Changing Weights: Were The Old School Rules Better?
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,
As for the safety of Owings dropping 2 weight classes, that would depend on his normal walking wait. What you don't know is whether he was wrestling light for his his normal weight class. If so, then shedding 5-6 lbs to go after Gable wasn't much of a safety issue.
Kurdelmeier bumped 2 weight classes to get to heavy, that is not all that unheard of. The outcome is pretty much self-explanatory given the loss. Nick Roy, Michigan, started the season at 171 but finished at 197 and got his first A-A designation. That's a pretty hefty in-season bump. Now you know he didn't pack on the extra poundage overnight.
For 3 years Roy was consistently ranked 4-8 for a good part of his first 3 seasons. Was always seeded for the NCAA and always found a way to lose before the medal round. It's a bit odd that he bumps 28 pounds and A-As from an unseeded position. Since he is a NJ boy, it was nice to see him walk away with a totally unexpected medal his senior year.
Last edited by RYou; 04-02-2007 at 07:29 PM.
As for Owings' walking-around weight, I think he was in the upper 160s or about 170. I remember reading that he was nicknamed "Tubby" in high school, but, once in college, was able to shed weight to make weight rather easily.
As for Kurdelmeier vs Bob Norman -- I assume it must have been a substitution by necessity, that the regular Hawk heavies were injured or sick. Also in this research I saw that roughly in the same era Iowa State heavyweight Jan Schwitters was hospitalized with the flu, so the 177 lb Bob Duvall made the trip to Oklahoma as the Cyclone big man, losing to the Cowboys' Ted Ellis and Sooners' Dale Lewis.
Bumping up is not that big of a deal to me but bumping down two weight classes that just seems to be too much of a risk. Most kids today I think are already cutting enough weight for their chosen class and to drop would be dangerous. One thing I would say is that there is no way someone goes from 184 to wrestle heavy for one match and stands a chance. The heavies are too bog these days.
i would hate to see a guy come down more than one weight class to take someone on...then there is always the "sucking weight" excuse...when you see a guy go up a weight class though, that is balls out...
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