Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cedar Rapids - 2008 wrestling mecca

Cedar Rapids, IA – The City of Five Seasons


That’s right – the fifth season in Cedar Rapids this year is the wrestling season. The US Cellular Center will be home to the 2008 NCAA Division III wrestling championships on March 7 & 8 and will then also be the site of the Division II tournament the following week (March 14 & 15).

The average sports trivia buff might be able to tell you that former NFL MVP, Kurt Warner, and 2007 Masters champion, Zach Johnson, both attended Cedar Rapids Regis High School. It takes a wrestling fan to tell you that these great champions wrestled at Cedar Rapids high schools

Gary Bentrim

3X NCAA College Division (now Division II) national champion at UNI

Barry Davis

3X NCAA Division I national champion
4X All-American
Olympic silver medalist
Distinguished Member of National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Head wrestling coach, University of Wisconsin

Jim Zalesky

3X NCAA Division I national champion
4X All-American
Coached the University of Iowa Hawkeyes to 3 NCAA team titles (1998 – 2000)
Distinguished Member of National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Head wrestling coach, Oregon State University

Mark Ironside

2X NCAA Division I national champion
4X All-American
1998 Dan Hodge Trophy (wrestling’s Heisman) winner

Personally, I love Division III athletes. With no athletic scholarships, they compete simply for the love of their sport. Watching Simpson College wrestler Nick Ackerman’s performance in Waterloo in 2001 is one of my favorite wrestling memories.

Last year’s Division III championships saw the phenomenal career of Augsburg’s Marcus LeVesseur culminate with his 4th NCAA title and a career record of 155-0. What great wrestling stories will unfold this year in Cedar Rapids?

Won’t you join us for the action? Would you like to attend the Division III championships free? The View from Section GG presents the, “What I love most about college wrestling” essay contest. Tell me in 750 words or less what it is about this sport that makes you a fan. We’ll name 1 Grand Prize winner and 10 First Prize winners.

Grand Prize package

2 free all session passes to the 2008 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships
3 night stay at the Cedar Rapids Marriott (March 6, 7 & 8)
2 tickets for a Friday or Saturday performance at Penguin’s Comedy Club
(Note – transportation not included)

Ten First Prizes

1 year paid subscription to W.I.N. Magazine

The rules are pretty simple:

750 words or less
You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
No employees of the Cedar Rapids Marriott, Penguin’s Comedy Club, W.I.N. Magazine or Direct Marketing Solutions may enter.
Entries open immediately. The final deadline for entries is midnight CST, February 15th. Winners will be notified by February 25th.
If the Grand Prize winner is unable to attend, time permitting, we will award the prize package to the top entry among First Prize winners.

You may send your entry by email to with the subject line, “wrestling contest”. You may also send me a myspace message. We hope to have a website up in a few days that will allow you another entry option.

Have fun with the contest. I hope to see you in Cedar Rapids in March.

* The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce would probably like me to tell you that the real “Fifth Season” is, “the time to enjoy the other four”.

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