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Iowa's Cornell-Simpson dual to be held outdoors

Cornell College will open its wrestling season in the great outdoors, as Iowa-based school will host cross-state rival Simpson College on its football field early next month.

Ash Park Stadium
The dual meet will be held under the lights at Ash Park Stadium on Cornell's Mt. Vernon campus on Thursday, Nov. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m.

"We wanted to do something a little different and create more fan interest for our wrestling program," Cornell Coach Mike Duroe said. "We want to put our guys on a big stage that will attract some attention. From my perspective, we have a great product to promote and our guys deserve an opportunity to wrestle in front of a big crowd."

The wrestling mat will be centered on the 50-yard line of the south side of the football field, closest to the home grandstands. In case of precipitation or cold temperatures, the meet will be moved into the Small Multi-Sport Center on the Cornell campus.

The Cornell-Simpson outdoor dual follows in the footsteps of other college wrestling events held outside a gym or arena, including last November's Iowa vs. Oklahoma State's Grapple on the Gridiron held outside at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City a few miles south of the Cornell campus which shattered the dual-meet attendance record.

Other schools have conducted dual meets on the stage of on-campus theaters. In fact, Cornell has participated in at least two of these events hosted by Simpson and Illinois' Millikin University.

"Ever since I've been here, we've talked about hosting a meet in (Cornell's) King Chapel. But we just don't have enough space," Duroe said. "We decided to move the meet outdoors under the lights."

To encourage fans to pack the stands, Cornell will offer free admission to eastern Iowa wrestling programs.

Cornell College is a private, four-year school located about a half-hour from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. The school owns a place in the history books as the smallest school to ever win an NCAA wrestling team title (at the 1947 NCAAs), with an enrollment at the time of approximately 700 students, before today's three-division system was established. Simpson is known as the alma mater of Nick Ackerman, a double-leg amputee who won the 2001 NCAA Division III title at 197 pounds, and was named co-winner of the Hodge Trophy (along with Iowa State's Cael Sanderson) presented each year to the nation's top collegiate wrestler. Both schools' wrestling programs now compete in NCAA Division III.

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elizabethkkqax01 (1) about a month ago
The wrestling mat will be centered on the 50-yard line of the south side of the football field, closest to the home grandstands.

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