Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

Iowa leads the country in attendance

The University of Iowa wrestling program led the nation in attendance for the 15th straight year. The Hawks set a record with a 14,905-home average, selling out the entire season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The announcement was made by the National Wrestling Media Association.

I am still amazed that season tickets sales were halted in early November with over 14,000 preseason tickets sold. That will be a record that will be difficult even for the Hawks to ever top.

The Hawkeyes drew an overall attendance total of 89,430. Iowa has led the nation in attendance in every season that Tom Brands has been head coach which began in the 2006-2007 season.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

7 Hawks named NWCA Scholar All-Americans

Seven University of Iowa wrestlers have been named as 2022 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I Scholar All-Americans.

Drake Ayala, Austin DeSanto, Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli, Michael Kemerer, Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi represent the Hawkeyes as NWCA Scholar All-Americans.

To be eligible, student-athletes must have a 3.2 grade point average and have won 60 percent of their matches or maintain a 3.0 GPA while earning All-America honors.

Kemerer and Marinelli earned the distinction for a fifth time in their careers, Young earned his fourth, while Warner and Cassioppi are now three-time honorees.

Iowa has received 54 NWCA academic honors since Tom Brands was named head coach in 2006.  The seven honorees are the second-most in a season in program history, trailing the eight honorees in 2020.

To have seven starters named for this honor is impressive.

Iowa Wrestling – getting it done on the mat and in the classroom.

Well done.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Kueter wins U20 Nationals

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits were in action at the 2022 U20 Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend. In the U20 Nationals 97 kg finals Ben Kueter defeated North Carolina commit Noah Pettigrew (The Storm Wrestling Center), 4-3. Kueter was dominating on his way to the finals and had a great tournament. The sky is the limit for Ben Kueter.

By winning U20 Nationals Kueter will automatically qualify for the best-of-three 97 kg finals at the U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio on June 5.

Incoming Hawk Kolby Franklin defeated Caden Rogers (Diplomat WC) 4-0 to place third at 92 kg. The third place finish qualifies Franklin for the U20 WTT. I was impressed with Franklin’s performance this weekend and look forward to him being an Iowa Hawkeye this Fall.

Kueter is in the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 and Franklin is in the Class of 2022.

Nate Jesuroga placed second at 55 kg at the U17 World Team Trials. In a loaded weight Jesuroga dropped a best of three series in the finals, 2-1, to Jax Forrest of Pennslyvannia. Bout three was 4-4 on criteria. Jesuroga is in the Recruiting Class of 2023.

Next up will be a huge weekend of wrestling on June 3-5 for the U20 and U23 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio. I am hoping we see some Iowa Hawkeyes compete at the U23 WTT. I will keep you posted.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa wrestlers and incoming recruits competing at U.S. Open

There will be plenty of action for Iowa Wrestling fans to follow this weekend. The South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will host the U.S. Open on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. There will be elite competition for both men and women in Freestyle as well as Greco-Roman competition.

Iowa Wrestling fans will be able to follow the Hawks with past, current, and incoming recruits competing. You can follow all of the action on the premium service for FloWrestling.

Members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club in the Senior U.S. Open are Patricio Lugo, Rachel Watters, Victoria Francis, and Jordan Nelson. Cullan Schriever, a sophomore on the Iowa Wrestling team will also be competing in the Senior Open. 

In the U20 division current Iowa wrestlers Jesse Ybarra, Caleb Rathjen, and Sebastian Robles will be competing.

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits Nate Jesuroga and Gabe Arnold will be competing in the U17 division. Jesuroga won a Bronze at the 2021 Cadet World Freeestyle Championships.The champion at each weight will represent Team USA in the 2022 Cadet World Freestyle Championships in Rome, Italy on July 27. This event will also be a qualifier for the Pan-American Championships on June 24-26, 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Jesuroga and Arnold are in the outstanding Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 that I have already labeled as the best junior recruiting class in the history of Iowa Wrestling. By a large margin.

