wrestling news and problems with women being kicked off the mens team



There is a great variety of college wrestling news this week.

Iowa will go for its third straight and 19th overall team title at the 41st Midlands Tournament, to be held Mon., Dec. 29, and Tues., Dec. 30, at the Welsh-Ryan Arena at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. We also have a preview of the Midlands offered by Ohio State Wrestling.

The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga, which now has several ranked wrestlers since head coach and former World and NCAA champion Terry Brands has taken over, will also be wrestling at the Midlands.

We also have the latest Pac-10 rankings.

And we have some commentary on a story about the lawsuit filed by a group of women wrestlers who were kicked off the UC Davis team -- for being women!

Traci Wagner
December 23, 2003

Iowa (5-1) will compete at the 41st annual Midlands Championships Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 29-30, in Evanston, IL. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern University campus. All-session tickets are available ($45) and can be purchased from the Northwestern University Athletic Ticket Office at (847) 491-2287. Session start times and individual session ticket prices are as follows:

Session Time Day Tickets (R/AB/SB)
Session I 9:30 a.m. Monday NA/$7/$5
Session II 7 p.m. Monday $10/$8/$6
Session III Noon Tuesday $12/$9/$7
Session IV 7 p.m. Tuesday $14/$10/$8
R- reserved seating, AB - adult bleacher seating, SB - student bleacher seating

The Hawkeyes will be vying for their third consecutive Midlands title. But it will not be an easy task as 12 of the top 25 teams in the nation, including Illinois and Iowa State, are scheduled to compete in the
two-day tournament.

Hawkeye seniors Luke Eustice (125) and Tyler Nixt (174) both placed second in their respective weight classes at the 2002 Midlands. Both are listed as title favorites as their 2002 opponents have either changed weight classes or will not be competing. Northern Iowa's Dylan Long is the defending champion at 141 pounds, but Hawkeye senior Cliff Moore recently defeated him by a 15-4 major decision. Several other Hawkeyes are listed among the favorites at their respective weight classes.

Former Hawkeye Head Coach Dan Gable will be one of 17 former Midlands competitors who have won Olympic Gold medals honors. He has also been named the honorary tournament director.

Iowa won its 18th team title and crowned two individual champions at the 40th annual Midlands Championships in Evanston, IL. Iowa scored 129.5 team points, beating runner-up Ohio State (96.5).

Sophomore Steve Mocco claimed his second individual title at heavyweight, while senior Jessman Smith won his first title at 184 pounds. Mocco won his 50th career collegiate match with a 4-2 win over Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands in the finals. Mocco scored the most team points (29) of the 363 Midlands competitors, and led all wrestlers with the most number of pins in the quickest time (three in 5:13) and the quickest fall of the tournament (16 seconds). Smith, who defeating Cornell's Clint Wattenberg, 6-5 in the finals, scored 28 team points for the Hawkeyes.

Hawkeye Assistant Coach Joe Williams won his ninth consecutive Midlands title, a tournament record, with a 6-3 decision over Iowa junior Tyler Nixt at 174 pounds. Williams holds Midlands records for most career wins (50), consecutive wins (46), consecutive placements (10), number of titles won at 174 pounds (6), and number of wins at 174 pounds (30).

Nixt and junior Luke Eustice (125) were runners-up, while Hawkeye junior Cliff Moore (133) and redshirt freshman Ty Eustice (149) both placed fifth.


No. 12 Ohio State Wrestling Prepares for 41st Annual Midlands
Buckeyes compete in prestigious tournament against the nation's top wrestlers from roughly 60 teams, including 12 from the latest Top 25 rankings.
Pat Kindig

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State wrestling team (3-0, 0-0) exited the 2003 Clarion Duals with three victories in its first dual competition of the season Dec. 14 in Clarion, Pa. Ohio State defeated Drexel, Clarion and Kent State to establish their perfect 3-0 mark. Three Buckeyes contributed to the flawless debut as seniors Tommy Rowlands, Blake Kaplan and John Clark dominated their weight classes with title-winning performances.
Ohio State next travels to Evanston, Ill. to conclude the early tournament segment of their schedule and compete with a bevy of the nation's top collegiate and amateur wrestlers at the 41st annual Midlands Tournament on the campus of Northwestern University Monday, Dec. 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 30.

