Northern Iowa to host NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals


Sat., Jan. 13:
NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals
9 a.m. vs. Oklahoma State (UNI-Dome)
11 a.m./1 p.m. vs. Iowa/UC Davis (UNI-Dome)

Sun. Jan. 14:
NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals

The University of Northern Iowa will serve as the tournament host for the 2007 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals on Saturday and Sunday in the UNI-Dome. This is the second consecutive year UNI will serve as the tournament host. Last year, UNI drew 13,800 fans for the two-day event. UNI is scheduled to host the event again in 2008 and 2009.

This year's National Duals will feature 72 teams from five divisions (NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA) competing on 18 mats over two days for the title of national dual meet champion. Teams will compete in full dual matches, with competition in 10 weight classes. The winning team advances in the championship bracket with the losing team moving to the consolation bracket. In addition to five divisions of wrestling, four women's teams and four NCWA also will compete to crown a champion. Matches will begin at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.


The unranked UNI Panthers' wrestling team will take on No. 4-ranked Oklahoma State (7-1 overall) in the first round of the National Duals on Saturday at 9 a.m. The winner of the UNI-Oklahoma State match will take on the winner of the Iowa-UC Davis match at 1 p.m. The losers will also match up at 1 p.m. in the consolation bracket.

UNI faced Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2003 National Duals in Columbus, Ohio. OSU scored a 28-10 win over the Panthers in 2003.

The Cowboys hold a 17-4 lead in the all-time series between the two schools. OSU has won eight straight duals, including a 35-6 win last year in Stillwater. OSU and UNI will also meet Jan. 27 in the McLeod Center.

UNI has posted a mark of 3-10 all-time at the National Duals. UNI recorded its only first-round win in 2005 when the Panthers knocked off Hofstra, 22-14, in Cleveland, Ohio.

UNI also secured National Duals wins in 2003 (Missouri, 18-15) and 2004 (Iowa State, 22-21).

Each collegiate match will consist of 10 bouts in weight classes from 125 to 285 pounds. Each bout will last three periods, with the first period lasting three minutes and the next two lasting two minutes. Bouts will continue for the full time or until a wrestler is pinned. In the event a bout ends tied, a one minute sudden-victory period will be held. Should the bout remaing tied, two 30-second overtime periods will be conducted.

Inside the UNI-Dome, 18 mats will be in use for the National Duals. In addition each mat can be identified by a number resting on top of the scoreboard at each mat.

Tickets for the 2007 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals are still available for this weekend's wrestling action.

The UNI-Dome is the host for the 2007 National Duals, being held January 13-14 in the UNI-Dome. The NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals is one of the largest collegiate national sporting events in the country, with more than 1,400 wrestlers and 80 teams attending.

"We are extremely excited to bring the largest collegiate athletic event to one of the most capable hosting institutions in the country," said Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director. "There is such a large representation of Iowa wrestling programs at the event. There are few other places in the country where we could have such a strong fan base. There has been fantastic community support and UNI has shown that is has the resources in place to put on great wrestling events, as evidenced by the 1997 NCAA Championships and last year's National Duals."

Top wrestlers from each collegiate athletic division (Divison I, II, III, NAIA, JUCO, NWCA and Women's) will compete for a national dual title. Thirteen teams from the state of Iowa will compete including Iowa (I), Iowa State (I), UNI (I), Wartburg (III), Luther (III), Simpson (III), Morningside (NAIA), William Penn (NAIA) and Ellsworth Community College (JUCO).

"We are thrilled to have the national duals at the UNI-Dome and in the Cedar Valley. This event will bring significant attention to UNI and to the area," said Rick Hartzell, UNI Director of Athletics. "It is our hope that this can become an annual event that is a positive one for our community in every sense of the word."

The event will be broken into two sessions - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. All session passes are available by contacting the UNI-Dome ticket office at (877) 216-DOME. Individual session tickets will go on sale Friday, Jan. 12, 2007.

All Session Pass $30
All Session Senior/Student* $22
* Must be under 18 or have a valid University or College ID

UNI senior Nick Baima (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) is in 12th place on the Panthers' all-time victories list with 109 career victories. Baima added wins over UTC's Seth Garvin (20-5) and Oregon State's Brett Arand (17-8).

Baima is 109-38 all-time in his Panther career. Kirk Myers (1978-82) and Rich Powers (1988-92) are tied for the all-time record for wins with 134.

Junior 141-pounder C.J. Ettelson (Hudson, Iowa) added to his team leading 22 wins this season with a win over UTC's Josh Keefe. Ettelson also carries the Panthers' best dual mark at 4-1 this year.

Ettelson is tied for the team lead with six falls this season. Ettelson has tallied 23 pins in his career and is three pins away from entering the Panthers' top-10 list in that category. Ettelson has compiled an overall mark of 74-32 as a Panther.

Sophomore 157-pounder Moza Fay (Anamosa, Iowa) secured two more wins this past weekend and improved his season mark to 19-7. Fay notched wins over UTC's Jake Yost and Oregon State's Keegan Davis. Fay tallied a second period fall against Davis to give him the Panthers' team lead with seven pins this season.

