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Thread: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

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    Default In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008



    In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Dennis' weekend title displays depth of NCAA champs' stable

    http://www.hawkcentral.com/apps/pbcs...339/1053/HAWKS


    By Andy Hamilton
    Iowa City Press-Citizen







    The Iowa wrestling coaches knew last fall they would have one of the top wrestlers in the country at 133 pounds -- they just didn't know who it would be.

    Turns out the Hawkeyes have at least two of the nation's best at that weight.

    Daniel Dennis -- who missed nearly all of the Hawkeyes' national championship season after sustaining a broken jaw in November and watched teammate Joey Slaton reach the NCAA finals at 133 -- claimed a freestyle title Sunday at the University Nationals in Akron, Ohio.

    "University Nationals was kind of a step toward what I want to accomplish next year," Dennis said. "It's not the national title I want."

    The sophomore from Ingleside, Ill., emerged as the champion of a 132.25-pound bracket that featured three college All-Americans, including Iowa's Alex Tsirtsis. Dennis posted a 3-0, 3-0 victory in the finals against Michigan State's Franklin Gomez, the reigning Big Ten champion at 133 and No. 1 seed entering this year's NCAA Championships.

    Though his performance may have turned the heads of some wrestling followers, Dennis said he didn't need a championship-level outing to prove to himself he belongs with the nation's elite.

    "It definitely wasn't a question in my mind, and I don't think it was a question in our coaches' minds or anyone that's been training with me, but you can definitely look at it like that, and I know a lot of outsiders do," Dennis said. "I think I'm at the level where I should be competing with everyone at my weight."

    The Hawkeyes anticipated Dennis would be competing with Slaton for the starting job at the beginning of the season. But Dennis slammed into the knee of teammate Montell Marion during the week leading up to the team's wrestle-offs.

    Slaton, also a sophomore, seized the starting job and produced a sparkling season, going 36-5 and placing second in the country. Meanwhile, Dennis, after learning his odds of receiving a medical hardship were virtually nil, wrestled in one match. He won a 6-3 decision against Boise State's Cory Fish, who came one victory from earning All-America honors.

    "I watch him in the room and he's really capable, he's unbelievably strong," Iowa assistant Doug Schwab said. "But there's a difference between holding position and trying to maybe win a workout or stay even in a workout and trying to dominate a workout. There's a huge difference in that. If he gets to doing those things, it's going to be one hell of a battle for that weight class. I love that we have all kinds of guys who believe in themselves that they can win and win at a high level. It just makes the room tougher."

    Iowa's practice room -- already a stable of studs at the light weights -- should get even better in the fall with the arrival of freshmen Nate Moore, Matt McDonough and Mark Ballweg, creating yet more competition for starting spots.

    "We talk about it -- iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another," Schwab said. "It's been a while since we've seen that kind of depth, and I think it's just a testament to the guys believing in what we're doing, believing in the system, and they're feeling a difference probably more than anything. They can tell when they go out to compete that they're ready and they're prepared."

    That environment could create the most compelling intra-squad meet in years, especially at 133.

    "You can't count any one of us out," Dennis said. "Montell is real tough and he's getting a lot better. I think we could have the first, second and third guys if we could all compete at nationals. What order that goes in could vary every time, but we have three kids who are tough as hell at that weight, and I think we can do well with whoever's in the lineup. But I think if you change one of us to a different school and our support has gone away and we're taking away from what the starter is going to be. I think it's real vital that we're all in the room together because we're all feeding off each other, and I think that helps out a lot."

    The Hawkeyes won't be able to fit all of their highly skilled wrestlers into the lineup. Somebody will have watch at 133, find another weight or transfer to claim a starting position. Dennis has heard about the Internet message board chatter suggesting he should leave Iowa.

    "That's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "For me to transfer, I think that would be the dumbest thing I could do. That would definitely hurt me, I think it would hurt Slaton, I think it would hurt Montell, I think it would hurt Charlie Falck and I think it would hurt everyone that we're in the room wrestling with. We all feed off each other, and I couldn't make a worse decision. That would be absolutely stupid and I would never think about doing that."

    • The NCAA champion Iowa wrestling team will be recognized before the start of the Hawkeye football spring practice/scrimmage Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The team, which won both an NCAA and Big Ten championship this season, will be introduced at about 1 p.m.


    Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or ahamilton@press-citizen.com.
    Last edited by Wiltz; 04-16-2008 at 09:59 AM.
    RIP Jacob Schlottke; KR1963 and rpayton




  2. #2

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Awsome article. It's hard to believe that he could beat Slaton, but if he is better I hope he gets the chance. It's great to see the quality of depth in the Iowa wrestling room is back. GO HAWKS!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    I like his attitude but I actually think its a little silly to be an AA caliber wrestler and ride the pine for two more years as well.

    Tough decisions ahead at Iowa but give the program credit for putting itself in a position to have these kinds of LOADED STABLE problems.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  4. #4

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Quote Originally Posted by goferphan View Post
    I like his attitude but I actually think its a little silly to be an All American caliber wrestler and ride the pine for two more years as well.

    Tough decisions ahead at Iowa but give the program credit for putting itself in a position to have these kinds of LOADED STABLE problems.

    It may seem a bit silly, but if your asperations are beyond the college level it might suit you better to stay there with better workout partners to get you ready for international competition. Also, he probably thinks he will be the varsity wrestler at 133 next year. I personally would love to see him at 133 and Slaton at 141. I think that would be the best scenario for our team. There is a log jam at 133 and 141 for Iowa and no matter what two very good wrestlers are going to have to sit on the bench.

  5. #5
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Quote Originally Posted by Herkey#1 View Post
    It may seem a bit silly, but if your asperations are beyond the college level it might suit you better to stay there with better workout partners to get you ready for international competition. Also, he probably thinks he will be the varsity wrestler at 133 next year. I personally would love to see him at 133 and Slaton at 141. I think that would be the best scenario for our team. There is a log jam at 133 and 141 for Iowa and no matter what two very good wrestlers are going to have to sit on the bench.
    Do you think Slaton can beat Leclere or tshirt-Dennis just STOMPED gomez so Slaton might be the odd man out .

  6. #6

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Quote Originally Posted by r.payton@att.net View Post
    Do you think Slaton can beat Leclere or tshirt-Dennis just STOMPED gomez so Slaton might be the odd man out .
    Denis stomped Gomez in a freestyle match. They wrestle folkstyle in college. To answer your question I think that Slaton could beat LeClere, but I'm not sure about Tsirtsis. I think it would be a good go. Whatever happens I know one thing. The Best guys on the team that aren't redshirting will be in the lineup. I don't care who it is as long as they are the top guys.

  7. #7
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Hmmm, obviously the author is not a metalurgist, or slightly knowledeable of the science because a like metal can't sharpen another identical metal. the abrasion actually dulls both because the equal density.

  8. #8

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    Re: the idea that Dennis or one of the others should transfer if they are not going to start, it only takes one season-ending injury and the kid riding the pine gets his chance. Look at what happened at 165 last year -- Perry hurts his knee, and 2 guys get multiple starts. What if Perry hadn't been able to come back for Big 10s and Nationals? Either Kerr or Janssen gets a chance to qualify for nationals.

  9. #9

    Default Re: In UI wrestling room, 'iron sharpens iron'

    So in essence, two like metals, going at each other every day over time will wear the other down. I can actually see this happening.

    I predict some transfers either this year or next.
    Last edited by goferphan; 04-15-2008 at 08:34 PM.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

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