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Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

HWC Online Silent Auction

Instead of a banquet, this year the Hawkeye Wrestling Club will have an online silent auction. The banquet is always an influential fundraiser every year for the HWC so this silent auction will be an important event.

The silent auction will be held online on Handbid from 3PM CST August 20 until 4PM CST August 29. All proceeds will go to support the HWC.

You can register for the silent auction right now at the following link:

https://events.handbid.com/auctions/2021-hawkeye-wrestling-club-auction/registration?fbclid=IwAR0pilLwOiiYvBWPYqenby0zJ3JryKvtbJw5GWbRhWoPgJAvzvudOaWCylI

The HWC is currently in need of auction items.  Please contact Chad Beatty at:

chad@hawkeyewrestlingclub.com

There will be locations to drop off donated auction items in Iowa City and Des Moines. All contributions are tax deductible.

The HWC is a unique and one of a kind support system for Iowa Wrestling and is very important to the success of the Hawkeye program. Your support in any way for this silent auction would be appreciated.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Ayala 1st, Rathjen 2nd at Junior Nationals

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathjen had impressive performances at the Junior National Freestyle Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. Ayala won a title and Rathjen lost a close one in the finals to place second.

Ayala, from Ft. Dodge, Iowa,  was dominating in winning the title at 126 lbs.  In the finals Ayala won by a tech fall over Sergio Lemley of Indiana, 10-0.  For the tournament Ayala was 7-0 with six tech falls and a fall and outscored his opponents by a combined score of 72-4.  That is dominating.

Rathjen stormed to the145 lbs. finals with six tech falls and a 7-2 decision.  Rathjen had the lead over Jordan Williams of Oklahoma and gave up two points exposure as time expired to drop the finals match 4-3. Iowa challenged the call but was denied.  Tough loss.  

Ayala was a three time state champion at Fort Dodge (Iowa) where he racked up a 171-3 career record as a four time finalist and won a Super 32 title.  He was named as the Bob Steenlage High School Wrestler of the Year. Rathjen was a two-time state champion at Ankeny (Iowa) and was a two-time Cadet Freestyle All American.     

Ayala and Rathjen are members of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2021 and will be a freshman at the University of Iowa this fall.

Iowa Wrestling Assistant Coach Ryan Morningstar was the head freestyle coach for Team Iowa.  

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Jesuroga to compete at Cadet Worlds

The great state of Iowa will be represented at the 2021 Cadet World Freestyle Championships in Budapest, Hungary.  Nate Jesuroga of Pleasant Hill, Iowa (Southeast Polk HS) will represent Team USA at 51kg (112 lbs.).  Jesuroga will compete Tuesday at 4 AM Iowa time.

Jesuroga is just the second Iowan to make the Cadet Freestyle World team since the new format was put in place in 2011.  Carter Happel of Lisbon made the team in 2014.

At the Cadet World Team Trials in Wisconsin in April, Jesuroga was very impressive with a 5-0 record to make the team.  In the semifinals he defeated 2019 Cadet World champion Marc-Anthony McGowen of New Jersey, 6-2.  McGowen was the #1 rated 112 lbs. wrestler in the country at the time.

Jesuroga is currently ranked #1 at 112 lbs. by MatScouts (Wille Saylor) and competes for Sebolt Wrestling Academy.  T.J. Sebolt is in Hungary to coach Jesuroga at the World Championships.

Also a special mention to the much anticipated international debut of Bo Bassett of Forest Hills, Pennsylvania.  Bassett wrestles for Jody Strittmatter in Young Guns and will compete at 45kg (99 lbs.) in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman.  I wrote a blog about Bo on November 5, 2019.

Bo Bassett – The next Spencer Lee?

https://iowawrestlingblog.com/2019/11/bo-bassett-the-next-spencer-lee/

FloWrestling will provide live coverage of the Cadet World Championships on their premium service.

