USA Wrestling to host 2020 Senior Nationals at Xtream Arena in Coralville

The event, which Spencer Lee won at 125 pounds in 2019, is set for October 9-11.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Ben A

America's Jordan Burroughs (red) celebrates his victory over Gasjimurad Omarov (blue) of Azerbaijan at 74 kg during the final round of the 2018 Men's Freestyle World Cup at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, April 7. Team USA placed first, defeating Azerbaijan 6-4 in the finals. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Robert Read, Sports Editor

One of the most prestigious wrestling events of the year will take place in Iowa this October.

USA Wrestling has announced that it will host its 2020 Senior Nationals, featuring the nation’s top international-style wrestlers, at the new Xtream Arena & GreenState Family Fieldhouse in Coralville, Iowa, October 9-11.

The event will highlight competition in the three Olympic disciplines: men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle, and Greco-Roman.

“USA Wrestling is very excited to again partner with Think Iowa City on another one of our country’s significant wrestling competitions,” USA Wrestling Executive Rich Bender said in a release. “With their long history of staging some of our sport’s best wrestling events, we are confident that the Senior Nationals will be another one of those awesome experiences for our sport.

“Obviously, we will work closely with the local organizing committee, the local public health officials, and others to insure athlete safety is paramount. We are hopeful that this will be a milestone for our sport as we battle back from this worldwide pandemic.”

The Iowa City/Coralville region has hosted several major USA Wrestling competitions in the past.

Iowa City hosted the 1975, 1977, and 1978 U.S. Greco-Roman Senior Nationals. Other major Senior-level USA Wrestling events held in Iowa City were the record-setting 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, as well as the 1983 Freestyle World Team Trials. Along with United World Wrestling, USA Wrestling also helped bring the 2018 Freestyle World Cup to Iowa City.

Think Iowa City, the convention and visitors bureau for the Iowa City/Coralville region, is serving as the local organizing committee for this event.

“We are excited to once again welcome back our friends at USA Wrestling,” Think Iowa City President Josh Schamberger said in a release. “Our community has been recognized many times over as Wrestling City USA and we aim to keep it that way by helping USA Wrestling deliver another memorable event.”

This will be the first major Senior-level event hosted by USA Wrestling since the postponement or cancellation of much of its 2020 national event schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa is a popular host site for these types of events in large part due to the Hawkeye wrestling program’s history of success. This past season, Iowa finished the dual season 13-0 and won its 36th Big Ten Championship. The Hawkeyes were the favorites heading into the NCAA Championships and led the nation in attendance for the 14th consecutive year.

Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee won the 2019 U.S. senior nationals in Fort Worth, Texas, at 125 pounds to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials, which were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Senior Nationals will be one of the very first major events we are looking forward to hosting in Xtream Arena,” Coralville Mayor John Lundell said in a release. “Our athletes and coaches will know this location well as it is within 100 yards of the hotel they have used during the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Team Trials and 2018 UWW Freestyle World Cup. I look forward to welcoming them all to Coralville this October.”

Coralville’s new Xtream Arena will be officially opened in September, with seating capacity of 5,100. There will be as many as six mats used during the tournament, with the championship finals on one mat.

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