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Fourth Annual Dan Gable Classic to be held May 8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa



NEWTON, Iowa - A United States freestyle wrestling team will face Uzbekistan in the fourth annual Dan Gable Classic, set for May 8 at Eby Fieldhouse at the Coe College campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Uzbekistan is a former Soviet Union country and is regarded as one of the world's top wrestling powers. The event also includes a guest appearance by Tim Dwight, former Iowa football star now with the Atlanta Falcons; a memorabilia show hosted by the International Wrestling Institute and Museum, and a free kids clinic by Tom Brands, assistant coach at the University of Iowa. This tournament has developed into a great international attraction for the state of Iowa, said Rod Brown, events coordinator at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, which developed the event. We are very proud to bring this event to the citizens of Iowa, and to the Cedar Rapids area in particular. The American team is selected by Dan Gable, the legendary former coach at the University of Iowa. This year's team is as follows: Eric Akin (54kg); Cody Sanderson (58kg); Bill Zadick (63kg); T.J. Williams (69kg); Joe Heskett (76kg); Lee Fullhart (85kg); Chad Lamer (97kg) and Tolly Thompson (130kg). Williams was a three-time NCAA champion for Iowa, winning his final title just last month in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Zadick and Fullhart were also NCAA champions at Iowa, while Thompson won an NCAA heavyweight title for Nebraska. Akin, Sanderson and Heskett were All-Americans at Iowa State, while Lamer was a three-time Division 2 NCAA champion for South Dakota State. Uzbekistan is one of the top teams in the world when it comes to freestyle wrestling, said Brown. The meet is sanctioned by USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body, and we are expecting another great night of wrestling. The first Dan Gable Classic, held in Des Moines in 1998, featured the United States against Russia. In 1999, it was the U.S. versus Iran, also in Des Moines. The event shifted to Cedar Rapids last year, when Ukraine was the opponent. Doors open at 4 p.m., with the memorabilia show starting at 4:30 p.m. On display will be a wide variety of wrestling items from the Interntional Wrestling Institute and Museum, plus newly-designed Dan Gable Classic shirts and caps and other items for sale. The Tom Brands Clinic will start at 5 p.m. Kids will be invited to sit at the edge of the mat as the 1996 Olympic gold medalist discusses various elements of the sport. The clinic does not actually include mat work. Fans will also be given an opportunity get autographs from Gable, Dwight, Brands and other speical guests. The main event will begin shortly after 7:00 p.m. Tickets are general admission at $12 each. Life Investors and McLeod USA are the primary sponsors of the 2001 Dan Gable Classic. Other lead sponsors are Bandag and APAC. Also sponsoring the event are General Mills, Iowa National Guard, Marines, INSYNC, Hy-Vee, Arby's, Bennigan's, The Fox 100.7, Coe College, and Pat McGrath Chevrolet. Last year, we sold out two days before the event, said Brown. We have already had numerous school groups inquire about tickets and we expect them to go fast. We encourge fans to order as soon as possible. Anyone wishing to order can call the International Wrestling Instutute and Museum (641-791-1517).
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