Commentary: Wrestling domination exciting to watch

BY J.T. BUGOS | DECEMBER 01, 2009 7:20 AM

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Not even a month into the season, that word has continually appeared in my articles about Iowa wrestling, and unfortunately, it is short on usable synonyms (examples include: commanding, domineering, and my favorite, tyrannize).

But those synonyms don’t convey the same message that dominant does.

So I will continue to use dominant, and for good reason: The 2009-10 Iowa wrestling team hopes its season can be defined using just that one word.

All throughout media day, the message from both coaches and grapplers was clear. The Hawkeyes won’t settle for anything less than obliterating their opponents.

That will make the wrestling team the most exciting thing to watch in Iowa City throughout the frigid winter months.

Football’s miraculous and nearly heart-stopping season is down to one game.

Basketball has been as big of a disappointment as Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane (although, I remain convinced that movie was intended to be a comedy; in which case, bravo Mr. Jackson?).

In just one day of competition during the Iowa City Duals, the wrestling team quintupled the win total of Iowa men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter’s squad to that date.

In fact, all 10 Hawkeyes who participated in the duals had as many or more pins than the basketball team did wins on the day of the meet.

Now, this isn’t meant to tear down the basketball team, which is young and going through growing pains but rather is an endorsement for the wrestling squad.

In the Iowa City Duals, the Hawkeyes had 50 matches.

They won 49.

Of those 49 wins, the majority (25) were by pins. Nine came by technical fall and seven were by major decision. Nine others were by decision.

Two grapplers, seniors Brent Metcalf and Jay Borschel, pinned all five of their opponents. Metcalf did so in 992 seconds, or roughly 161⁄2 minutes.

Borschel bested his teammate by flattening his competition in an astounding 498 seconds, a little more than eight minutes, including a 13-second pin in his last match.

That dominance gave Iowa five wins on the day. Four were shutouts.

The Hawkeyes outscored their opponents by a total of 246-3 in the duals. Iowa’s lone loss of the day was a 4-3 decision from junior Jake Kerr. But Kerr lost that match in the last 30 seconds, and then went out and pinned his next two opponents.

Essentially, Iowa’s second-string heavyweight, sophomore Jordan Johnson, filling in for the injured Dan Erekson, pinned three of his opponents — one in 47 seconds.

No opponent will be given mercy by any Iowa grappler this year.

Expect many opponents to walk off the mat with a look of dejection while a Hawkeye hand is raised.

But don’t expect the Hawkeye to be smiling as his arm is lifted.

A smile means he is satisfied. Iowa won’t be unless the team is standing behind a third-consecutive national championship trophy on March 20, 2010, with gold medals around the necks of 10 individuals.

Last year’s national championship did not end completely happily for the Hawkeyes, and this year their motivation is fueled by that disappointment.

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