The Midlands Tournament is a two-day event which commences at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29 and climaxes at the 7 p.m. finals Dec. 30. Three of the top-five wrestling squads in the United States, including top-ranked Iowa, look to maintain their rankings throughout the all-day matchups.

The Midlands Schedule
Dec. 29
Session 1: 9:30 a.m.
Session 2: 7 p.m.
Dec. 30
Session 3: 12 p.m.
Session 4: 7 p.m.

Seniors Tommy Rowlands and John Clark both will vie for their first career Midlands crown as No. 1 seeds Dec. 29 and 30. Rowlands enters as the favorite at HWT and hopes to boost his unblemished 17-0 season mark en route to the title.
Clark was named the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds after taking third in the 2002 competition.

Two more Buckeyes earned seeds as 184 Blake Kaplan rests in the No. 3 spot with a current record of 17-1 and two tournament titles, while Jeff Ratliff aims at his second tourney crown of the season as the No. 10 seed at 141 pounds.

Ohio State assistant coaches Mitch Clark and Ken Ramsey are among the competing field in the 2003 Midlands Tournament. Ramsey, in his 10th season with OSU, is seeded at No. 6 in the 165-pound class, while M. Clark, who forfeited a match against Rowlands in the semifinals in the 2002 event, is listed at No. 3 in the HWT division.

Clark, in his sixth season as a Buckeye assistant and the older brother of J. Clark, is a past Midlands champion at 197 pounds in 1998, while Ramsey claimed the 1992 title.

With his title at the Las Vegas Invite, senior Tommy Rowlands earned his third tournament crown in as many events. The Las Vegas title is added to the Michigan State Open and the Oklahoma Gold Classic first-place performances. Rowlands also won the Michigan State Open and Oklahoma Gold Classic in 2002. Rowlands will vie for his fourth tourney crown this season and his first Midlands title Dec. 29 and 30.

The Buckeyes will face some of the nation's most acclaimed wrestling squads, including Iowa, which won its eighth Midlands title in the last 13 years at the 2002 tournament. Iowa will be joined by Illinois (No. 4/No. 1) and Iowa State (No. 3/No. 4), and roughly 60 other squads in double-elimination format.
Luke Eustice of Iowa emerged this season as the new favorite in the 125 pound-weight class after Cornell's Travis Lee jumped to 133 pounds Lee is the NCAA reigning champion at 125 lbs. Others testing Lee in his new weight class are Zach Robertson of Iowa State and Penn State's Josh Moore. Northern Iowa's 141 Dylan Long aims to preserve his undefeated Midlands record. This class is deep with 13 of the top 20 collegians expected to compete, as well as long-time veteran Dwight Hinson of Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, who has 28 Midlands career wins and six places.

At 149, Cornell's Dustin Manotti, wrestles for his second-straight title. Manotti is ranked No. 2 behind Jesse Jantzen of Harvard.

The 157 class appears to be the youngest in the meet, with one exception; Chris Bono (Sunkist), a three-time champion and 31 Midlands match winner, is considered the veteran and top seed. Ohio State's 165 John Clark is a top contender in his weight class, while Zach Doll of Pittsburgh and Iowa State's Nick Passolano also will compete along with the Ohio State senior.

Nine-time champion Joe Williams won the 174 weight class six-straight times but has indicated he will not compete in 2003. The runner-up in 2002, Tyler Nixt (Iowa), could be the successor to Williams but will be challenged by Eric Hauan (Northern Iowa), Noel Thompson (Hofstra) and Pete Freidl (Illinois), among others.

Northern Illinois' 184 Ben Heizer is the only placewinner in his class returning from last year. He will have to watch out for Ohio State's Blake Kaplan, Greg Jones (West Virginia) and Brian Glynn (Illinois).

Defending champion Jon Trenge (Lehigh) will return to the 197-lb.-weight class. Trenge has won 16 Midlands matches in his first three tournaments.

Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands and Penn State's Pat Cummins lead the heavyweights. Rowlands was second a year ago while Cummins placed 5th.
Ohio State assistant coach and former Midlands champion Mitch Clark is listed at No. 3 behind Rowlands and Cummins.

