Indiana Daily Student

Tough competition looms

Annual tournament attracts 16 schools to Virginia for challenging play

Wrestling coach Duane Goldman is well aware that his wrestlers will enter the Virginia Duals this weekend with an undefeated record. He knows how demanding the competition can be. He knows who will be in his starting lineup, and he said he believes they're prepared enough to walk away successful.\nHe's just not sure who they've been preparing for.\n"We won't know anything until we get there and they draw the brackets," Goldman said. "But we know it's going to be tough."\nFifteen other schools will join the Hoosiers in Hampton, Va., for the annual event. The double-elimination dual-meet tournament has developed a reputation for assembling some of the nation's toughest teams.\n"This tournament has been around for 21 years now, and every year, they try to invite a lot of premier competition," Goldman said. "So it's going to be pretty challenging."\nWhile the invitation list includes such highly regarded programs as Boise State and Big Ten rival Wisconsin, the Hoosiers remain confident that they can compete with the best.\n"They're all beatable," junior Ty Matthews said. "There's no powerhouse out there. It's up for grabs."\nAfter going 24-14 as a sophomore, Matthews has jumped out to a 7-3 start. Two of those losses came against wrestlers ranked in the top five in the nation. \nMatthews attributes much of his success to off-season workouts with assistant coach Charles Burton, who trained with Matthews before departing for the 2000 Olympics in Australia.\n"I was one of his main training partners for the Olympics, and we worked all through the summer," Matthews said. "That really helped. My conditioning is much better than it was last year."\nMatthews has been wrestling at 197 pounds this season, a big change from last year when he wrestled in the 184-pound class. The added bulk has improved his production.\n"Last year, I was cutting weight real bad, and it drained my energy," Matthews said. "This (197) is my ideal weight."\nAlso representing Indiana this weekend will be seniors Gabe Cook (149), Brian Smiley (133), Kevin Stanley (165), Jack Wade (174), Viktor Sveda (184) and Mike Dixon (heavyweight), along with junior Greg Schaefer (125) and sophomore Coyte Cooper (141). Sophomore James Wade will likely start at 157 pounds.\nThe Virginia Duals will be the Hoosiers' last tournament before they begin Big Ten competition, including a match against Purdue next week. Finalizing a starting lineup with which he feels comfortable will be one of Goldman's main concerns this weekend.\n"For the most part, they're determined," Goldman said. "There's a couple of positions that are up in the air, and we're trying to figure that out before the Big Ten competition coming up."\n"The coaches are looking for guys that are going to really get after it," said Cooper, who's off to an 11-6 start. "There's a few spots where they're going to mix it up, and throw guys in to see who really wants it the most."\nThis marks the second consecutive year that the Hoosiers compete in the Virginia Duals. Last year, the team went 2-2 in the tournament, a disappointing result for some.\n"We didn't really perform that well," Matthews said. "We did all right. It won't be as tough as last year's, but it's still one of the toughest tournaments around"

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