Getting Iowa to wrestle in Chattanooga is a huge accomplishment for the UTC program. Said head coach Heath Eslinger,"It's like Kentucky coming to play us in basketball or Alabama play us in football." Said Mocs wrestler Nick Soto,"If you say wrestling to somebody that doesn't know wrestling, the first team that's going to come to your mind is Iowa." Added Eslinger,"It's one of the top five dual meets we will have in the history of Chattanooga wrestling."
The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles, the second most national titles of any sport in the NCAA. Said Eslinger,"The tradition of their program I think is richer than the Wooden era at UCLA. Richer than the Bear Bryant era at Alabama."
Reporter-"How did you get them down here then?" Said Eslinger,"I called them."
The phone call was easy, but what about beating Iowa? Reporter-"What would it mean to beat Iowa?" Said Eslinger,"Were you here on Friday night when we beat the Lady Vols? Like cube that. Times ten." Said Mocs wrestler Robert Prigmore,"Oh man, it would be huge. It would be a big accomplishment for this program."
Nick Soto is one of the Mocs top wrestlers, but he'll face one of the nation's best in Matt McDonough."Their 125-pounder is the number one kid in the country.That's a great opportunity."
The Mocs are excited about the huge challenge on Friday. Said Eslinger,"We didn't bring them here to watch them wrestle. We brought them here to wrestle them. We're excited about that." Added Prigmore,"For me, it's another match. So we'll go out there and wrestle hard for seven minutes."