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Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

’23 Recruiting update

The Olympics had our attention recently and for good reason. What a great performance by Team USA.  Now it is back to work on my true passion for this blog: Iowa Wrestling recruiting.

August 1 was the official date when coaches could begin making in-house visits with the Recruiting Class of 2023 that will be juniors.  The Iowa Wrestling coaching staff was in full force across the country as you would expect.

Head Coach Tom Brands was in Maryland to visit with Meyer Shapiro. Already a highly sought after recruit, Shapiro became even more popular with college coaches after winning a Cadet World title last month in Budapest, Hungary at 65kg/143 lbs. Shapiro defeated Giorgi Gogritchiani of Georgia in the finals 8-4. He set the pace and kept attacking until the match was secured. Just what you like to see in a recruit. With a title like Cadet World Champion associated with his name, Meyer Shapiro will be a huge get for the college that receives a commitment. 

Assistant Coach Terry Brands was in Georgia for an in-house visit with elite recruit Gabe Arnold.  Already a two-time Prep School national champion Arnold will be a junior at national powerhouse Wyoming Seminary this fall. Arnold will be facing the toughest competition in the country throughout his high school career and that will prepare him well for college. Arnold stormed through the competition in winning a Cadet national title at 170 lbs. in Fargo this summer. Arnold is really powerful and looks to be the type of wrestler that may be ready to go on the collegiate level nationally from day one. No redshirt needed. 

Iowa Assistant Coach Ryan Morningstar was a clinician at the Sebolt Wrestling Camp in Jefferson, Iowa last week.  Morningstar has been busy this summer as the Head Coach for Team Iowa at Junior Duals and Junior/Cadet Nationals. I have no doubt at all that Morningstar is dialed in to this elite Class of 2023 recruits especially in Iowa.

The State of Iowa is absolutely loaded for the Class of 2023.  Nate Jesuroga of Southeast Polk just won a Bronze medal at the Cadet World Championships in Budapest, Hungary and is ranked #1 in the country.  I am also really high on Ben Kueter of Iowa City (City High), Tate Naaktgeboren of Linn-Mar (Marion), and Ryder Block of Waverly-Shell Rock. Wrestling fans, that is an outstanding list of recruits and they are right here in Iowa. 

There are more recruits in this class and they are only going to be juniors this fall.  Plenty of time for even more elite recruits to develop in this class.  The Class of 2023 looks to be the best recruiting class in Iowa since 2005.

I will keep you up to date right here as the Hawks look to be in a great position to have a truly special Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023.

I have been saying for years that Ryan Morningstar is the best college wrestling recruiter in the country and there is nobody better than Tom Brands at closing the deal for a commitment from a recruit.

  1. Morningstar will find them.
  2. Tommy will sign them.
  3. Terry will train them.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Gilman wins Olympic Bronze

Thomas Gilman is an Olympic Bronze medalist. After a gut wrenching 5-4 loss in the closing seconds to eventual Olympic champion and two-time World champion Zavur Uguev of Russia in the first round, Gilman came back with a vengeance today.

In the first round of repechage Gilman won by a 11-1 tech fall over Gulomjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan.  In the 57kg Bronze match, Gilman kept the attack going with an impressive 9-1 victory over Reza Atrinagharchi of Iran. 

Gilman automatically qualifies for Team USA at 57kg for the 2021 World Freestyle Championships that will be held on October 3-4 in Oslo, Norway.  I would think Thomas Gilman would be brimming with confidence in believing that he will win the 57kg World title.

Gilman, originally from Council Bluffs, Iowa,  was a three-time All American for Iowa and became the tenth wrestler in Iowa Wrestling history to become an Olympic medalist.  Gilman is the first Hawkeye to win an Olympic medal since Terry Brands and Lincoln McIlravy won Bronze at the 2000 Olympics.

Gilman won a Silver at the 2017 World Freestyle Championships and a bronze at the 2014 Junior World Freestyle Championships. He also placed fifth for Team USA at the 2018 World Freestyle Championships.

Congratulations to Thomas Gilman on becoming an Olympic medalist.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa competing at National Duals

It was announced by InterMat that the University of Iowa will be competing at the 2021 National Duals. Iowa will be in a very competitive field of twelve teams that will compete on December 20-21 at Northwest Florida State College in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  Five of the top seven teams from Nationals last year and Cornell lead the field. This will be the first National Duals since 2018.

