UC Davis Set To Battle Powerhouse Iowa In Wrestling Dual

Tommy Schurkamp will face Luke Eustice at 125 pounds on Friday. Eustice is top-ranked nationally in his weight class. <br>(Photo by Mike Robles)
Tommy Schurkamp will face Luke Eustice at 125 pounds on Friday. Eustice is top-ranked nationally in his weight class.
(Photo by Mike Robles)
Click here for a preview of the matchup between the Zalesky brothers, published by The Wrestling Mall

Jan. 2, 2003

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The UC Davis wrestling team faces its toughest dual matchup in school history when the Aggies travel to face powerhouse Iowa on Friday night at 7 p.m. (CST) in a non-conference matchup at the 15,500-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The matchup between the unranked Aggies and No.2 Hawkeyes is also a family affair between UC Davis Coach Lennie Zalesky and his younger brother, Jim, who coaches Iowa. Lennie Zalesky was a three-time All-American at Iowa between 1979-82 while Jim Zalesky was a three-time national champion for Iowa.

Several thousand fans are expected for the first all-time match between the schools. Iowa drew nearly 7,500 for its match in early December against rival Iowa State.

UC Davis, which last wrestled at the Reno Tournament of Champions on December 19, is 3-1 overall with victories this season against Navy, Menlo and Wyoming. The lone loss was a Pac-10 matchup to Cal St. Fullerton.

Iowa competed as a team last weekend at the prestigious Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill., bringing home top honors. The Hawkeyes also had two individual champions at the tournament in senior Jessman Smith (184) and sophomore Steve Mocco (285). Iowa is 5-0 overall this season and 0-0 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have beaten Minnesota (24-11), Lehigh (25-13), Arizona State (32-7), Iowa State (34-7) and Northern Iowa (30-7).

Nine Hawkeyes have national rankings in the various polls, including Luke Eustice (125) and Mocco who are No.1 in their respective divisions. Both wrestlers were second at last year's Big Ten and national championships. Nine Hawkeyes have also posted at least 10 wins so far this season with Smith (14-0) and Mocco (13-0) both undefeated. Six Iowa wrestlers are ranked in the top 10.

UC Davis is led by a pair of wrestlers who competed at last year's NCAA Division I Championships. Senior Urijah Faber (133) is 15-5 so far, including a second-place finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Faber, who missed All-America status last season at nationals by just one match, is ranked 16th by The Wrestling Mall, while junior Jeremiah Jarvis is No.12 and 11-4 after winning at Reno behind four pins and being named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the event. Jarvis beat the top two seeds in his weight class on his way to the title while Faber lost his lone match to top-ranked Johnny Thompson of Oklahoma State.

UC Davis will be facing an Iowa program that is the most successful in NCAA history. The Hawkeyes have won 20 national titles, including nine of the past 12, and more than 750 dual matches. Iowa wrestlers have captured 70 NCAA individual titles in the program's history, including six that have won it all three times. Iowa has 121 All-Americans all-time.

The Aggies will return to action following this Friday's contest to host the Aggie Open on Jan. 11.

Note: Fans can listen to Friday's match between UC Davis and Iowa via the internet. Go to http://www.hawkeyesports.com/wrestle/schedule/schedule.htm and click on the appropriate match. Listening requires a Windows Media Player.

PROBABLE LINEUPS (records in parentheses)
UC Davis (3-1, 0-1 in Pac-10)
125 - Tommy Schurkamp (8-5)
133 - Urijah Faber (15-5)
141 - Cris Brines (7-7)
149 - Nick Davis (6-5)
157 - Jeremiah Jarvis (11-4)
165 - Michael Font (4-7)
174 - Shannan Sams (3-3)
184 - Ronnie Silva (3-5)
197 - Michael Clarkston (7-5)
285 - Jason Paul (4-7)

Iowa (5-0, 0-0 in Big Ten)
125 - Luke Eustice (9-1)
133 - Cliff Moore (12-4)
141 - Luke Moffitt (11-4)
149 - Ty Eustice (12-4)
157 - Matt Anderson (7-2) or Joe Johnston (17-6)
165 - Cole Pape (11-6)
174 - Tyler Nixt (11-1)
184 - Jessman Smith (14-0)
197 - Ryan Fulsaas (10-5)
285 - Steve Mocco (13-0)