 

Cadet Freestyle World Championships in Budapest, Hungary

*****All times listed are Central Standard Time (CST)

45, 51, 60, 71, and 92kg

 

Tuesday, July 20

Qualification Round: 4:30 AM

Semifinals: 9:45 AM

 

Wednesday, July 21

Repechage: 4:30 AM

Finals: 11 AM

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Ayala and Rathjen to compete at Junior Nationals

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathjen will be competing at Junior Nationals. The competition for Juniors begins at 8 AM Sunday in the FargoDome in Fargo, North Dakota. Ayala will be competing at 126 lbs. and Rathjen at 145 lbs. 

Ayala was a three time state champion at Fort Dodge (Iowa) where he racked up a 171-3 career record as a four time finalist.  Ayala has won two national titles in freestyle and a Super 32 title.  He was named as the Bob Steenlage High School Wrestler of the Year. 

Rathjen was a two-time state champion at Ankeny (Iowa) and was a two-time Cadet Freestyle All American.

Ayala and Rathjen are members of the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2021 and will be a freshman at the University of Iowa this fall.

Iowa Wrestling Assistant Coach Ryan Morningstar will be the head freestyle coach for Team Iowa. The Iowa Junior and Cadet Freestyle teams are loaded with talent and should be fun to watch.

The Cadet and Junior division of this tournament is a snapshot into the future of college and International wrestling in our country and should be very, very entertaining.

FloWrestling will have coverage of Cadet and Junior Nationals for all styles and divisions on their premium service.

I will keep you up to date right here with results for Ayala and Rathjen at Junior Nationals. 

 

Schedule for Fargo

Saturday, July 17

Cadet/16U Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 8 AM – 1:30 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Preliminaries, Quarterfinals and Consolations: 3 PM – 7:30 PM

 

Sunday, July 18

Men’s Junior Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 8 AM – 1:30 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Semifinals and Consolations: 4:30 PM – 9  PM

Men’s Junior Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 4:30 PM – 9  PM

 

Monday, July 19

Men’s Junior Freestyle Quarterfinals and Consolations: 9 AM – 1 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Consolation and Consolation Semifinals: 9 AM – 11 AM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Finals and Medal Matches: 1:30 PM – 4 PM

Men’s Junior Freestyle Semifinals and Consolations: 5 PM – 8:30 PM

 

Tuesday, July 20

Men’s Junior Freestyle Finals and Medal Matches: 1 PM – 3:30 PM

 

*Times listed are Central Standard Time (CST).

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Great news about the new training facility

“The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world.” That is the phrase that I gave to a new training facility for Iowa Wrestling in a blog on April 12, 2017. Last Friday Kevin Collins of the University of Iowa Athletic Department that has been a force in fundraising for the new facility and for Iowa Wrestling in general, released a post on Twitter. 

“It’s been a good week for Iowa Wrestling and our Carver Circle.”

The Carver Circle is the campaign for the new Iowa Wrestling facility. That was great to see.

Now there is a press release from Iowa Wrestling Head Coach Tom Brands:

“We are approaching $20 million plus. We have momentum. We have a fan base that is our donor base and they have stepped up big. We have an administration that understands the impact that Hawkeye Wrestling has on the planet. It will be the best training facility in the world and we will have the best wrestlers in the world training in it.”

That gets me very, very excited. The timing could not be any better to get this facility done.  There is so much excitement about the upcoming season and Iowa going for a second straight national title and simply put, Iowa Wrestling is hot right now.  Way hot.  As the old saying goes: Strike when the iron is hot.

I am sure we all had our doubts with the events of the last year and a half and with the University of Iowa dropping several sports.  However, the commitment of the people involved as Iowa Wrestling fans and boosters combined with the members of the University of Iowa Athletic Department is a strong force that will not be denied.

I do not believe it is being optimistic, just honest when I say it is not a matter of if but when the new facility is built. I am hoping sooner rather than later. The time is now.

If you are interested in being a part of history and donating to the new Iowa Wrestling training facility that will be the greatest wrestling training facility…in the world, please contact Kevin Collins at: 

kevin.collins@foriowa.org

If you are interested in donating to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, please contact HWC President Brad Eldeen at: admin@hawkeyewrestlingclub.com

The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world. Home of the legendary Iowa Wrestling program.  Sounds great to me.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Fargo schedule for Cadet & Junior Freestyle

The world’s largest wrestling tournament will begin this Saturday, July 17 in Fargo, North Dakota in the FargoDome.  Wrestlers from across the country will compete in men’s and womens freestyle in the Cadet and Junior division as well as Greco-Roman for men in the Cadet and Junior level.

