Wrestlers anxious for the Iowa City Duals

BY J.T. BUGOS | NOVEMBER 20, 2009 7:21 AM

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The Iowa wrestling team will host the six-squad Iowa City Duals in Carver-Hawkeye Arena today looking to begin the season in dominating fashion.

The Hawkeyes will open at 10:30 a.m. against Coe College, ranked third in Division-III. Then at noon, Iowa will face off against Cornell College, which stands ninth in Division-III.

At 1:30 p.m., the Hawkeyes will grapple with Iowa Lakes Community College, which will be followed by a match against North Carolina-Pembroke at 3 p.m.

The Hawkeyes end the day against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at 5 p.m.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes are eager to get on the mat and extend their 38-match winning streak.

“I think we all have high expectations of ourselves in the duals” senior 197-pounder Chad Beatty said. “I think we’re all excited and ready to get going. We want to get wrestling, get on a roll, and start winning some matches.”

Iowa head coach Tom Brands said he sees his squad getting anxious to compete, and he’s looking for Iowa to begin to distancing itself from other highly ranked teams.

“I know our guys are looking forward to this,” the fourth-year head coach said. “Some of them have been cooped up. Some have competed in the off-season internationally, and those that haven’t are champing at the bit pretty good.”

Neither Beatty or senior 149-pounder Brent Metcalf are worried about underperforming in their first home matches.

Metcalf noted that the practice environment is much different than the competition environment, but the Hawkeyes have been training for competition and shouldn’t be fazed.

Beatty said the wrestle-offs were the coaching staff’s way of shaking the rust off the wrestlers. He said stepping onto the mat in front of a crowd inside the practice room, singlet on and shoes tied tight, prepared the team for competition.

Last year, the Hawkeyes won the national championship, but they weren’t satisfied after crowning nary an individual champion.

The team hopes the Iowa City Duals will be the starting point to a dominating season. Metcalf said the event could be a good momentum builder for both the team and individuals.

To walk out of Carver-Hawkeye with a feeling of domination, the wrestlers must compete to the level they are capable of. Metcalf said Iowa has a tough team that can put on a good show, but individuals must do what they expect out of themselves in order to walk out a winner.

Beatty agreed with his teammate, saying the team accolades will take care of themselves if individuals perform.

“I think we need to go out and attack and wrestle the way we all want to wrestle, which is aggressive, scoring points, and making it fun to watch,” Beatty said. “You don’t want to see a 2-1 match with people just standing around. You want to see action — hand-fighting and leg attacks.”

Five matches in one day can be daunting, but Beatty isn’t worried about the fatigue factor. The 197-pounder said the matches are a good way to start the season because it helps the wrestlers understand where they stand physically and mentally.

Metcalf also said the duals are a good way to begin the season, and he isn’t worried about the amount of matches either.

“I think part of the reason we have five matches is so that we can get through the grind,” he said. “It’ll be five matches on top of each other pretty quickly, but you don’t worry about that. You worry about your first match and go from there.”

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