April 21, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa wrestling assistant coach Mike Zadick left the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials with no regrets.
Although the 2008 Olympian and current Hawkeye assistant coach was disappointed that he won't be competing in London this summer, Zadick took away many positives from his experience on Saturday at the Olympic trials inside Iowa's own Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Zadick, a three-time All-American at the University of Iowa from 2000-2002, reflected upon the many benefits the sport and the Hawkeye program have given him in his years after being eliminated in the men's freestyle 60 kg bracket.
"I was five years old when I started the sport of wrestling, and this has been my entire life," said Zadick, who also was a member of the 2010 U.S. World Team. "That's the reason I'm in Iowa from Montana. The reason you guys are sitting here looking at me right now is because of wrestling. The family, the people that are closest to me, if I needed support, it's all through wrestling that I have these close ties. There are a lot of positives I can take from it."
Zadick advanced to the semifinals of the 60 kg weight class before falling to second-seeded Logan Stieber, who won an NCAA Championship this season as a freshman. Zadick was defeated 1-2, 1-0, 1-0.
He earned a bye in the first round and a quarterfinal victory against Kellen Russell, winner of the last two 141-pound NCAA Championships. After dropping the first period 1-0, Zadick responded with an advantage in the second period and a flurry of points in the third to earn the win, the 0-1, 2-1, 5-3. Zadick's tournament ended with an injury default in the consolation semifinals.
Although Zadick had his eyes set on gold, competing once again inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena was an experience that will stay with him. An Olympic Trials record crowd of 13,520 stormed the doors of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to watch the opening round of the tournament that decides the United States' representatives at the 2012 London Olympics.
"I got the goose bumps on my neck when I was a freshman in college, and it didn't change walking out there today," said Zadick. "We've said it before that Carver-Hawkeye Arena and the people of Iowa and this community are second to none. It's an unbelievable event and venue that was directed right at wrestling. It was an awesome showing from the fans, and I can't thank them enough."
Former Hawkeye Ryan Morningstar was also eliminated from the morning tournament. The two-time Hawkeye All-American competed in the men's freestyle 74 kg bracket.
Entering the field as a five-seed, Morningstar was narrowly defeated by Matt Brown in the first round, 1-0, 2-0. He then fell to third-seeded Nick Marable, 1-0, 2-1, in the consolation round.
Nine Olympic qualifiers will be determined in tonight's finals of men's free style (60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg), women's freestyle (55 kg, 72 kg) and Greco-Roman (55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg).
Six more former and current Hawkeyes will compete for a trip to the London Olympics tomorrow. They include freestyle competitors Joe Johnston (66 kg), Phil Keddy (84 kg), Matt McDonough (55 kg), Todd Meneely (66 kg), Brent Metcalf (66 kg) and Steve Mocco (120 kg).
Single-day tickets are available online at iowacitytolondon.com. Single-session tickets are also available for walk-up purchase the day of the event. Tickets may be limited.