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Northern Iowa wrestling signs four more athletes for the 2001-2002 season



CEDAR FALLS -- The University of Northern Iowa wrestling program is proud to announce four more additions to the Panthers squad for the upcoming season. Head coach Brad Penrith has signed Steve Ertl, Chris Helgeson, Miguel Gutierrez, and Mark Markowski to letters-of-intent. "We are all excited about these four guys," commented Penrith. "They will fit right into our game plan and they also have the work ethic we were looking for." Ertl joins the wrestling program after a successful high school career at Estes Park (Colorado). As a four-time state qualifier, Ertl has an overall record of 147-14. This past season, he was 44-1 and the Colorado State Champion at 135 pounds. His junior season he lost in the state finals by merely one point, while as a freshman he placed sixth. Ertl is also a four-time all-conference team member. Breaking nearly every record at Estes Park High School, he finishes his career with 97 pins and 418 takedowns. For three consecutive years he was named the school's Wrestler of the Year. Ertl is also a four-time Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Champion. Not only is Ertl an excellent wrestler, but he is also an outstanding student. With a GPA of 3.965 he has received numerous academic awards including being named a Wendy's Scholar Athlete. At UNI, he will wrestle at 133. Helgeson will graduate from Lake Mills (Iowa) High School and will compete for the Panthers next season. He has accumulated an overall record of 116-13 while he was 34-2 his senior year. Helgeson has the best winning percentage in Lake Mills history at .899. A three-time state qualifier, he was the runner-up at 119 his senior season, while finishing in third place his junior year. For the past two seasons, Helgeson was Lake Mill's Wrestler of the Year. His career totals include 58 pins, 21 technical falls, and 14 major decisions. He also found success in cross-country where he was a two-time state qualifier and has been named all-conference in baseball and golf . Wrestling USA has him ranked 29th in the nation at 119. In the classroom, he has a 3.83 GPA. Look for Helgeson to compete for the Panthers at 125 pounds. Gutierrez comes to Cedar Falls from Foothills High School in Bakersfield, Calif. This high school all-American has an overall record of 182-12. He was highly recruited by Oklahoma State, Fresno State, California-Bakersfield, and Purdue. He finished fourth at the prestigious High School National. Earlier in the season Gutierrez was ranked number one in the nation by InterMat, currently he is rated 10th by InterMat and seventh by Wrestling USA. He is the California State Champion at 145 and finished his sophomore and junior seasons in third place. For the Panthers, Gutierrez will wrestle at 157. Markowski a native of Fort Myers, Florida has signed to compete for the Panthers this fall. As a three-time Florida State Champion, he accumulated an overall record of 135-8, while in his senior season he went 41-0. Like fellow recruit Gutierrez, Markowski competed in the High School National Tournament at 145. He was honored as an all-American for his eighth place finish. Currently, InterMat has him ranked eighth in the nation, while Wrestling USA has him ranked 14th. He has 258 takedowns and 22 pins on his career at Fort Myers High School. Markowski is the regional representative for the David Schultz Award, where he is one of the five finalists. He is also honored as a Cadet all-American. He finished sixth at the Freestyle Junior Nationals and is an 11-time Freestyle State Champion. He has achieved success off the mat as well with a 3.89 GPA. Look for Markowski to compete at 149. "We are pretty fired up. We were looking for wrestlers who could compete at 149 and 157 and we have accomplished our goal with these athletes," said Penrith. "The blend of the past recruits with these four athletes have set a better future for UNI wrestling.* The Panthers signed three other outstanding wrestlers in the fall including Mark Manchio, Michael Shedeck, and Josh Watts. Manchio is from Sterling High School (New Jersey) and is currently, he is ranked third in the nation by Wrestling USA and sixth by InterMat. He is a three-time state champion and the runner-up his freshman year. He will be competing for UNI at the 141/149-weight class. Shedeck is a heavyweight from Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Xavier High School. He is a two-time Iowa State Champion and is currently ranked fifth in the nation by InterMat and rated 11th by Wrestling USA. Watts is three-time state champion from Davenport (Iowa) Assumption. InterMat has him ranked fourth in the nation at 125, while Wrestling USA has him rated fifth. The Panthers finished the 2000-01 season with an 11-8 dual meet record and 18th place finish at the NCAA Championships.
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