Competing in the U20 division are incoming recruits Aiden Riggins, Ben Kueter, Kolby Franklin, Joel Jesuroga, Jace Rhoades, and Easton Fleshman.

The U20 and U23 World Team Trials will be in Geneva, Ohio on June 3.

 

Senior Division

Cullan Schriever 

Pat Lugo 

 

Women’s Senior Division

Rachel Watters 

Victoria Francis 

Jordan Nelson 

 

U20 

Jesse Ybarra 

Caleb Rathjen 

Sebastian Robles

 

Incoming recruits:

Aiden Riggins

Ben Kueter

Kolby Franklin

Joel Jesuroga

Jace Rhoades

Easton Fleshman

 

U17

Nate Jesuroga 

Gabe Arnold

 

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Upcoming Freestyle schedule

After a bit of a break it is now time to transition into the Freestyle season for our great sport of wrestling. We will have former, current, and future Iowa wrestlers competing in freestyle tournaments starting this week and throughout the summer.

South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will host several tournaments this weekend. The Senior U.S. Open for Men’s and Women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman will be the headliner for a weekend of great wrestling. The U.S. Open for U20, U17, and U15 will be a showcase for future recruits, incoming recruits and college freshmen.

I will keep you up to date right here on my blog of current, former and future Hawkeyes competing this weekend.

As fans we will be entertained nearly every weekend with elite competition that concludes with the biggest wrestling tournament in the World of Junior and Cadet Nationals in Fargo in July.

This Freestyle season will have an added boost with all of the the incomng Iowa Wrestling recruits that will be competing. Freestyle competition also provides fans a look at future recruits that will be making a name for themself on the Freestyle circuit.

Freestyle Schedule

April 29-30: U.S. Open for Senior Men’s and Women’s Freestyle, Greco-Roman, U20, U17, and U15 in Las Vegas, Nevada

May 6: Women’s National Championships – U15, U17 (Cadets), U20 (Junior), U23 in Ft. Worth, Texas

May 13: Last Chance Qualifier for Senior Men’s and Women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman in Atlantic City, New Jersey

May 20: Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament for Senior Men’s and Women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman in Coralville, Iowa

June 3: U23 and U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio

June 3: Final X  for Senior Men’s and Women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman in Stillwater, Oklahoma

June 6: Final X  for Senior Men’s and Women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman in New York, New York

June 8: U16 (Cadet) Duals in Loves Park, Illinois

June 14: Junior Duals in Tulsa, Oklahoma

July 15: Junior and U16 (Cadet) Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Wyatt Schultz and Chad Zaputil inducted into the IWHOF

Legendary press member Wyatt Schultz and former Iowa Hawkeye great Chad Zaputil were inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. A banquet honoring the IWHOF Class of 2022 was held at the Cresco Country Club in Cresco, Iowa on Monday evening. 

Wyatt started his lifelong connection to wrestling by competing for his hometown of Postville, Iowa. What started by taking pictures of wrestling events turned into a career passion for Wyatt as the owner of The Predicament. Wyatt sadly passed away last spring. Wyatt Schultz was a friend to everyone that knew him in the wrestling community and in life. You just do not replace a Wyatt Schultz and he will always be missed.

“Zap” was one of my all time favorite Iowa wrestlers. Coming out of Mystic, Iowa (Centerville HS), Zap shot to fame by defeating future teammate Terry Brands in the 1987 119 lbs. State Finals when he was a junior and Brands a senior. He was a member of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 1988 with Troy and Terry Steiner and John Oostendorp. 

Zap went on to be a three-time NCAA Finalist and three-time Big Ten Champions for Iowa in 1991-1993. Iowa won a national team title all three years with Zap starting things off at 118 lbs. I have called the 1992 Iowa Hawkeyes the greatest wrestling team in the history of college wrestling many times over the years. Zap was lead off on that very team.

We all remember the “Zap Tap” for technique. My favorite memory is how many times Zap scored back points off of a takedown by having the strength to hold an opponent on their back before they bellied out to score a cheap two or three back points. Strong guy. 

