Chris Uggen's Blog: march matness: ncaa heavyweights

Saturday, March 17, 2007

march matness: ncaa heavyweights

though our storied men's and women's basketball teams didn't make the big dance, my gophers are still in the hunt for national championships in hockey and wrestling. in wrestling, the minnversity holds a slim lead over iowa state going into tonight's championship round. the title may come down to the heavies, with the minnversity's cole konrad squaring off against aaron anspach of penn state.

watching the lad all season, i've learned to appreciate heavyweight wrestling in general and mr. konrad in particular. the smaller wrestlers are still waaaay quicker, but some of the 285-pounders are both powerful and scary-fast.

there was a time, however, before such a thing as 285-pound weight limits. this year's ncaa tourney brought to mind a ginormous heavyweight from a previous era at iowa state, the gophers' key rival for tonight's championship. chris taylor won two ncaa championships as a cyclone, tipping the scales at more than 400 pounds. in the youtube video above, he's bested at the 1972 olympics by wilfried dietrich, who weighed ... a bit less than that. i remember being inspired by the famous black-and-white poster of the match: with courage, anything is possible.

of course, mr. taylor was no cruel goliath. by all reports, he was a prototypical gentle giant, who died, perhaps predictably, at age 29. that's the real reason i'm glad to have weight limits on the heavies -- i'd hate to see my lad and others risking their health by bulking up to face 400-pounders. when fans suggested that the mounds view heavyweight looked skinny at 260 during the state high school tournament, i started worrying about the long-term health consequences of carrying even more weight. if he ever feels undersized, i'll just play him the taylor/dietrich video. mr. dietrich, at least, made it to age 58.

update: the minnversity wrestling team won the 2007 ncaa championship saturday night:

final team standings:
1. Minnesota, 98.0
2. Iowa State, 88.5
3. Missouri, 80.0
4. Northwestern, 71.5
5. Oklahoma State, 69.0
6. Michigan, 62.0
7. Hofstra, 60.5
8. Iowa, 57.0
9. Edinboro, 56.0
10. Ohio State, 54.5
11. Penn State, 54.0

gopher placewinners:
1st - Cole Konrad (HWT)
3rd - Dustin Schlatter (149)
3rd - Roger Kish (184)
5th - Jayson Ness (125)
6th - C.P. Schlatter (157)


At 3:38 PM, Blogger jeremy said...

My Hawkeyes, bested in wrestling by Northwestern and Hofstra. O, sad times!


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