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|DAY 2 NOTES FROM THE ASICS/USA WRESTLING FOLKSTYLE NATIONALS: Slogans are everywhere on T-shirts around the UNI-Dome|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Kids, Cadet, Junior Folkstyle Special Section
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The famous Dan Gable quote is everywhere at an event like the ASICS/USA Wrestling Folkstyle National Championships.
Gable's famous line - "Once you've wrestled, everything else in life is easy" - is seen on T-shirts and posters all around the UNI-Dome.
A quick lap around the UNI-Dome early Saturday afternoon revealed a number of T-shirts with the popular Gable line.
A number of other interesting and creative slogans could be found on shirts worn by kids ranging from 8-18 years old who occupied the floor area as they prepared to take the mat.
Among those spotted Saturday were:
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
"Now it's personal"
"There is no easy way"
"What men do during boys basketball season"
"Wrestlers have them - others play with them."
"Watch your back"
"The sky's the limit"
"The day will come when winter will ask summer what have you done"
"Pain is temporary, pride is forever"
"Work to win"
"Home grown boys"
"With great sacrifice, comes great rewards"
The T-shirts also come in a variety of cool designs and colors, including the blue tye-dyed shirts worn by coaches from Owatonna, Minn.
Loaded class in Cadets at 98 pounds
The most loaded weight class of the tournament may be at 98 pounds in Cadets. It includes three of the top young wrestlers who have dominated at USA Wrestling events.
It includes double Cadet Nationals and Missouri state prep champion Ryan Mango of Missouri, Florida state prep champion Clark Glass and USA Wrestling Triple Crown winner Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin.
Mango is younger brother of World University Greco-Roman champion and Junior World bronze medalist Spenser Mango.
Last month, Glass became only the second seventh-grader in the history of Florida wrestling to win a high school state wrestling title. He has been a four-time USA Wrestling National Champion and 15-time USA Wrestling All-American. He won the Ultimate Dominator award in 2005 as part of the USA Wrestling Ultimate Challenge Series.
Mango and Glass were on course to meet in the semifinals on Saturday with Thielke on the other side of the bracket.
Massive undertaking to hold big event like this
Putting on an event like the Folkstyle Nationals takes an army of workers for the folks at the University of Northern Iowa.
UNI is using approximately 100 of its paid staff and 200 volunteers to run the event. There are 30 match officials working the 22 mats. The entire UNI wrestling team also is helping out in a variety of ways.
USA Wrestling also has a number of people on hand, including National Events Director Pete Isais and State Services Director Mark Scott.
The staff from USA Wrestling will head straight to Las Vegas following the tournament on Sunday. The U.S. Nationals are set for next weekend at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
UNI-Dome fills up with 22 mats in use
It's quite a scene when you enter the UNI-Dome for the Folkstyle Nationals and you look down and see wrestlers from all sizes, shapes and ages rolling around on the 22 mats in the spacious UNI-Dome.
The UNI-Dome, located on the University of Northern Iowa campus, continues to be regarded as one of the top wrestling venues in the country. The UNI-Dome has hosted the National Duals for all the collegiate divisions the past two seasons and will continue to hold the event for at least the next two years.
The UNI-Dome also served as the site of the 1997 NCAA Division I Championships. That was the year when the Iowa Hawkeyes crowned five champions and set the scoring record in Waterloo native Dan Gable's final season as Iowa's head coach.
Coming Up: Kids take center stage
The tournament action finishes Sunday with Session III for Kids from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Champions will be crowned in the Bantam, Midget, Novice and Schoolboy classes.
Past NCAA champion, Olympic and world medalist Lincoln McIravy to appear Sunday
Lincoln McIlravy, a three-time NCAA champion for Iowa, a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and a two-time World medalist, will be USA Wrestling's special guest on Sunday at the Folkstyle National Championships.
McIlravy will appear in the All-American parade, pose with award winners and sign autographs during the final day of the competition.
McIlravy, a past Freestyle Resident Coach with USA Wrestling, now owns and operates a hotel near Iowa City in Coralville, Iowa. McIlravy and his wife, Lisa, have four children - Streeter 9, Sterling 8, Sayler 5 and Stetson 4.