With the cancellation of the tournament last year there is a lot of excitement and anticipation about Fargo this year.  I believe we are all expecting one of the greatest tournaments ever. There were over 5,000 entries in the 2019 tournament in Fargo and I expect that number to increase this year.

The action on Monday, July 19 will be amazing starting with the Quarterfinals in Juniors followed by the Cadet Finals and then wrapping up a huge day with Junior Semifinals.  That will be one action packed day.

With the long shutdown for recruiting in 2020 and into 2021, there will be added intensity this year as we watch the wrestlers compete to establish themselves as the best in the country. Fargo will be an amazing display for recruiting. 

As a college recruiter you could not ask for a better platform to evaluate all of the great talent that is available across the country.  I am sure nearly all D-I programs will be present with at least one coach to recruit and evaluate the talent.

Iowa Wrestling will be well represented with Assistant Coach Ryan Morningstar as the head freestyle coach for Team Iowa.  Morningstar led Team Iowa to their first Junior Duals National title in sixteen years a few weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Team Iowa is loaded in Freestyle talent for both Cadet/16U and Juniors.  I expect quite a few D-I recruits to come out of Iowa over the next 3-4 years and the most in at least ten years.

I will keep you up to date right here with results on our incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits that are competing at Junior Nationals. 

 

Schedule for Fargo

Saturday, July 17

Cadet/16U Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 8 AM – 1:30 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Preliminaries, Quarterfinals and Consolations: 3 PM – 7:30 PM

 

Sunday, July 18

Men’s Junior Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 8 AM – 1:30 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Semifinals and Consolations: 4:30 PM – 9  PM

Men’s Junior Freestyle Preliminaries and Consolations: 4:30 PM – 9  PM

 

Monday, July 19

Men’s Junior Freestyle Quarterfinals and Consolations: 9 AM – 1 PM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Consolation and Consolation Semifinals: 9 AM – 11 AM

Cadet/16U Freestyle Finals and Medal Matches: 1:30 PM – 4 PM

Men’s Junior Freestyle Semifinals and Consolations: 5 PM – 8:30 PM

 

Tuesday, July 20

Men’s Junior Freestyle Finals and Medal Matches: 1 PM – 3:30 PM

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Shuck named head coach at Bellarmine

Former Iowa Wrestler Ned Shuck has been named as the new head wrestling coach at Bellarmine University.  Shuck has been an assistant coach for Army at West Point the last three seasons and the Associate Head Coach the past two seasons. Bellarmine made the move to Division I from Division II last season and is located in Louisville, Kentucky.  Bellarmine is in the Southern Conference and started their wrestling program in 2016. 

Shuck graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa in 2005. As a member of the Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling program Shuck was a four-year letter winner and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.  In 2005 Shuck was awarded the J. Donald McPike Award for the highest GPA of any graduating Iowa Wrestling senior.

Shuck has had a successful coaching career.  Before having success at West Point, Shuck had been the head coach at UW-Whitewater where they placed in the top 25 every year at the D-III Championships and won two WIAC titles. Shuck was named the 2015 WIAC Coach of the Year.  Prior to UW-Whitewater, Shuck was the head coach of D-III Heidelberg in Ohio. While at Heidelberg they won back to back Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) titles in 2013 and 2014 and Shuck was named the 2014 OAC Coach of the Year.  Shuck was also an assistant coach at Augsburg (2009-2011) and head coach of the Minnesota Storm Cadet Freestyle team (2009-2011).

Shuck is originally from Mapleton, Minnesota.

