Tonight I was doing some research and came across yet another example of how, back in the "old days" of college wrestling, wrestlers could seemingly jump up or down a weight class or two for a particular match, then go back to their "regular" weight class.

The example I found tonight was during the 1957-58 season. Iowa's Gary Kurdelmeier (head Hawkeye coach in the early 70s) normally wrestled at 177 (and, in fact, won the 177 NCAA title in '58)... but when the Univ of Illinois came to Iowa City that season, Kurdelmeier moved up to heavyweight to take on the defending champ Bob Norman. I don't know the score, but it was Kurdelmeier's only loss of the regular season...

Another example is Larry Owings at the 1970 NCAAs, who dropped two weight classes with one expressed purpose: To beat Dan Gable... and make some history.

Nowadays, the rules make these kinds of changes near impossible... Even a one-weight-class-step-up as Missouri did with its upper-weight guys in the 2007 Nat Duals finals vs Minnesota seemed to be HUGE news.

Was it better back in the day? Imagine how exciting it must have been for fans not to know who they'd be sending out at a particular weight class. Or are things better now, at least in terms of safety?

Old school fool,
Mark