U.S. National Dual Meet Set for March 17 at NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

USA Wrestling and the NCAA are pleased to announce that there will be another USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet held as part of the festivities at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.

This is the second straight year that a USA Wrestling exhibition will be provided free of charge to wrestling fans who are attending the championships.

The event has been moved to the first day of the championships, on Thursday, March 17, between the first and second competition sessions.

For the first time, the National Team All-Star Dual Meet will be hosted in the NCAA competition venue, right on the mats on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center. Fans can stay in their seats after the first session and enjoy the international action.

There has been a format change in the USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Dual Meet. This year, there will be a number of challenge matches featuring top U.S. wrestlers competing against foreign opponents, adding an international flavor. There will also be additional all-USA challenge bouts.

Lineups for the National Team All-Star Dual Meet are being finalized and will be announced when available.

“This allows us to showcase international wrestling and our national team athletes in a community which appreciates wrestling but doesn’t get the opportunity to see the Olympic rules often,” said Mitch Hull, USA Wrestling National Teams Director and one of the organizers of the event.

“This will be held about three weeks prior to the U.S. Open. The benefit for the athletes is the opportunity to compete in front of a large crowd, which always raises the intensity of the action. The added pressure to perform in front of the fans is great for their preparation,” said Hull.

At the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., USA Wrestling hosted a Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge, featuring Freestyle Team USA athletes who had competed in those conferences. The athletes put on an entertaining show for thousands of fans, with the Big Ten earning bragging rights in the friendly competition.

USA Wrestling will also participate at the NCAA Fan Festival with National Team practice sessions, which are open to the public.

“Most important is the partnership we have been able to develop with the NCAA at our sport’s showcase event, working together to promote wrestling,” said Hull. “The NCAA has chosen to support our Olympic effort, and we are very grateful.”

For more information on the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, visit NCAA.com/wrestling.

No. 20 Dragons Set To Host Future NSIC Foe

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling team enters their second dual since being voted into the top-20 last week. The Dragons fell by only one point to No. 7 ranked Minnesota State Mankato on Thursday and look to bounce back with a convincing win over the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Cougars on Wednesday night.

The Dragons

The Dragons battled the No. 7 ranked Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks on Thursday in a
battle of Top-20 teams. The Dragons stole the momentum early on when No. 6 ranked 125-pounder Corey Ulmer took on No. 2 ranked Andy Forstner. Ulmer worked over Forstner all match long and walked away with an 8-0 major decision. 133-pounder Evan Forde and 165-pounder Tyler Kivel each pick up major decision wins, winning 14-3 and 13-2, respectively.

Senior heavyweight Jon Swart picked up a 7-2 decision but not the major decision the
Dragons needed to tie the dual up as the Mavericks escaped Moorhead with a narrow 1-point win. Redshirt Senior Brady Schneeberger (No. 3 ranked 141-pounder in NCAA Division-II) did not compete in the dual after leaving the previous dual against U-Mary (N.D.) with a medical
default decision.

The Cougars

The Cougars are 0-6 on the season and are 0-3 against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
opponents (Augustana (S.D.), Southwest Minnesota State and Northern State (S.D.)). In their last dual versus Northwestern University (Iowa), the Cougars fell by a final of 15-36.

The Cougars sent a split squad this past weekend and saw 125-pounder Brandon Goodwin post a 3-1 record and 184-pounder Casey Finnicum go 4-0 as well at the Central College Invite in Pella, Iowa. A separate group went to the Worthington Open in Worthington, Minn., including 197-pounder Shea Klooster who went 4-1, including two pinfalls. The Cougars come into the matchup with a young roster that includes only six juniors and seniors alongside 13 freshman and sophomores.

The Series
The Dragons have won both previous meetings in the school’s history. In their last meeting on Nov. 17, 2009, the Cougars ran into a Dragons’ buzz saw. As part of a doubleheader for the Dragons, outscored their opponents 81-11, including a 51-0 thrashing of the Cougars. The Dragons had five pins against Sioux Falls, including then senior Tim Johnson’s school record 24-second pin of Andrew Harmony.

184-pounder Jacob McLean and 141-pounder Brady Schneeberger are the only two returning Dragons with pins in that dual. Last year’s team leader in wins Corey Ulmer (21) gained a technical fall over Doug Thompson by a final of 17-0. In 11 of the 20 matches on the day, the Dragons managed a total of 65 points.

The Dragons (3-5, 1-2 NSIC) will host the Cougars (0-6) on Wednesday night inside Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. The Cougars will be joined by Minot State (N.D.) as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in 2012-13.

Iowa City, Iowa named host city for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling

The event will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa from April 21-22, 2012.

