Saturday, June 16, 2007

Zadick, Schwab inspiring Hawks

By Andy Hamilton
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Doug Schwab and Mike Zadick haven't wrestled for Iowa in more than five years now, but their performances on the mat are still having an effect on the Hawkeyes.

Schwab reserved his spot on the U.S. freestyle World Team last weekend in Las Vegas, and Zadick will have a chance in August to qualify for the team.

For the two Iowa assistants, it's an opportunity to reach the highest level in the sport and attain the goal Tom Brands has stressed since he became the Hawkeye head coach last April.

For Iowa, it's something else to feed the monster Brands is trying to grow.

"It's a start; it's a step," Brands said. "Individual championships are what it's all about. The team will take care of itself, and how you get individual championships is you have everybody in the room working for one cause and they're all tight and supporting each other. Doug Schwab and Mike Zadick create a good training environment in here, and the younger guys reap the benefits of that, and they get tougher. Then in return, Schwab and Zadick also reap the benefits of it back. ... It's a monster that keeps building."

Zadick will wrestle Aug. 16 at a site to be determined against Nate Gallick in a best-of-three series for the 132-pound spot on the U.S. World Team. Gallick, who wrestled collegiately at Iowa State, was granted a special extension for the championship series after suffering an injury that an Iowa State press release described as a "stress fracture."

The winner of the series will join Schwab, former Hawkeye Joe Williams and four others on the U.S. freestyle team Sept. 15-24 at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Zadick claimed the silver medal last year at the World Championships in China. This will be Schwab's first appearance on a U.S. World Team. Iowa freshman Jake Kerr qualified for the FILA Junior World Championships Aug. 21-26 in Beijing.

"I think it starts to put (the Iowa program) back on top where we want it to be," Schwab said. "I think when these young guys see guys having success by working through the system and believing in the system, then the more guys that buy in, the quicker we're going to get to where we want to be.

"It's hard to get guys to buy in without having some people that have success. You can tell a guy and he can see it and feel it, but until it happens, I think it's hard. But we've had some great examples in here, like (Mark) Perry winning that national title, and even (Eric) Luedke getting third place, he had a great year. Then a guy like Kerr has had a great summer. You've got a great young leader in (Brent) Metcalf. We've got five guys who came from Virginia Tech and gave up a year because they believe in us and the program that much.

"We've got a great foundation, we've just got to keep building and get guys to keep buying into what we're doing because it'll come. The success will happen, it's just sometimes it doesn't happen when you want it to, and that's what we've got to get through to guys. Things might not go your way right away, but if you stick with it and believe what we're saying, it's going to happen. I'm starting to see it in these young guys. It's starting to become more of a lifestyle for them. I remember when I first came here, it didn't matter when you came in the room, somebody was here. Either someone was on the mat or in the weight room, and it's starting to get back to that."

Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or