Lindsey Durlacher lifts Mike Mena in their Real Pro Wrestling match (Photo/Danielle Hobeika)
Three prominent Greco-Roman wrestlers -- Jim Hazewinkel, Dave Hazewinkel and the late Lindsey Durlacher -- will be inducted into the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions this Saturday, Oct. 22.
In addition, the Minnesota Wrestling Club will be presented with the Legacy Award, and Joe DeMeo will receive the Alan Rice Leadership Award.
While the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions is located in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, the induction ceremony for its seventh class will held at the Christensen Center Commons on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.; the induction ceremony will start at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the dinner are $50 each and may be purchased by contacting the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745.
Jim and Dave Hazewinkel in 1972
Dave and Jim Hazewinkel, identical twin brothers from Coon Rapids, Minnesota, were members of the 1968 and 1972 United States Greco-Roman Olympic teams and were both members of six consecutive World and Olympic teams from 1967 to 1972. Dave was the first American to win two World medals in Greco-Roman wrestling, earning a bronze medal in 1969 and a silver medal in 1970. Jim was also a member of the 1966 World team and his highest finish at the World Championships was fourth in 1969.
The Hazewinkels were presented the Legacy Award by the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions in 2012.
Lindsey Durlacher helped lead the United States to its first Greco-Roman World Championship team title in 2007, finishing fifth. He was a silver medalist at the Pan American Championships in 2003, and again in 2007 after moving up a weight class. He won a bronze medal at 121 pounds at the 2006 World Championships, and was also a member of the USA team for the 2005 World Championships. He was the U.S. Open champion in 2006 and was runner-up in the event five times.
Joe DeMeo was head coach of the U.S. Greco-Roman World team four times, and was a member of the Olympic coaching staff in 1976, 1980, 1988, and 1992. He was named National Coach of the Year three times by USA Wrestling, which named him Developmental Coach of the Year in 2005.
The Minnesota Wrestling Club -- also known as Minnesota Storm -- has consistently supported the sport of wrestling since its formation in the 1960s.
The team has won more than 20 national team championships and produced four USA national and Olympic team coaches. They had a domineering presence in the recent Olympic team trials, and continued their record of placing a wrestler on every USA Olympic wrestling team since 1964.
Kyle Klingman, director of the NWHOF Dan Gable Museum, provided perspective on the significance of the Class of 2016 honorees.
"The Minnesota Wrestling Club has a remarkable history," Klingman told InterMat. "The state of Minnesota continues to carry the torch for Greco-Roman wrestling in this country. The Hazewinkels are among that group. These identical twins were pioneers for their brand of the sport, and their influence carries on with Sam Hazewinkel. Lindsey Durlacher was taken from us too soon, but his legacy of winning a World medal and for being part of the United States' 2007 Greco-Roman World Championship team continue to be remembered."
If that weren't enough to get Greco fans to attend, Klingman offers some additional, powerful reasons to attend what is sure to be a memorable event.
"It's pretty remarkable that we have so many past inductees attending the event: Steve Fraser, Mike Houck, Brandon Paulson, Brad Rheingans, Dennis Koslowski, Jim Martinez and Alan Rice. That's on top of several successful wrestlers from the Minnesota Wrestling Club who will be in attendance," said Klingman. "This will be a room filled with champions."
Klingman pointed out that both Steve Fraser and Mike Houck will be at the induction ceremony.
"Steve beat Mike to make the 1984 Olympic team, which he eventually won -- becoming the first American wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal in the Greco-Roman discipline. The following year, Mike Houck became the first American wrestler to win the World Championships in Greco-Roman wrestling," according to Klingman.