Iowa Wrestling media day notebook: Burak looking for more


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Last season, Nathan Burak narrowly missed out on earning All-American status at the end of his first year as a Hawkeye. Fewer than nine months removed from a loss in the Round of 12 at the 2013 NCAA championships, the 197-pounder is ready to pick up where he left off.

For the Colorado Springs native, keys to the 2013-14 campaign include confidence and using the experience from last year’s NCAA Tournament run to attain his goal — an NCAA championship.

“I use [experience] a lot of times in matches throughout the year that I think would help at NCAAs just to realize that I can beat a lot of those tough guys, I just have to go out there and do it,” Burak said.  “And then just kind of widening and spreading the gap to my opponents.”

Head coach Tom Brands is pleased by what he has seen from the sophomore in the off-season.

“He’s picked up where he left off,” Brands said on Thursday. “He was strongest at the end of the year. He seemed to get better every time out for the most part, made good progress.”

Battle at 125

While Intermat has redshirt sophomore Cory Clark ranked No. 4 at 125 pounds, Brands left the battle open between Clark and redshirt sophomore Thomas Gilman. He said the two create an interesting matchup — Clark wrestles with a wide-open style, Gilman is more controlled.

The man above them at 133 pounds, Tony Ramos, added to his coach’s comments about their contrasting styles, saying he doesn’t understand the differences between the two.

It confuses the heck out of me when I wrestle with them because I struggle with one more than the other,” he said. “When they wrestle, the results are different so I don’t get it."

Regardless of who opens the season as the starter, Gilman enjoys having such a highly ranked grappler to compete with in the practice room.

The Council Bluffs native said he is competitive by nature, but having Clark in the same weight class pushes him to another level.

“It’s ultra-motivating,” Gilman said. “When I have someone else nipping at my heels, or it’s like a horse race, you know, you look to the side and he’s right there. I mean, maybe if I don’t feel like getting up in the morning or coming in [the wrestling room] late at night and getting a workout in, I think about, ‘What did he do today?’ ”

Luther Open Added

The Iowa Athletics Department announced at media day that the Luther Open has been added to the 2013 schedule.

The Hawkeyes will send a squad to Decorah on Nov. 16. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will essentially take the place of wrestle offs, which help determine starting lineups.

“We’ll have some situations in the wrestling room, but it will be more closed door and not official,” Brands said. “Luther will tell us a lot.”

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