Iowa City was one of three finalist cities to make final presentations on their bid to a selection committee on January 12. The committee included USA Wrestling staff and athletes, as well as representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The other cities to make finalist presentations were Columbus, Ohio and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Initially, seven cities bid to host the competition. Those cities which were not selected for finalist presentations were Greensboro, N.C., Hampton, Va., Oklahoma City, Okla. and Pontiac, Mich.

“We are unbelievably pleased and humbled with the response we received from cities wishing to host our most valuable event property,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “We would like to thank the leaders from all three finalist cities for their outstanding presentations. We hope that all of these cities continue to be involved with USA Wrestling and host wrestling events in years to come.”

The initial bid proposal for the event also included the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting. Due to a scheduling conflict, USA Weightlifting could no longer hold Trials on the selected dates and stepped out of the bid process.

The event will feature competition in the three Olympic styles of the sport – men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle.  The competition will determine the U.S. athletes who will qualify to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The local organizing committee is led by the University of Iowa Athletics and the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB and includes leaders from the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville and City of North Liberty. Among those serving on the host committee are legendary collegiate and Olympic wrestlers Dan Gable, Tom Brands, Terry Brands, Lincoln McIlravy and Cornell College coach Mike Duroe.

“I believe this is a good decision for the future of wrestling at all levels. This will help increase the visibility of our sport. I see more growth for wrestling as a result. It gets me very excited,” said wrestling legend Dan Gable from the local organizing committee.

“The Iowa City local organizing committee was selected based upon their proven track record of hosting large and successful wrestling events, as well as a history of drawing strong fan support,” said Bender. ‘We are committed to working tirelessly with the organizing committee and the entire community to host the most successful U.S. Olympic Team Trials in our history.”

“This community is fired up to welcome our nation’s best to Carver Hawkeye Arena and will come together as they have so many times to produce a Trials that is remembered for years to come,” said Joshua Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau “Our entire community couldn’t be more excited by this news. We look forward to creating an athlete and fan experience that will carry on through London.”

Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which is located on the University of Iowa campus, serves as the home arena for Iowa’s wrestling team, as well as Iowa’s basketball and volleyball squads. The arena seats 15,000 for wrestling and is named after long-time wrestling supporter Roy J. Carver. The $47 million Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Addition and Renovation Project is underway to expand and upgrade facilities, and is scheduled for completion in time for the 2011-12 athletic year.

This is the first time that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling has been hosted in Iowa since USA Wrestling has served as National Governing Body in 1984.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena hosted the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships four times (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The total attendance figures for the 1995 (80,389), 2001 (79,477) and 1991 (70,163) NCAA Championships rank ninth, 11th and 15th, respectively among NCAA Wrestling Championships. It also hosted the Big Ten Wrestling Championships three times (1983, 1994, 2005).

A preliminary U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying event for wrestling was held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 1984. Other major wrestling competitions held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena include two NWCA All-Star Classics (1993, 1996) and two Cliff Keen NWCA National Duals (1998, 1999).

The Field House at the University of Iowa hosted the first USA Wrestling Junior National Championships in 1971, and served as venue for the competition from 1971-1982. Iowa City also hosted USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman National Championships three times (1975, 1977, 1978). Iowa City also hosted the 1983 USA Wrestling Freestyle World Team Trials.

“We are thrilled and excited with this remarkable opportunity to stage an event that will have the full attention of wrestling community not only in the state of Iowa and the Heartland, but the United States and the world.  We are also delighted with the opportunity to showcase the revitalized Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Rest assured, the University of Iowa, the UI Athletics Department, and our city partners are ready to stage an event that USA Wrestling will be very, very proud of,” said Gary Barta, Athletics Director of the University of Iowa.

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS FOR WRESTLING
(Organized by USA Wrestling as the sport’s NGB)
1984 – Allendale, Mich.
1988 – Pensacola, Fla.
1992 – Pittsburgh, Pa. (FS); Concord, Calif. (GR)
1996 – Spokane, Wash. (FS); Concord, Calif.(GR)
2000 – Dallas, Texas
2004 – Indianapolis, Ind.
2008 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2012 – Iowa City, Iowa

Jordan Holm to go ‘On the Mat’ this week

Former Minnesota state champion and Northern Iowa wrestler Jordan Holm will go “On the Mat” this Wednesday, October 6.

Holm wrestled for the University of Northern Iowa and was one match away from being an All-American in 2003 at 184 pounds. He won both the Greco-Roman and freestyle portions of the Northern Plains Regional in Waterloo, Iowa, in May. Holm currently resides in Minnesota.

“On the Mat” is a presentation of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. The show can be heard live on the Internet at www.kcnzam.com or locally in Northeast Iowa each Wednesday from 5:05 – 6:00 PM CST on AM 1650, The Fan.

E-mail radio@wrestlingmuseum.org with any questions or comments about the show.