These dual meets will provide Iowa a great opportunity to face competition that they normally do not see until Nationals and will be very, very important for seedings at Nationals.

Teams competing at 2021 National Duals and where they placed at the 2021 NCAA Championships

No. 1 Iowa

No. 4 Arizona State

No. 5 Michigan

No 6 North Carolina State

No. 7 Missouri

No. 15 Virginia Tech

No. 19 Northern Iowa

No. 22 Central Michigan

Cornell (Did not compete at 2021 NCAA’s)

Hofstra

Lehigh

Oregon State

 

From Earl Smith of InterMat:

The twelve teams will be placed in four pools of three by seed but also avoiding conference opponents. On Day 2, winners of the pools will advance to a four-team bracket for semi’s and finals to determine a National Dual Champion. The remaining schools will wrestle extra duals vs. teams of correlating pool placement.

Between transfers, redshirts, returning All Americans and National champions, this will be an absolutely loaded field of competition.  Cornell was unable to compete at Nationals last year due to a boycott by the Ivy League.  They will have a very strong team that will be highly ranked.

I have wanted to see Iowa wrestle UNI, Missouri, and Cornell for years.  Now we may see those matchups. A tip of the hat to Journeyman Wrestling for getting National Duals up and running again.  They certainly have a very talented twelve teams worthy of a title like National Duals and I am confident they will put on a great show.

Mark your calendar for Monday and Tuesday December 20-21.  Iowa Wrestling will be in some heated competition at National Duals to get us ready for the holidays.  This will be a great event to look forward to with a lot of great and entertaining college wrestling.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Des Moines Golf Outing

The Hawkeye Wrestling Club will be hosting their annual golf outing in Des Moines.  The 2021 Des Moines Golf Outing will be held on Thursday, September 30 at the Waveland Golf Course in downtown Des Moines. This golf outing is always a big success and very influential for fundraising for the HWC.

Registration begins at 11 AM and golf is slated to begin at 12:30 PM.  A reception will follow the golfing.  Iowa Head Coach Tom Brands has spoken at this event in the past.  You can expect a strong showing of Iowa Wrestling coaches, HWC staff, and current HWC wrestlers. 

The recent HWC golf outing in Riverside was sold out.  The excitement of winning the national title last season and anticipation of the upcoming season has Iowa Wrestling fans very excited. With that in mind it might be a good idea to get registered as soon as possible to ensure a spot in this event.

To register to golf or for hole sponsorship, please go to:

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

I was able to attend the reception of this event three years ago and the turnout was impressive. There was not an empty seat when Coach Tom Brands spoke.  This is a great event.

The Des Moines area has been very strong supporters of Iowa Wrestling for decades.  Over the past five years the support has gone to another level and became an even stronger force in the support of Iowa Wrestling.

The grassroots support of the HWC in the Des Moines area will be on full display to show once again how unique and powerful the HWC is in the success of Iowa Wrestling. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Young named for Big Ten Scholarship

Kaleb Young of the University of Iowa Wrestling program has been named as a recipient of the 2021 Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship. Two student athletes from the 14 Big Ten institutions were awarded a $7,500 scholarship based primarily on academic achievements.

From BigTen.org:

Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarships. Students must have maintained at least a 3.2 grade-point-average, demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program. The scholarship will be used to pay expenses of the student’s postgraduate education to include such related activities as research and teaching, as well as other expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related supplies and books. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must be accepted into a full-time graduate degree program within three years from the fall semester after selection.

Young is originally from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and majored in Human Physiology.  He achieved All American status by placing seventh in the country last season and fifth in 2019 at 157 lbs.

Congratulations to Kaleb Young for this prestigious honor.

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

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Olympic Wrestling Schedule

The ultimate level for our sport of wrestling is the Olympics.  After a yearlong delay the Olympics are finally here.  Legends will be made with every Olympic Gold Medal.  This should be a great competition to follow for USA Wrestling fans.

Former Iowa Hawkeye and three-time All American Thomas Gilman will be representing Team USA at 57kg. Gilman will begin competition on Tuesday, August 3 with the Qualifying Rounds at 9 PM CST.  

I will keep you up to date on all of Gilman’s matches on Twitter and Facebook.

A special mention to Kayla Miracle at 62kg.  Kayla competed in the Hawkeye Wrestling Club from 2018-2020. Miracle will begin competition on Monday, August 2.

Best of luck to Team USA.

All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST). One hour ahead of Iowa time.

No photo description available.

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!