Mar 1988: Iowa loses NCAAs

The guys came back from Big-10s tonight. We qualified 6 guys for NCAAs. Not too hot. I suppose we could still win NCAAs, although Okie State probably qualified all 10 of their guys. Arizona State qualified 7.

Well, I've been huddled outside of John Heffernan's doorway (it's 2:20am). He and Shannon are in a minor quarrel about something, but it's hard to hear all the details. I'm such a loser, but I don't care. Anything for kicks.

I wrestled Steve Martin yesterday. My freestyle is really coming along. My collegiate still sucks, but I'm scoring a lot of freestyle tilts. I'm also turning better from the top.

A couple of days ago I was going even or better against Terry Brands in freestyle.

My throws are starting to come together. I'm not getting them every time, but I'm getting them 40-50% of the time, which at least makes me dangerous. Yesterday I found myself scoring on Martin with last-ditch defensive stuff that wouldn't have worked in September. Simple hip-intos, hip-to-hip scramble situations, etc. I put him on his back with a lace-leg suplay from a defensive position, and once or twice with a hip-into. And I nailed him--really nailed him--twice--with a counter to his single leg: stuffed his head, caught his far leg and just sort of tossed/rolled him right onto his back. It felt good.

The other ego-boosting things that have happened in the past few days: I led the morning sprints yesterday at the arena and Royce commended me on it. And a couple of days ago when I took my car to be fixed, the guy said, "Are you a wrestler?" I said, "Yes. Why?" He said, "I recognized the name." Obviously some sort of mistake, but it still feels good to be recognized, even erroneously.

My knees are sore. Yesterday after wrestling practice I was very frustrated. Today after wrestling practice I was slightly elated.

We lost NCAAs last night. The second year in a row that we lost, after winning 9 straight. With only 6 qualifiers it was tough--we had 5 AAs, 3 finalists, and took second a few points behind ASU and just ahead of Iowa State and Okie State.

Martin didn't place at 118--he beat the #11 seed in the first round, then lost 2. Penrith lost in the finals at 126. Melchiore also made the finals at 134 (wasn't expected to). Heffernan placed 4th at 158. Alger won at 177. Sindlinger was 6th at Hwt. We needed a couple more qualifiers winning a couple of matches each. We had 3 big guns but too many holes.

I'm sitting in an old pistachio-green kitchen chair outside my back door, at the Heff House. The chair, like everything else in this house, is dilapidated. The vinyl is ripped, the stuffing is coming out, and there are paint splotches on it. The backyard has year-old leaves covering the dirt lawn, and an old tire leaning up against the garage, which looks like it's about to fall over. The wooden garage doors are open, and the back half of what looks to be a rusting blue Ford van, circa 1971, sticks out the back. Behind the van is a completely rusted out oil barrel. And let's not forget the rusty lawnmower and stacks of flower pots.

I think I might be going to Wyoming this weekend to wrestle in an Olympic Trials regional qualifier. I've got to get down to 125.5. I was 136 this morning.

Our phone service was cut off a few days ago. I guess we owe them some money. Gapin leaves his half-eaten food all over the living room. Brooks brings his girlfriend Stacy over and farts in front of her. What a motley bunch.

I just got back from the Rocky Mountain Olympic Regional in Wyoming. Top 3 qualify for the final trials. I took 4th. I didn't wrestle very well. I lost to a guy from Adams State whom I shouldn't have lost to. Mike Erb from Oregon beat me 18-8. Goldman, Penrith, and Levy also went.

Tonight I checked my mailbox and found out that I didn't get accepted into the Writer's Workshop. F--- it.

I f---ed up my left knee a little bit today wrestling Martin. I was doing better than I've ever done against him.

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