Fay has four second-place finishes to his name this season at the Harold Nichols Open, Kaufman Brand Open, the UNI Open and the 2006 Midlands. Fay has a 49-15 all-time record at UNI.

Sophomore 197-pounder Andrew Anderson (Sioux City, Iowa) ranks third on the team in wins this season with 19.

Anderson has picked up a trio of third-place finishes at the Harold Nichols Open, the Kaufman-Brand Open and the UNI Open.

Anderson also added a sixth-place finish at the 2006 Midlands to go along with his fifth-place finish at the 2005 Midlands.

Junior college transfer Dallas Mitchell joined the UNI wrestling team for the spring semester. Mitchell comes to UNI via Minnesota West Community & Technical School. Mitchell will wrestle at 184 pounds for the Panthers.

Mitchell posted a pair of wins in the double dual with Chattanooga and Oregon State. Mitchell wrestled at 197 pounds against the Mocs and 184 pounds against the Beavers. Mitchell is 4-2 since joining the team.

Junior Alex Dolly has enjoyed a good return to the Panthers' lineup. Dolly suffered a neck injury last season and underwent surgery which forced him to miss the majority of last season.

This season Dolly has returned to the lineup and ranks fifth on the team with 15 victories.

Redshirt freshman Kyle Anson (Iowa City, Iowa), who saw action at 125 pounds through December has been moved up to 133 pounds after battling an early season illness.

Anson moved up to 133 pounds for the Panthers' double dual with Chattanooga and Oregon State. Anson is 12-7 and ranks third on the team with five pins.

Senior Curt Zinnel (Fort Dodge, Iowa) saw his first action of the season on Dec. 29 at the 2006 Midlands Wrestling Championships. Zinnel is 1-3 this season in his return to the mat. Zinnel tallied 10 wins last season before injuring his hamstring.

Junior 157-pounder Colby Goetsch (Ankeny, Iowa) tallied an eighth-place finish at the 2006 Midlands. Goetsch posted a 4-3 mark at the tournament in Evanston, Ill., and improved to 11-9 on the season. Goetsch has posted a 29-30 all-time record for the Panthers.

The UNI wrestling team is ranked No. 24 in The Wrestling Report's most recent top 25 poll.

Seven intercollegiate institutions, including the University of Northern Iowa, have announced the formation of the Western Wrestling Conference (WWC). The NCAA Division I wrestling-only alliance will begin competition in the 2006-07 season.

Charter members of the Western Wrestling Conference will include: the United States Air Force Academy, North Dakota State University, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Northern Iowa, South Dakota State University, Utah Valley State College and the University of Wyoming.

Three of the members currently compete in the NCAA West Regional and they include Air Force, UNI and Wyoming. Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Utah Valley State are transitioning their programs to the Division I level. UNC, NDSU, SDSU will be eligible for the NCAA Championships in 2006-07, while UVSC will be eligible for the postseason in 2009-10.

The 2007 NCAA West Regional will still serve as the NCAA qualifying tournament and will be hosted by the University of Northern Iowa. The goal of the league is to replace the West Regional with the conference tournament, which would then serve as the NCAA qualifier.

A new initiative by University of Northern Iowa wrestling fans could make the slap of the mat ring like a cash register for the Panther wrestling program.

"Pledges for Pins" invites supporters to promise a donation for every pin the team scores in the regular 2006-07 season. Last year the Panthers tallied 44 pins.

Sandy Stevens, UNI graduate and announcer at national and international wrestling events, has kicked off the campaign with a pledge of $50 per pin -- and a challenge.

"UNI has an unparalleled legacy of wrestling excellence," she said. "This is our chance to help bring the program back into the top five nationally, and all Panther wrestling fans can be involved.

"Any pledge amount, from $1 on up, is welcome; however, if 25 others pledge $50 a pin or if 50 people pledge $25 a pin, I'll raise my pledge to $75."

UNI head coach Brad Penrith said "Pledges for Pins" is a great opportunity to give back to the UNI wrestling program.

"The UNI wrestling program would like to thank Sandy Stevens for stepping up and encouraging others to financially help the Panthers," Penrith said. "This is a great way to help support the program and assist us in getting UNI wrestling back to the top of collegiate wrestling."

Donors may specify a maximum number of pins for their contribution, Stevens said. Outright donations are also welcome. Contributors will be sent a statement at the end of the season.

Pledges or donations may be sent to Pledges for Pins, UNI Foundation, 205 Commons, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614. Please include name, address, phone number, signature and amount of pledge per pin. All contributions are tax-deductible.

These funds will be used to make improvements to the University of Northern Iowa program and return UNI to its former stature as one of the top wrestling schools in the country.

"Panther wrestlers will be showcasing their talent in the new McLeod Center, a first-rate facility," Stevens said. "We want to make it possible for those same wrestlers -- and future student-athletes -- to enjoy a first-class facility in the West gym for their practices."

The UNI head coach Brad Penrith or a member of his coaching staff will be available at the weekly Press Luncheons held each Monday beginning at 12 noon in the back room of Pepper's Grill and Sports Pub located on 18th Street in Cedar Falls.


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