Sunday, April 8, 2007

Williams tops former teammate

Iowa wrestlers battle in finals at U.S. Nationals meet in Las Vegas

By Andy Hamilton
Iowa City Press-Citizen

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Joe Williams is at a new weight, but he's still having the same old results at the U.S. Nationals.

The former Iowa star won his sixth freestyle title in Las Vegas by beating college teammate Lee Fullhart 0-1, 1-0, 1-0 Saturday night to claim the 185-pound title.

Fullhart won the first period with a takedown in the leg clinch position, but Williams won the last two periods, scoring on a pushout in the second period and notching a takedown early in the third to win his first title at 185 after years of success at the 163-pound class.

"It's a really big difference moving up a weight class, but I had to do it because I was having a really hard time making 163," Williams said. "Lee's a real tough competitor, and I knew it was going to be a real tough match."

It would've been hard to imagine 10 years ago that Williams and Fullhart would one day wrestle in the same freestyle weight class. Williams won his second of three NCAA titles in 1997 at 158 pounds, while Fullhart won the 190-pound title that year.

"I never thought that was a possibility, but with the way the weight classes are structured now, I ended up moving up and he ended up moving down," Williams said. "He's very strong and hard to score on."

Williams was the only ex-Hawkeye to capture gold Saturday night. Mike Zadick, the 2006 World silver medalist, dropped a 0-1, 3-0, 2-0 decision to Nate Gallick at 132 pounds.

"I've wrestled him a few times, (and) this is the third time in a row I've beaten him," Gallick said. "This is probably the toughest of the matches I've had with him. He is hard to score on."

Zadick won the first period on a takedown from the leg clinch. But Gallick scored two big moves late in the second and third periods to claim the match and an automatic spot in the finals of June's World Team Trials in Las Vegas.

"It was real big, not the win, but the fact that I get to sit out at the Trials puts me in a better situation to be on the World Team," Gallick said. "The past couple years I've been right there with the best guys in our weight class. I knew I wasn't that far behind the other guys."

Doug Schwab placed seventh at 145.5, while Iowa freshman Brent Metcalf dropped decisions against Eric Larkin and 2000 Olympian Cary Kolat and did not place.

Tommy Rowlands, a two-time NCAA champion at Ohio State, beat former Iowa heavyweight Steve Mocco on his way to the 264.5-pound title. Rowlands beat Mocco 1-0, 3-0 in the semifinals before he beat Minnesota's two-time NCAA champion Cole Konrad 3-2, 1-0 in the finals.

Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or

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