The University of Northern Iowa will host the annual UNI Open in the UNI-Dome this Saturday. About twenty teams are signed up to compete, with Michigan State being the only other DI team bringing their entire squad.
For UNI, the tournament comes at a good time for some wrestlers and a not so good time for others. Coach Doug Schwab talked about wrestlers being healthy beyond December.
“We probably won’t wrestle everybody. We have to make sure that we get guys healthy and keep them healthy for the entire season. That’s more important.”
There has not been any official word on whether Dylan Peters will wrestle this weekend or not. Peters wrestled in the quarterfinals of last weekends Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, but then injury defaulted to 6th place.
“I’m the last guy that will bow guys out of tournaments,” Schwab said. “But you have to be smart, and have a bigger picture. Did I want Dylan Peters to wrestle the rest of that tournament? Yes I did, but we’re getting him ready for March. That’s what’s most important right now.
The tournament comes at a good time for some wrestlers who have yet to secure a starting spot in the lineup. Schwab talked specifically about 141, 149, and 197 pounds as being “up in the air.” He has been adamant, even before the season started, about guys wanting to be the starter and taking that spot and not letting go.
“If you look at our lineup right now there’s probably some weight classes where you’re like, ‘well, who’s going to step up here?’ And I’m doing the same thing, so that’ll be a good test for some of our guys.”
Jake Hodges and Jesse Etherington will both be on the mat 141, looking to secure that starting spot. Hodges has been the guy so far this season but look for Etherington to challenge him. Adam Perrin will be right there with both of them this weekend looking to earn his way back to the lineup.
149 is another weight that is up in the air. Zach Witte’s starting spot in the lineup is being threatened by Gunnar Wolfensperger and Tanner Hiatt. It’s also a three way race at 197, Jared Bartel has had the starting spot so far this year, but Cody Krumwiede and Basil Minto want that spot back too.
“We’re going to put a guy forward here this weekend, and then we’ll get ready to take those guys out to New York,” Schwab said.” “This weekend will settle a little bit of what we’re going to take out to New York and then we get our Christmas break.”
Fellow MAC squad and number 5 ranked Missouri is also expected to bring a lot of wrestlers, which may set up some preview bouts of what is to come later in the season for both UNI and Missouri. As of Wednesday though Missouri does not have any starters signed up for the tournament.
The only other opponent who is on UNI’s dual schedule this year is Iowa Central CC. The Panthers won that dual 38-6 in the home opener.
A list of all the teams that are attending (so far) are below. Not all the squads have their wrestlers registered already though, so the lineups may change a little bit between now and Saturday.
There are quite a few Iowa schools attending this weekend. Follow along on the Twitter @IAWrestle for live updates from the UNI Open throughout the day. We will also try and post results in this thread after each round as well.
Schools in attendance this Saturday:
Campbell University (North Carolina)
Ellsworth Community College
Grand View College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa Western Community College
University of Iowa
Minnesota State Mankato
North Dakota State
South Dakota State
Southern Illinois Edwardsville