D-1 wrestling news (Iwoa)



If you haven't seen college wrestling for some time, you might not be aware that the meets now can start at any randomly selected weight, and then proceed in ascending order. A lot of coaches, including Iowa's head coach Jim Zalesky, like to start the meets in the traditional way, at the lowest weight of 125.

But that didn't happen Friday night, Dec. 13, as the University of Iowa Hawkeyes traveled to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Panthers.

Despite Zalesky's preference, this procedure seemed only to work in the Hawkeyes' favor. The meet opened at heavyweight, where the Hawkeyes are represented by undefeated, top-ranked Steve Mocco. Following that was 125, where another top-ranked, undefeated wrestler, Luke Eustice, grapples for Iowa.

Iowa took advantage of this arrangement as Mocco stormed out to gain his ninth straight victory by getting his fifth pin this season, this time against UNI's freshman Michael Shedek. The opening match took all of 1:36.

'Mocco's worked very hard in the weight room. He's put on a lot of muscle,' said Iowa head coach Jim Zalesky. He emphasized Mocco's proficiency at snapdowns and takedowns.

Next up was Luke Eustice, who himself scored a technical fall over Chad Davis, 16-1, in 5:28. After two matches, Iowa led 11-0, and there was no looking back.

After Iowa's All-American Cliff Moore scored a 22-9 major decision over UNI's Mark Manchio at 133 to put Iowa up 15-0, the Hawkeyes did suffer a setback in the volatile 141 weight class.

Two ranked wrestlers squared off against each other here, with UNI's Dylan Long, ranked number 6, clobbering Iowa's #12 Luke Moffitt by a 14-6 major decision.

'Anytime you're waiting for a guy to shoot on you, you're going to get beat,' said Zalesky of Moffitt's loss. 'We let the guy into our legs too much.'

Long's victory over Moffitt made the team score 15-4. But that was a close as it would get, as Iowa won four of the next five matches.

Even in the only other match Iowa would lose, at 165, the Hawkeye wrestler almost pulled off an upset. Unranked Jason D'Agata took an 8-5 lead into the third period against Drew Kelly of UNI, ranked number 10. But Kelly roared back when it counted most, scoring an escape and two takedowns in the final period to eke out an 11-9 victory.

At 149 and 157, Iowa won as expected, as Iowa's Ty Eustice beat UNI's Jeff Harrison 3-1, and Iowa's Matt Anderson defeated UNI's Chris Bitetto by a 6-1 score.

The last three matches, at 174, 184, and 197, were all close, but also all went Iowa's way. At 174, in a match of elite level wrestlers, #3 Tyler Nixt of Iowa edged #5 Eric Hauan of UNI 6-5. Next, at 184, #2-ranked Jessman Smith of Iowa bested Jordan Holm of UNI 7-3. And in a minor upset at 197, #17 Ryan Fulsaas of Iowa defeated #13 Sean Stender of UNI 6-5.

While happy with Iowa's overall performance, Zalesky still saw the need to work on correcting some mistakes repeated by some of his wrestlers, particularly from the bottom position. 'The two matches we lost tonight, we couldn't get out,' he said. No doubt that will be worked on in the Iowa wrestling room a lot.

The final score was 30-7 in favor of Iowa. The Hawkeyes won eight of ten matches, with one pin, one tech fall, and one major decision. Iowa is now 5-0, with UNI falling to 0-3.

Attendance at the UNI-Dome was 3061.

Iowa Public Television will show a tape-delayed broadcast of this meet on Friday, Dec. 20, at 9 PM CST, on its 'College Wrestling' series.

Next up for both Iowa and UNI, along with numerous other teams, are the 2002 Midlands Championships, Dec. 28-29, in Evanston, IL.

Iowa 30, Northern Iowa 7
Dec. 13, 2002
Cedar Falls, IA

HWT Steve Mocco (Iowa) pinned Michael Shedek (UNI), 1:36, 6-0 Iowa
125 Luke Eustice (Iowa) tech. fall Chad Davis (UNI), 16-1 in 5:28, 11-0 Iowa
133 Cliff Moore (Iowa) maj. dec. Mark Manchio (UNI), 22-9, 15-0 Iowa
141 Dylan Long (UNI) maj. dec. Luke Moffitt (Iowa), 14-6, 15-4 Iowa
149 Ty Eustice (Iowa) dec. Jon Garvin (UNI), 3-1, 18-4 Iowa
157 Matt Anderson (Iowa) dec. Chris Bitetto (UNI), 6-1, 21-4 Iowa
165 Drew Kelly (UNI) dec. Jason D'Agata (Iowa), 11-9, 21-7 Iowa
174 Tyler Nixt (Iowa) dec. Eric Hauan (UNI), 6-5, 24-7 Iowa
184 Jessman Smith (Iowa) dec. Jordan Holm (UNI), 7-3, 27-7 Iowa
197 Ryan Fulsaas (Iowa) dec. Sean Stender (UNI), 6-5, 30-7 Iowa
Ya they do it in highschool to they pull a weight out of a hat and wrestle them in order from that weight.