No. 5-ranked Buckeyes completed a stellar 2002 tournament season as Ohio State claimed a second place finish at the 40th annual Midlands Championships held at Northwestern. The Buckeyes tallied a tournament team total of 96.5 points falling just behind Midlands team champion No. 2 Iowa (129.5) in a Big Ten-dominated final leader board that also featured fourth-place Illinois and fifth-place Penn State.

Leading the way for the Buckeye squad was senior 157 Keaton Anderson, who claimed his third title in four events. In the quarterfinals, Anderson scored a tight 4-2 win over No. 12 David Bolyard of Central Michigan, which advanced him to the semifinals where Anderson pinned No. 8 Derek Jenkins of Rider at the 5:58 mark of the match. Anderson attained his third tournament title of 2002 with a 9-6 win over No. 4 Gray Maynard of Michigan State.

Rowlands claimed his second runner-up finish of 2002 as he pushed through to the semis with a 7-3 decision over Michigan's Greg Wagner in round one, a dominating 15-0 technical fall in the round of 16 over Jack Dennis of Northern Illinois and a 6-5 ledger over No. 7 Pat Cummins of Penn State in the quarterfinals. Rowlands was set to do battle with current Ohio State assistant coach and former national champion Mitch Clark in the semifinals, but Clark was forced to default. Seeking another title in the finals, Rowlands met Iowa's Steve Mocco in a rematch of the 2002 heavyweight national championship match and fell by a 4-2 decision.
John Clark earned a fourth-place finish as he first maneuvered his way into semifinal competition with a 7-3 win in the first round, a 3-2 edge in the round of 16 and a 10-4 triumph in the quarterfinals before falling to Joe Hesketh, competing with Sunkist Kids, via fall at the 5:46 mark of the match. Clark was unable to rebound in the third place match as he fell to Lehigh's Troy Letters (No. 5) by a final tally of 8-3.

Jeff Ratliff also advanced through the initial four rounds as he combined a major decision and technical fall in the first two sessions with a 6-3 decision in the round of 16 and a 9-3 decision in the quarterfinals. On Sunday, Ratliff fell in the semifinals via a 7-1 decision at the hands of 5th-ranked Dylan Long of Northern Iowa, while ultimately placing sixth amongst the tournament field as Ratliff dropped a 11-6 ledger to Central Michigan's Derek Phillips in the fifth place match.

The Ohio State wrestling team, which completed the 2002-03 season with a 12-7 overall dual mark and a Top 15 finish at the NCAA championships, once again has been recognized among the Top 15 in the nation by numerous amateur wrestling publications as the team competes through the early tournament session of its season.

Overall, the Buckeyes are slotted as high as the No. 12 position by the WrestlingMall, while placing 13th in both the W.I.N. Magazine and the NWCA coaches poll, respectively.

Six separate Buckeyes rank within the Top 20 of their weight class in at least one of the major polls. Highlighting the Ohio State lineup is 2002 heavyweight champion and three-time All-American senior Tommy Rowlands, who tops the Amateur Wrestling News and W.I.N. Magazine rankings, while placing second in the Wrestling Mall polls.

Blake Kaplan, who wrestled at 174 in 2002-03, has jumped a weight class and climbed as high as No. 2 in the latest wrestlingmall.com poll after winning two tournaments and all three of his dual matches in the early going this season. Kaplan finds himself ranked as the No. 5 wrestler at 184 by A.W.N. and W.I.N.
Two other seniors fall into the Top 10 in 141 Jeff Ratliff and All-American 165 John Clark. Ratliff, who is approaching the 100-win plateau, is ranked No. 7 by TWM and No. 11 by W.I.N. Magazine. Clark, who is wrestling at 165 pounds for the fourth season, is slotted at No. 8 in all recognized polls.

Freshman 197 J.D. Bergman recently made a dramatic jump in the AWN rankings. Previously holding the No. 20 position, he now is slotted at No. 10.

The Ohio State wrestling team begins their home season with the Buckeye Duals held at Ohio State's own historic St. John Arena. Invited to the duals are Bloomsburg, Buffalo, Eastern Illinois, Indiana and Lehigh. The all-day affair will take place on Jan. 3, with session I beginning at 11 a.m.