Congratulations and good luck to Iowa Hawkeye Ned Shuck as a Division I head wrestling coach at Bellarmine University.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Penrith named to U of I HOF

Former Iowa wrestling great Brad Penrith was named as a member of the 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame by the National Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletic Department.  Penrith was an NCAA National champion at 126 lbs. in 1986 and an additional two-time NCAA Finalist in a great career for legendary coach Dan Gable and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Originally from Windsor, New York, Penrith also won three Big Ten titles and is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Penrith was a member of the 1986 National championship team as well as the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Runner-Up teams.  Penrith capped off a great International career by winning a Silver medal at the 1991 World Championships in Varna, Bulgaria at 57kg/125 lbs. Penrith also won two Gold medals at the Pan Ams for Team USA in 1989 and 1991.

The Class of 2021 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, September, 3.  The University did not mention it in their press release today but in the past they would introduce the new HOF members at halftime of the home opener in football which will be September 4. I will keep you posted on that.

Congratulations to Brad Penrith on this much deserved honor.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Randy Novak receives HWC honor

Long time Iowa Wrestling fan Randy Novak was named as the 2021 recipient of the Rob McReynolds Passion Award. Randy recently stepped down as President of the HWC after four years of great leadership. 

Iowa Wrestling coach Tom Brands and Barb McReynolds spoke at a presentation when awarding Randy this honor.  The clip is available on the HWC website.

From HawkeyeWrestlingClub.com:

The Rob McReynolds Passion Award is presented annually to a member of the HWC community who best displays the characteristics that define the late Rob McReynolds’ life as a husband, father, friend, athlete, coach, mentor and businessman.

Those characteristics include directing endless energy toward achieving a desired outcome, inspiring others to achieve their highest potential, and providing loving support and compassion for those around him.  Eligible recipients include club athletes, club coaches/staff, fans and supporters.

This is the third presentation of the Rob McReynolds Passion Award.  Forrest Molinari was named for the award in 2019 and Steve and Beth Reese in 2020.

I have worked with Randy quite a bit over the last four years to promote events of the HWC and especially the new training facility.  Randy’s efforts and success did not go unnoticed and he will be missed. I believe Randy helped the HWC catch up and join the new era of college wrestling from a fundraising standpoint. 

Brad Eldeen has been named as the new HWC President.  I have also worked with Brad in the past and I am very confident that he will do a great job picking up where Randy left off and help take the HWC to the next level.

Randy Novak is very deserving of the prestigious award and a big thank you for all that you did for the HWC and Iowa Wrestling. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Riverside Golf Outing Sold Out

After nearly a year of events being canceled the Hawkeye Wrestling Club is up and running for events.  This coming Monday, June 28 the HWC Riverside Golf Outing in Riverside, Iowa will kick off summer in a big way.  According to the HWC website the Riverside Outing is sold out for golfers and hole sponsors.  In the five plus years that I have been covering this event I do not recall this happening before.

I immediately take this as a great sign that Iowa Wrestling fans are excited and ready to support the program in any way they can.  These events are crucial for fundraising for the HWC.  They offer a unique opportunity for Iowa Wrestling fans to interact with the coaching staff and HWC wrestlers.

The round of golf will begin at 12:30 PM at Blue Ridge Golf Course at the Riverside Casino in Riverside.  Immediately following the round of golf there will be a banquet. From my understanding there are always fans that do not golf that show up for the banquet to meet the staff and wrestlers.  I am sure that will be the case again this year.

If you would like to contribute to the outing to support the HWC, they do have spots still available to sponsor the golf, food, and beverages.  For more information, please go to:

https://donorbox.org/hawkeye-wrestling-club-riverside-golf-2021

With the way that fans are excited about the upcoming season coming off of an NCAA title I look for these HWC events to continue to be sold out.  Iowa Wrestling fans are excited.

Upcoming events include the HWC Trap Shoot on Saturday, September 18. No additional information is available at this time.

For years there has been a golf outing by Okoboji, Iowa in the late summer and in Des Moines in September.  I do not see any information about these events on the HWC website at this time but I will keep an eye on it.

I will keep you posted on all upcoming HWC events right here. 

Thank you to all of the Iowa Wrestling fans that work so hard in making these events happen and to all of the fans that come out to support the HWC.  

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!