Hawkeye fans are in for some good news, as today the University of Iowa announced in a press release that freshman Sam Stoll will be competing at the Junior World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin this Friday. Stoll is the only Hawkeye that will be represented at the Junior Trials, but he will join six former Hawkeyes wrestling in the Senior division.
This has pretty big implications for a couple reasons, and we’ll start with the most pressing. With the graduation of Bobby Telford (he is joining the Hawkeye Wrestling Club by the way), Stoll is the only Hawkeye who is a true heavyweight that is returning from the 2014-15 roster. Replacing Telford will be no easy task, after the Delaware native capped off his career a four year starter for the Hawkeyes, with three All-American honors and was ranked in the top ten for almost the entirety of his career.
Stoll is a renowned Greco-Roman wrestler for his age group, winning the 2013 Junior World Team Trials and later a World medal. He was dethroned last year by Adam Coon, and with the Greco Trials being held in Las Vegas last month, he never had an opprotunity to make the Greco team again. Making the freestyle team should be near the top of Hawkeye fans wish list in Madison, as hopefully Stoll has developed leg attacks that make a wrestler successful in freestyle. The hope is that Stoll being able to score from neutral in freestyle, will be able to translate over into folkstyle.
Hawkeye fans have long wondered exactly what kind of wrestler Stoll will be in college. Stoll is a known quantity in Greco-Roman on the national stage, but by entering into freestyle we can maybe get an early glimpse into what he will look like next year in the Hawkeye lineup – which is in the process of replacing five seniors. Feeling confident in Telford’s replacement would go a long ways into comforting Hawkeye fans that their team is very much alive for the 2016 NCAA team title.