Sept. 13, 2010
2010 Washington, D.C. NCAA Student-Athlete Reception Photo Gallery
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A lot can happen in 12 hours. Members of the 2009-10 University of Iowa NCAA Champion wrestling team found this out first hand Monday - going from boarding a bus at 5 a.m. (CT) to shaking hands with United States President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House at 5 p.m.(CT).
Twelve members of the Hawkeye wrestling team that won NCAA and Big Ten titles in 2010 traveled to the nation's capital to take part in Monday evening's NCAA Student-Athlete Reception at the White House. The Hawkeyes were one of 38 NCAA champion teams invited to the reception where President Obama congratulated them on their success.
"I want to thank all the teams that have traveled from all over the country to be here, and congratulations on being NCAA Champions," said President Obama. "We've got over 650 athletes and almost 150 coaches and staff here today. This is the most athletic talent we've ever had on the South Lawn."
"That term student-athlete is the thing that makes me so proud to stand before you today because when each of you won the titles that you won, whether it was in lacrosse or gymnastics or wheelchair basketball, you didn't do it as professionals," explained President Obama. "You didn't have multi-million dollar contracts or huge endorsement deals. You woke up early, you put in countless hours of practice for the love of the game and for the pride of your school. You rode those buses and you carried those bags because you knew what it was going to take to be the best because every one of you has a competitive streak that is about a mile wide. And most of all you did this while shouldering a full load of classes, sometimes grabbing a few minutes to study at airports or locker rooms because you understand that student-athlete emphasizes student and not just athlete. So this is a group that knows what it means to be a champion."
The Hawkeye travel party includes 2010 NCAA Champions Jay Borschel (174) and Matt McDonough (125), All-Americans Montell Marion (141), Ryan Morningstar (165) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) and 2010 NCAA qualifiers Jake Kerr (157) and Chad Beatty (197). Former Hawkeye Dan LeClere (141), Iowa seniors Aaron Janssen (157) and Luke Lofthouse (197), junior Blake Rasing (Hwt.) and sophomore Nate Moore (133) are also on the trip.
"It was an incredibly eye-opening experience," said McDonough. "It was an honor and a privelege to be recognized at the White House for what we do during the course of the year. This is an experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life."
The Hawkeyes plan to tour some of the nation's historical monuments and museums Monday night and Tuesday morning before returning to Iowa City Tuesday evening.