Congratulations to Chad “Zap” Zaputil and God Bless our friend Wyatt Schultz for being inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Sharratt named to Glen Brand HOF

Iowa National champion Joel Sharratt has been named to the Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Located inside of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum, the Glen Brand HOF was established in 2002 to honor Iowans who wrestled or coached for an Iowa school and made an impact on wrestling on a national level. 

A banquet honoring the Class of 2022 will take place at the Prairie Links Golf and Events Center in Waverly, Iowa on Friday, June 24. The time has yet to be released. Also in the Class of ‘22 are former Iowa Hawkeyes Jay Borschel, Luke Moffitt, and the Trizzino Family. 

Sharratt won a state title for Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota and a Junior National Freestyle title before being a member of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 1990. Gable told me several times over the years that Sharratt along with Chris Campbell were physically the most college ready recruits coming out of high school that he ever coached. 

Sharratt was a three-time NCAA Finalist and 1994 NCAA National Champion at 190 lbs. He won a Big Ten title in 1995 and was a member of three Big Ten team titles (1993-95). Sharratt was a member of the 1993 and 1995 NCAA national championship teams. 

After college Sharratt placed third at the 1996 Olympic Trials and won a Bronze medal at the 1997 Pan Am Championships. He was a two-time member of the U.S. National Freestyle team.

After retiring from competition Sharratt began his coaching career. After serving as a grad assistant at Minnesota and assistant coach at Navy, Sharratt was the head coach at Air Force (2007-2014) and Navy (2014-2020).

Congratulations to Joel Sharrat for being inducted in the Glen Brand Hall of Fame.

For more information on the Class of 2022 HOF Banquet contact the NWHOF Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or dgmstaff@nwhof.org.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Arnold to compete at Journeymen April 9-10

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruit Gabe Arnold will be competing in the Journeymen World Classic and Duals this weekend. Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York will host the individual tournament on Saturday, April 9 and a dual meet tournament on Sunday, April 10.

Arnold will compete at 182 lbs./82 kg for the individual tournament and be a member of Wyoming Seminary for the dual meet competition.

Arnold, originally from Kennesaw, Georgia, attends national powerhouse Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He committed to the Hawks on January 1 and is a member of the Recruiting Class of 2023. I have stated several times the Class of 2023 is the best Junior recruiting class in the history of Iowa Wrestling by a large margin. 

Elite recruit and 2021 Cadet World Champion Meyer Shapiro of Wyoming Seminary is scheduled to compete. Shapiro is in the recruiting class of 2023.

There will be international teams from around the world competing in this tournament so you can expect some top competition. There will be World champions and medalists making this a great weekend of wrestling to follow. 

Countries that are set up to compete: 

Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bolivia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, New Zealand, Panama, Peru and Uzbekistan.

Among the clubs that are to compete:

Young Guns (PA), Izzy Style (IL), Askren Wrestling Academy (WI), Pinnacle (MN), Monster Garage (CA), Doughboy (New England), and Team New Jersey.

National prep powers Wyoming Seninary and Blair Academy are also listed.

FloWrestling will have coverage from both days of competition on their premium service.

Wrestling begins at 10 AM CST on Saturday and 10:30 AM on Sunday.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

HWC announces “Herb Tyler 50-year Fund”

The Hawkeye Wrestling Club announced the creation of the “Herb Tyler 50-year Fund.” The HWC received a bequest of more than $1 million from the estate of long time Iowa Wrestling fan Herb Tyler. Mr. Tyler attended the University of Iowa and passed away in 2013.

From HawkeyeWrestlingClub.com:

The money received on the eve of the HWC’s 50th anniversary and described by Tom Brands as “the largest monetary gift ever received by the HWC will go toward the creation of a newly established endowment fund. “I am also happy to announce that, at the recommendation of the HWC’s Executive Director, Chad Beatty, the HWC Board of Directors has unanimously approved the creation and initial funding of the HWC’s ‘Herb Tyler 50-year Fund,’” Brands said. The newly-established fund will function as a board-designated endowment with the intent of providing a lasting source of income to the club for the next 50 years and beyond.

