With the holiday break upon us, I thought an update on Iowa Wrestling would be in order.  I made it down to a workout on Monday. There was not a team practice, but the room was full of Iowa Wrestlers hitting a workout before they made their way home for the holidays.  Iowa will next have practice on December 26 and the Midlands is on December 29-30.

Every wrestler in the starting lineup and pretty much the entire roster was working out on their own for their first day of “Holiday Break.”  It is a setting like this that you really see the torch being passed down from one generation of Iowa Wrestling to another. You had Thomas Gilman and Max Murin wrestling on the middle mat.  Gilman is always wrestling in the middle mat. Thomas Gilman does not have an offseason. He is always in shape and ready to go. I also believe that his 5th place showing at the World Freestyle Championships has added a big log onto his already blazing fire of desire to compete and win.  I am looking for a big year out of Gilman in 2019. And Murin as well.

Cash Wilcke was rolling with Sam Brooks.  That is a couple of big dudes to me moving like that.  Spencer Lee and Cory Clark were hitting some flurries that make you an even bigger wrestling fan. Brooks and Clark were working with the younger Iowa wrestlers and going over technique when they were on break and after the hard wrestling was done.  You could have used a video of this as an infomercial on the importance of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. To see Sam Brooks and Cory Clark keep that chain going from one generation of Iowa Wrestling to the next is a big part of what makes Iowa Wrestling so special.  It is also why the support of all those that donate to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club is so appreciated and needed.

I have still yet to see Austin DeSanto tired.  This guy has amazing endurance. I look for him to break out big time in the second half of the year.  I would put Patricio Lugo in the same category. Just give those two some time. I expect DeSanto and Lugo to both answer the bell in Pittsburgh at the NCAA’s.

Whatever weight Sam Stoll is at looks to be perfect to me.  Stoll looks really good. He is moving real well and looking strong.  With Stoll, Aaron Costello, and Anthony Cassioppi being coached by Bobby Telford with the help of Ben Berhow, Iowa will be very good at Hwt for years to come.

Forrest Molinari and Lauren Louive were working hard.  Alli Ragan is on her way back. An injury caused her to pull out of the World Championships. When a wrestler has made six straight World teams like Ragan has, you have to believe they will be back.  

Iowa has another two week break in competition after Midlands until the January 13 dual at Minnesota.  Iowa will still be on Christmas break and this will provide a great 2 week period to concentrate solely on wrestling.  That is usually when the level of intensity gets cranked up a notch or two in the room. There is an added push after the first of the year with morning runs and one-on-one technique sessions to peak for the NCAA’s for technique, strength, and conditioning.  

Right now everything is pretty quiet for Iowa wrestling.  Just the way I like it. Iowa slipped back to fourth in the national rankings from third.  I firmly believe Iowa has their best wrestling in front of them. Folks, it is December. The NCAA National tournament is on March 21-23.  There is a lot of livin to be done between now and March.

As I said in my recent Iowa Wrestling Fan Podcast, Iowa peaked last year at the NCAA’s like even I was not expecting.  I gotta believe it will happen again. Let’s get the boys healthy, rested up, and ready to roll for a big 2019. As a fan, I cannot wait.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!