Intramural wrestlers experience their own Hilton Magic in tournament

Emily Hejlik

Walk by the ISU wrestling room on the second floor at Lied Recreation Athletic Center and you will see pictures of all the national champions and All-Americans who have competed for the Cyclones.

Wrestlers will get to experience their own Hilton Magic thanks to intramurals.

“To be eligible to participate in the Intramural Sports Program, you must be a current ISU student who has paid their ‘activity fees’ or a spring 2012 Rec Pass holder,” said Linda Marticke, intramural sports coordinator.

Marticke puts on an intramural wrestling tournament each spring for both seasoned and amateur wrestlers.

“We offer a Novice Division for individuals who have never wrestled or have a maximum of two years with their high school varsity team,” Marticke said. “The Championship Division is for skilled wrestlers who have a minimum of one year of varsity high school experience.”

Wrestlers are required to “make weight,” just like scholarship athletes.

“All wrestlers were required to weigh in on Thursday, Jan. 19,” Marticke said. “Three different weigh-in times were offered during that day. If they did not make their weight, they were moved up or down to the appropriate weight class.”

The finalists in the Championship Division weights, 133-197, weigh in again on the final day and receive an additional five-pound allowance.

Daniel Ryan, sophomore in mechanical engineering, is the defending champion at 157 pounds. He expressed his gratitude to be able to wrestle on the same mat as some of Iowa State’s greats.

“The fact that intramural wrestling is allowed to use the ISU wrestling room is a great thing,” Ryan said. “Those who compete should be extremely grateful for the opportunity. However, I compete in intramurals not because I get to use the wrestling room or because I get to wrestle in the same place as champions like Kevin Jackson, Jim Gibbons and Bobby Douglas. I compete because of my love for the sport.”

Ryan, an Iowa native, is familiar with a few of Iowa State’s wrestlers.

“I know and have wrestled a few guys on the ISU wrestling team,” Ryan said. “I got beat really bad in junior high by Tanner Weatherman. I know Kyven Gadson just from seeing and talking to him at multiple freestyle and folk-style tournaments.”

Samuel Smith, a sophomore heavyweight in animal science, is a newcomer to the sport.

“This is my first time wrestling in a competition,” Smith said. “My favorite part of wrestling is the fact that it is just you out there. You control everything that happens.”

Intramural wrestling provides students a unique opportunity.

“I always regretted not wrestling in high school, so when I saw the opportunity to wrestle, I jumped all over it,” Smith said. “I have always loved the sport, so it was a no-brainer to give it a try.”

Tournament dates are 9 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, 9:30 to 11 p.m. next Monday and 9:30 to 11 p.m. Feb. 1.

“I really appreciate the stamina and skill that it takes to be a good wrestler,” Marticke said. “I also appreciate the passion that these young people bring to this sport. I know they miss it once they leave high school and I’m glad that we can give them a tournament to once again get on the mat.”