HWC Executive Director Chad Beatty:

“Our fans have shown unprecedented excitement for the future of the HWC. Our Inner Circle members, who provide recurring monthly or annual donations, are vital to the present operations of the HWC. This new fund provides an avenue for our significant donors, several of whom have already stepped forward, to help ensure the viability and stability of the club’s future.

Much like building a new facility, an endowment elevates our program for years to come and is vital to the long term success and health of our team. The transformative act of endowing the club will impact all of our future athletes, coaches, staff and fans in a meaningful way. Herb Tyler understood this and has left us more than $1 million to get us started! Our initial goal is to raise $15 million for our club. Next week, we will officially start this historic campaign and will provide further details on how to give.

Monies contributed to the HWC will allow us to better compete with other clubs who have already endowed their programs. These new funds will help us attract talented recruits to the University of Iowa team and keep those elite wrestlers here in Iowa City after they graduate, to chase World and Olympic Gold Medals.”

Individuals and organizations interested in making a donation of $50,000 or more should contact Chad Beatty via email at: chad@hawkeyewrestlingclub.com

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Thank you Seniors

I want to take a moment to thank the graduating seniors that were not in the starting lineup at Nationals this year. Wrestling is much more of a team sport than many may think. It is well known that the Iowa Wrestling program is a close team. Each member has a role and contributes to the team success on the mat.

Vince Turk – Hampshire, Illinois (Montini Catholic HS), 141/149. Turk was a member of the Recruiting Class of 2015. He was an NCAA Qualifier for the Hawks in 2018 at 141. After moving to 149 Turk saw action on the varsity squad. This past season Turk was 5-3 with two close losses to Top 8 ranked wrestlers.

For his career Turk was a five time Letterwinner. He was named Academic All Big Ten three times and also to the Dean’s List. Turk was named for the 2019 and 2022 Coaches Appreciation Award.

Myles Wilson – Junction, Colorado (Glenwood Springs HS), 174/184. Wilson was in the Recruiting Class of 2017. He was the starter at 174 for five dual meets before an injury ended his season as a redshirt freshman in 2019. This season Wilson was 2-1 in varsity action at 184 with his only loss to a ranked opponent.

Wilson represented Team USA at the 2021 U23 World Freestyle Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. He was a four time letterwinner. Wilson was named for the 2022 Coaches Appreciation Award.

Aaron Costello – Dubuque, Iowa (Western Dubuque HS), Hwt. Costello was in the Recruiting Class of 2017. He was 11-2 this past season and won the Harold Nichols Open. He competed in five varsity dual meets in 2019. 

Costello was named Academic All Big Ten four times and was a four time Letterwinner. Costello was named for the 2022 Coaches Appreciation Award.

 

For my previous blogs on graduating seniors:

Thank you Michael Kemerer https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2022/03/thank-you-michael-kemerer/

 

Thank you Alex Marinelli: https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2022/03/thank-you-alex-marinelli/

 

Thank you Kaleb Young: https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2022/03/thank-you-kaleb-young/

 

Thank you Austin DeSanto: https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2022/03/thank-you-austin-desanto/

 

Thank you Jaydin Eierman: https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2022/03/thank-you-jaydin-eierman/

 

With the five seniors in the lineup this will make eight members of the Iowa Wrestling team graduating that saw varsity action with six of them competing in the NCAA National Tournament.

I am very confident that these eight wrestlers will go on and have a successful life after Iowa Wrestling.

I want to thank all of these wrestlers for how well they represented Iowa Wrestling on the mat in competition, as a teammate, and in the classroom. You all left your mark and were a huge part of bringing a national title home for Iowa Wrestling. You will always be known as an Iowa Wrestler.

Thank you and best of luck to all of the Iowa Wrestling seniors.

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!