Dec. 22, 2003
Jeff Romero

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Chattanooga wrestlers Josh and Michael Keefe are both ranked among the top three nationally in wrestling victories in their respective weight classes.

Josh ranks second at 141 pounds with a 17-6 overall mark, while twin brother Michael is third at 133 pounds with a 13-9 record. The Keefes are from Ringgold, Ga.

Jake Yost improved his national ranking in InterMat's NCAA Division I Rankings by moving from No. 20 to No. 19 in the 157-pound class. Yost, of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., is tied for first in his division in number of victories with a 16-7 record.

Sophomore Matt Pitts, from Calhoun, Ga., remained at No. 14 in the rankings at 125 pounds. Pitts is one of only three Southern Conference wrestlers ranked among the nations top 15. Two Citadel wrestlers also have that distinction.

The Mocs will compete at the Midlands in Evanston, Ill., Dec. 29-30.


December 23, 2003

1. Efren Ceballos CS Bakersfield
2. Christian Staylor Arizona State
3. Eric Stevenson Oregon State
4. Vic Moreno Cal Poly
5. Tom Schurkamp UC Davis

1. Darrel Vasquez Cal Poly
2. Mike Simpson Arizona State
3. Jason Harless Oregon
4. Matt Sanchez CS Bakersfield
5. Derek Moore UC Davis

1. Brad Metzler Stanford
2. Jesse Brock Boise State
3. Jeff Bristol UC Davis
4. Roberto Vargas CS Bakersfield
5. Steve Esparza Cal Poly

1. Patrick Williams Arizona State
2. Matt Cox Cal Poly
3. Brett Gordon CS Fullerton
4. Kevin Jones UC Davis
5. Cyle Hartzell Oregon

1. Matt Gentry Stanford
2. Brian Stith Arizona State
3. Joey Bracamonte Oregon
4. Brian Cobb CS Bakersfield
5. Ben Cherrington Boise State

1. Matt Ellis Oregon State
2. Luke Larwin Oregon
3. Mike Font UC Davis
4. Russell Brunson Boise State
5. Christian Arellano Cal Poly

1. Jed Pennell Oregon State
2. Ron Renzi Arizona State
3. Imad Kharbush Stanford
4. Leonel Sanchez CS Fullerton
5. Jon Carlisle Boise State

1. Ryan Halsey Cal Poly
2. Brandon Bear UC Davis
3. Nick Frost Arizona State
4. Dan Pitsch Oregon State
5. Casey Phelps Boise State

1. Ryan Bader Arizona State
2. Matt Monteiro CS Bakersfield
3. KC Walsh Boise State
4. Landon Seefeldt CS Fullerton
5. Ralph Garcia Cal Poly

1. Cain Velasquez Arizona State
2. Jacob McGinnis Boise State
3. Jamie Rakevich Oregon State
4. Cody Parker Oregon
5. Dan Howe Cal Poly


Now this is what Title IX was meant to do.

A lawsuit was filed by a group of women wrestlers who were kicked off the wrestling team at the University of California at Davis solely because they were women.

After three of them had already been wrestling at UC Davis, and one had enrolled there in hopes of joining the wrestling team, university officials decided in 2001 that the wrestling team could only be composed of men. UC Davis also did not set up a women's wrestling team. They even fired the long-time coach, Michael Burch, even though he had built a successful and winning program there and had been named UC Davis Coach of the Year in both 1997 and 2001, the year of his firing. Burch was outspoken in defense of these women having the right to wrestle.

Kristen Galles, the attorney for the four women as well as Burch in a separate suit, issued a statement that said, 'Intercollegiate athletics provide educational benefits not available in the classroom. These women lost a very important part of their college experience when they lost wrestling. They filed this law suit to get those opportunities back and to make sure that future UC-Davis students will be able to enjoy them also.' An article about this case which she co-authored also noted the absurdity of this situation coming at a time when women's wrestling will be the only new sport added to the 2004 Olympics.

For that article, entitled 'Female Wrestlers Sue University of California-Davis for Title IX Violations' by Kristen Galles and Nancy Solomon, go to:



Ya it was a good idea in theory but very poorly exucuted. Oh well that is life in PC America.