Monday, April 23, 2007

UI duo, Carew capture titles

By Andy Hamilton
Iowa City Press-Citizen

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The collegiate season didn't end the way Ryan Morningstar and Matt Fields wanted, but the offseason is off to a better start for the two Iowa wrestlers.

Morningstar and Fields captured titles Sunday at the University Freestyle Nationals in Akron, Ohio, while West High sophomore Dylan Carew won a Greco-Roman championship in the Cadet division.

Morningstar and Fields, both of whom got knocked out of the NCAA Tournament before they could get into medal contention, qualified for the World Team Trials with their performances this weekend.

Morningstar beat Central Michigan's Tyler Grayson 2-0, 2-0 in the 154.25-pound title match. Morningstar, who will be a sophomore for the Hawkeyes next season, gave up two points and one takedown in the tournament.

"I could've done a little better offensively, but I got it done," Morningstar said. "It's definitely a boost for me."

Fields, who has one more season of eligibility left at Iowa, won the 264.5-pound title by beating former Tennessee-Chattanooga heavyweight Israel Silva 1-0, 3-0.

"I haven't won a tournament for a while," Fields said. "It's nice to get a win under my belt."

Morningstar and Fields each said they entered the offseason with some focal points in mind.

"The main things I'm trying to focus on right now are one, finishing my shots right away, two, getting a good takedown from a controlled tie, and three, the bottom position," Morningstar said.

Fields is trying to regain the attacking mindset that helped him win a freestyle Junior National title in high school.

"I'm working on my offense, trying to get more offense going instead of being defensive," he said. "I'm trying to get my confidence up."

Three other current Hawkeyes were place-winners. Freshman Jake Kerr finished second at 174, dropping a 1-0, 5-0 decision to Lehigh's Mike Galante. Kerr also placed seventh in Greco-Roman.

Dan LeClere placed third at 145.5 and Daniel Dennis finished fourth at 132.25.

Carew's title was one of the highlights of the weekend for West High's tournament contingent. The Trojans had four place-winners, including Grant Gambrall (second in freestyle, third in Greco-Roman at 167.5), Nick Moore (fourth in freestyle at 138.75) and Derek St. John (sixth in freestyle at 152).

Carew, a Cadet Greco-Roman national champion last year, beat Derek Garcia of Washington, 11-2, 6-6, 5-0 in the 127.75 championship. He also placed fifth in freestyle at the same weight.

"In Greco, I thought I wrestled great," Carew said. "I thought I basically pounded everybody for the most part. I lost one period (6-6 in the finals) and I lost it because they got the score mixed up. It should've been 8-6."

Carew said he placed sixth in this tournament last year.

"I couldn't reverse-lift anybody with the new rules," he said. "By the time (Cadet Junior Nationals) came around, (by working at the position) with the Iowa (Greco-Roman team) coaches, I got good at it, and I had nine five-point throws this weekend."