Wrestling Notebook: Dziewa, Evans head home


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When Iowa heads east this weekend, seniors Josh Dziewa and Mike Evans will be back to their stomping grounds.

The reason, of course, is a pair of road duals that starts with Maryland on Friday and ends with Penn State on Feb. 8. Evans and Dziewa are from Pennsylvania, so their trip home is akin to adding gasoline to an already-lit bonfire.

“It’s important for those two guys to get close to home; last year we went to Lehigh and Edinboro on two different dates,” Brands said. “We try to go where our out-of-state kids are, and we’ll continue to do that as well.”

While Penn State and Maryland are Big Ten schools, that Iowa has wrestlers from the area still means something — especially to the wrestlers.

It certainly adds a bit of pressure, but they certainly look forward to the challenge.

“It’s exciting,” Dziewa said. “In the past, I’ve come up short — wrestled at Rutgers, came up short. So I’d like to put a show on for my family, score a lot of points and get a W — a big W and put some guys away.”

Wrestling, everywhere

When Iowa heads to the Eastern Time Zone this weekend, it’s another chance for an Iowa dual to set attendance records and generally be a really big deal.

In their dual against Rutgers on Jan. 2, the Hawkeyes broke a Rutgers record for attendance (which was, in fact, broken two weeks later in a dual with Penn State) and when Iowa heads to Maryland, it’s expected to be more of the same.

“They need a boost, and I’m sure they’re willing to take on high-powered visitors,” Brands said.

They aren’t the only school that needs one.

Recently, Fresno State announced it will reinstate the wrestling program.

“I think it’s the responsibility of big programs to go to places that need wrestling,” Brands said.

“There’s places out West that need it, California schools, Division I schools — Boise State — Arizona State doesn’t need much, but five years ago, it did.

“I think it is important to go out and showcase your program, but you’re also getting people in the area excited about the sport.”

Gilman wants to continue dominance

Since falling in the Midlands finals to Virginia Tech’s Joey Dance, 125-pounder Thomas Gilman has been on something of a hot streak.

He’s 6-0 over that span with five bonus-point victories. In fact, his only close match was against seventh-ranked Nathan Tomasello.

Impressive enough in its own right, but Gilman seeks more.

“I got to get to my offense, stay on my guy, break him,” he said. “I just have to go out there and enforce my will on him, take everything of his, and not give him anything. If I do that, then the scores are going to be pretty lopsided.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa wrestling team.

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