Hawks battle coaches in wrestling trials


Competing for a spot on the World Team is enough to get one’s adrenaline flowing. Having to wrestle your coaches, as senior-to-be Brent Metcalf had to do, for a chance to earn that spot only adds to the excitement.

Several current and former Iowa wrestlers battled in freestyle wrestling at the 2009 World Team Trials in Council Bluffs on May 30 and 31. The World Team will represent the United States at the 2009 World Wrestling Championship in Herning, Denmark, Sept. 21-27.

The 66-kilogram slot featured Metcalf, Iowa assistant coach Doug Schwab, and Iowa strength and conditioning coach Jared Frayer. Metcalf faced both coaches but was unable to win either bout, ending the tournament with a 1-2 record.

He said he was not happy with his performance, but it will only make him train harder.

“I lost to my coaches, so it comes down to me needing to get better against those guys in the room,” he said. “I need to be able to beat those guys now and not two years down the road.”

Frayer won the 66-kilogram challenge tournament, earning a chance to face current U.S. national champion Trent Paulson in a best-of-three competition for a spot on the World Team. But Frayer lost the first two matches, ending his bid for a trip to Denmark in the fall.

Frayer said wrestling Metcalf was no different from facing any other opponent, and he had previously faced Metcalf before they had an Iowa connection. The match saw Iowa assistant coach Terry Brands in Frayer’s corner and Iowa head coach Tom Brands in Metcalf’s corner.

“To me, it was just another guy on the bracket I had to go through,” Frayer said. “It was definitely tough because I have the utmost respect for [Metcalf], and he is the leader of our team.”

Metcalf described facing an opponent he was so familiar with as difficult.

“There shouldn’t be any different mentality, but there probably is,” he said. “You know each other’s tendencies and what positions will make you more vulnerable against them, but you just try not to pay attention to it and wrestle your own style.”

Frayer credited his current situation at Iowa for his success in recent years because of the availability of facilities and training partners.

“I think I am in the best spot in the world to train right now,” he said. “Having Terry and Tom [Brands] to help coaching and all of the other guys to train with, I can’t imagine my situation being any better.”

Senior-to-be Daniel Dennis (60 kilograms) and former Hawkeye Eric Luedke (84 kilograms) also competed in Council Bluffs. Dennis went 1-2, and Luedke placed third in his bracket.

Two other current and former Hawkeyes out of seven — volunteer assistant coach Mike Zadick (60 kilograms) and former Hawkeye Steve Mocco (120 kilograms) — competed in their respective championship matches, but each failed to earn a spot on the team.

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