Iowa Style Apparel

Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

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!

 

Hawks to be inducted into Glen Brand HOF

Iowa Wrestling will have a strong presence at the Glen Brand Hall of Fame inductions this Friday, June 25. The ceremony will take place at Prairie Links Golf and Event Center Banquet Room in Waverly, Iowa.  The Induction Ceremony will be at 6:30 PM. The Glen Brand Hall of Fame is a part of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.

Glen Brand Class of 2021

The Iowa Wrestling teams of 1991 and 1992. In my opinion this is the best college wrestling team of all time.  

Zaputil-Brands-Brands-Steiner-Steiner-Ryan-Reiland-Chelesvig-Fiser-Oostendorp.

All ten of these wrestlers were at least a two-time All American and nine of them placed in the top 3 in the country in 1991 or 1992, four of them won at least one NCAA title and two others were an NCAA Finalist.

This was a team that dominated college wrestling for two years unlike any other team before or since.  These teams were not really even challenged at the NCAA Championships for legendary head coach Dan Gable.  Long overdo for this honor.

 

Mike DeAnna: A coveted four-time All-American for the Hawks and the fifth ever four time Big Ten champion in conference history, DeAnna placed third, sixth, second, and second at the NCAA Championships.  DeAnna is remembered for being a part of what many people say is the greatest college wrestling match of all time when he defeated three-time NCAA champion Mark Churella of Michigan in overtime of the 1979 167 lbs. Big Ten finals by the score of 20-18.

 

Bowlsby Family Legacy Award

The Happel family of Lisbon, Iowa.  Dean Happel was a three time state champion at Lisbon before wrestling for Dan Gable at the University of Iowa.  His sons Carter and Cael were both four-time state champions at Lisbon.  Carter recently graduated from the University of Iowa where he was a four year letter winner and a member of the 2021 NCAA National Championship Iowa Wrestling team. Cael just finished his true freshman year at UNI. Dean, Carter and Cael all wrestled for head coach Brad Smith at Lisbon who was a 1976 NCAA national champion at the University of Iowa.

 

Bob Steenlage Iowa High School Wrestler of the Year

Drake Ayala of Fort Dodge. Ayala was a three time state champion at Fort Dodge 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.  Ayala will be a freshman at the University of Iowa this fall.

 

2021 Glen Brand Hall of Fame Ceremony

Friday, June 25

4:30 p.m. Reception

5:30 p.m. Banquet

6:30 p.m. Induction Ceremony

 

Prairie Links Golf & Event Center Banquet Room

19 Eagle Ridge Dr.

Waverly, Iowa 50677

 

For more information contact the Dan Gable Museum at: 

Phone: (319) 233-0745

Email: dgmstaff@nwhof.org

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Iowa recruits lead Iowa to Junior Duals title

Incoming recruits Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathje were key contributors in Team Iowa capturing the Junior Duals National title this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ayala was 7-0 with seven tech falls and outscored his opponents by a combined 77-5 in match points. Rathje was 6-1 with four tech falls. Rathje dropped an 8-7 decision to Jordan Williams of Oklahoma who has been ranked as the #5 overall recruit in the Class of 2022.

Iowa was 7-0 in duals and defeated Oklahoma in the finals 40-23 for the first title for Iowa since 2005.

Ayala (Ft. Dodge, IA) and Rathjen (Ankeny, IA) will be freshman this fall at the University of Iowa as members of the Recruiting Class of 2021. 

Ryan Morningstar of the University of Iowa was head coach for Team Iowa and was a member of the Junior Duals title team for Iowa in 2005.

This Iowa team was absolutely loaded with D-I recruits.  As I mentioned in a previous blog it will be interesting to look back in a couple of years to see how many future Iowa Wrestling teammates were on this team.  I am hoping for quite a few.

 

Drake Ayala – 126 lbs.

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Ian Branch (Arkansas) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Parker Janssen (Minnesota Red) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Brennen Cernus (Ohio Red) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Andre Gonzales (California) TF 11-1

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Brayden Sonnentag (Team Wisconsin) TF 10-0

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Vincent Robinson (Illinois JR FS) TF 13-2

Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Jayce Caviness (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 13-2

 

Caleb Rathje – 145 lbs.

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Raphael Marascio (Arkansas) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Kyle Boeke (Minnesota Red) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Kael Voinovich (Ohio Red) TF 10-0

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Nicco Ruiz (California) Dec 13-6

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Matthew Bianchi (Team Wisconsin) Dec 10-5

Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) over Tommy Curran (Illinois JR FS) TF 16-6

Jordan Williams (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) Dec 8-7

 

Team Iowa – Junior Duals National Champions

Iowa defeated Arkansas 64-1

Iowa defeated Minnesota Red 50-12

Iowa defeated Ohio Red 50-14

Iowa defeated California 36-27

Iowa defeated Wisconsin 47-17

Iowa defeated Illinois 41-23

Iowa defeated Oklahoma Outlaws 40-23

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Iowa recruits competing at Junior National Duals

Future Iowa Hawkeyes Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathjen will be competing at Junior National Duals in Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend.  Junior Duals attracts teams from around the country and always has tough competition.

Ayala (Ft. Dodge, IA) and Rathjen (Ankeny, IA) will be freshman this fall at the University of Iowa as members of the Recruiting Class of 2021.  Ayala will be competing at 126 lbs. and Rathjen will be at 145 lbs. at Junior Duals.

Action will begin today and conclude with the final round on Saturday.  TrackWrestling is covering this event with Pay-Per-View and results are listed after every dual as well.

Head Coach for Team Iowa will be Ryan Morningstar of the University of Iowa.

Iowa looks to possibly have their best team since they last won Junior Duals in 2005.  This Iowa team is loaded with D-I wrestling talent that will be watched closely by college recruiters. It will be interesting to look back in a couple of years to see how many future Iowa Wrestling teammates were on this team.  I am hoping for quite a few.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Lee awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor

Spencer Lee has been awarded as the 2021 University of Iowa Big Ten Medal of Honor as selected by the UI Athletic Department. Lee is a champion on and off the mat. 

From HawkeyeSports.com:

The Big Ten Medal of Honor is the conference’s most exclusive award, and the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.”

Lee has won three NCAA titles at 125 lbs. and led the Iowa Hawkeyes to the 2021 NCAA National team title.  Originally from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, Lee was named to the NWCA All-Academic Team last week.

Lee will be closing out his historic career for the Hawks this coming season.  As a fan I am going to appreciate it because we may never see anyone like Spencer Lee again.

Congratulations to Spencer Lee and Iowa Wrestling for this prestigious honor.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!