Stoll’s attitude is a good example for any young wrestler working his way up the depth chart.
“It’s not eternal when you’re getting your lunch handed to you,” Brands said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel and there is a reason why you come in here and tax yourself every day and get up for the challenges.”
Stoll makes it a priority before he leaves a workout to add something to his wrestling repertoire.
“If things aren’t going your way in a practice, you still have to find something out of that workout that you did well so you can walk out with your head high,” Stoll said. “Even if you get your butt kicked for an hour, it doesn’t mean you start moping around. You have to find something you did well and that helps you carry on to the next day and week, and that is part of growing up and getting better in this room.”
Brands points to Stoll’s match at Iowa State as evidence of his growth. Before pinning Smith in 3:30, Stoll compiled three takedowns and four nearfall points, and according to his coach, executed three or four different holds in the process.
“We have to keep him confident, smart, and getting better and use the positions he is good in to his advantage,” Brands said. “There is a long way to go, so let’s not celebrate so much yet. Let’s keep making progress.”
The No. 2 rated Hawkeyes (6-0 overall) take on South Dakota State on Friday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Stoll’s opponent is sophomore Alexi Macki (4-6), a two-time state qualifier from Ballard (Iowa) High School.