A quick catch up on things that have happened in the last week or so in case you have missed any of the news.
Of course you have probably heard that Brent Metcalf and Tony Ramos won the World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin and will be representing Team USA at the World Championships, but you might not have heard about Matt McDonough challenging for the Universities spot. Nahshon Garrett was the University Nationals champion at 57 KG where he won a best of three finals against David Terao. A best of three finals will take place at the Arizona State University on June 23 where McDonough will not only try and earn his World Team Spot, but also do it against an opponent who thwarted his chances of being a four time finalist in college. If McDonough wins that match there could be four former Hawkeyes on a World Team, with Gilman making the Junior Team.
Yesterday two of the most prized recruits in the upcoming recruiting class made their announcement of where they would be continuing their wrestling careers. Anthony and Zahid Valencia of California announced they will be joining former Team USA national freestyle coach Zeke Jones at Arizona State. It makes sense given the proximity the school has to the Valencia’s home state, and they would be joining a coach who has great knowledge of what wrestlers need to do to prepare for the senior level. While it would have been nice to slot Zahid at 157 and Anthony at 174 for the next four years of the Iowa lineup the reality is that they both probably came at the price of substantial scholarship money. Perhaps by not committing so much money to two wrestlers will allow the Brands brothers to make a run a Fredy Stroker?
Jason Bryant over at The Open Mat did a really good podcast with Tony Ramos after he made the World team. Tony talks about the influence his wife-to-be playing a significant role in him competing at the World Team Trials. Tony has the attitude that if you are an Iowa fan you love, and if you aren’t you hate him. He makes a really good point that whether you love him or hate him it’s good for the sport of wrestling because it bring attention to it. I found it to be a really good listen and if you are bored at work, plug some headphones in and give it a whirl. Bryant is also planning on doing an Interview with Brent Metcalf and if you are interested in asking Metcalf a question yourself, follow this link to submit your question.
Dan Gable will be on the radio program “On The Mat” Wednesday, June 11th. The program will be on 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. with the Cubs having a day game. A link to 1650AM The Fan and on the left hand side you can see where to click to listen live if you don’t happen to get 1650 on your radio dial.
World Team Trials for Greco will be taking place this weekend . Former UNI wrestler Jordan Holm 85 KG is the only wrestler with Iowa ties registered so far. Trackwrestling should be be able to provide updates, but Flo will be providing the stream if you subscribe to Flo Pro.
Don’t forget to support the two high school wrestlers who are looking for help on their trip to represent Team USA and Iowa at the Cadet World Championships in Slovakia. Carter Happel and Drew West are two great young men and I hope you take the time to help them support their dream.
Finally, Andy Hamilton posted a nice article on Hawk Central last week about the changes in freestyle, and while it has gotten better since the days of the ball drops, there needs to be some tweaks. Notably in the changes that Hamilton points to are the “almost takedown” rule and criteria. It’s hard to argue against Hamilton with the phantom takedown rule. For a sport that is trying to make it so the casual fan can easily understand the rules, having a way to score based on almost scoring isn’t going to help.
Hamilton also pointed out that Bo Nickal won a match at the International Junior Champions Tournament and didn’t realize he won on criteria until after the ref raised his hand. Another hard point to argue Hamilton on as an overtime can run the risk of wrestling running over it’s time slots for competition, so he suggests having a way to denote criteria so at least fans sitting watching the action would have some way of knowing who is actually winning. If you watched the Team Trials on Flo you might have heard the announcers talk about the score flashing for the wrestler who held criteria. Since I was watching from home, I decided to reach out to Hamilton on Twitter and he replied:
@RossIAWrestle They did that at times last weekend. It hasn't been the norm.
— Andy Hamilton (@Andy_Hamilton) June 5, 2014
Freestyle certainly has gotten better with the recent rule changes, so having the wrestler’s score who holds criteria flashing could really help bring down the confusion.
If you have any thoughts feel free to drop them below.