Download our Mobile App                  

  Search The Site
Top News Stories...
TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



It Takes Perseverance



The task was familiar to Jim Gruenwald. His foe was well known to him. The two had been battling since their high school days. The nemesis who stood in the way of his Olympic dream had beaten him years earlier in the finals of the state high school state tournament. In order to battle his way to a trip to Sydney Jim Gruenwald had to defeat one of America's most decorated and dominant Greco-Roman wrestlers. Dennis Hall a fierce competitor and powerful upper-body specialist had owned the 127 pound weight category for nearly a decade. Hall was a nine time national champion, a World-Champion in 1995, and a silver medalist in the 1996 games in Atlanta. Throughout the decade, as Hall claimed dominance, it must've been tough for Gruenwald to continue the fight. But, Gruenwald never gave up, with perseverance in mind, he was determined to make the Olympic Trials at Dallas in June his time to knock Dennis Hall off the top of the ladder. After losing the first match of the championship series to Hall, Gruenwald was in a familiar spot. After another disappointing loss to Hall behind him, it was gut-check time. One more loss would send Hall to the Olympics and Gruenwald would have to deal again with the regret of losing to the familiar foe. However, on this day in Dallas, Gruenwald would persevere he would rally to beat Dennis Hall by winning two consecutive matches. The third match looked like Gruenwald would once again succumb to the power that had made Hall a World Champion. With Hall leading 3-0, Gruenwald needed a break. Hall had the necessary three points needed to avoid overtime. But Hall's past dominance of Gruenwald may have been his Achilles' heal in Dallas. All Hall needed to do was stop Gruenwald from scoring. Hall obviously looked for a complete and total victory. With a lead secure Hall changed levels deeply out of a front-headlock in an effort to hit a peek-out to a bodylock. Gruenwald's time had come. His perseverance finally paid off. In a dramatic change of events the critical lead that Hall had vanished. Gruenwald stymied the level change catching a neck wrench and countering Hall's offensive maneuver. In the tape of this series, Hall was visibly shaken as Gruenwald gained three points for the takedown with exposure. Hall can be heard to yell, "Hook!" and "Legs!" in an effort to convince the three officials that Gruenwald's takedown was a leg foul. As Hall protested from the bottom, his focus on the match seemingly vanishing along with his lead, Gruenwald worked from the top position. Gruenwald has a powerful lift, and wasted no time in locking up a strong gut-wrench. Immediately, he stepped tightly to Hall's side elevated and arched Hall out of bounds, scoring a point for the lift. Hall's dominance over Gruenwald was slipping away. Later, Hall would appeal the officials ruling on Gruenwald's match tying takedown. The call stood, as did the result of the match. While Hall struggled, with the loss of his lead. Gruenwald asserted control and rallied to an 8-3 victory. Defeating a fierce and dominant wrestler like Hall was no easy task, years of perseverance went into securing a trip to the Olympics. Gruenwald earned his journey to Sydney by removing one of the world's best from the Olympic picture for the year 2000.
Untitled Document
   
© Copyright 2000-2014 USA Wrestling, All rights reserved.
Contents of this site may not used without the expressed written consent of USA Wrestling.