Download our Mobile App                  

  Search The Site
Top News Stories...
TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



Cael Sanderson; On the Road to Greatness



Sometimes without even trying, greatness comes along. Athletes young and old often dream of Olympic glory. Often, along the way, records are passed and broken without even knowing. This is the case with Iowa State junior Cael Sanderson. The two-time NCAA Champion and 2000 Dan Hodge Trophy winner has dreams of Olympic glory. What he hasn't focused on are the records he can break along the way: those just seem to happen. From 1968-70, Iowa State wrestler Dan Gable set the college unbeaten streak for the most consecutive victories in a college career. There is some dispute on what the record really is. The NCAA has the record at 98 and Iowa State shows the record at 100. As of Jan. 4, Sanderson has 96 straight victories and could break the NCAA record this weekend at the Lone Star Duals with three victories. He could break the 100 mark at the National Duals Jan. 20-21 at Penn State University. In between, Iowa State has one dual meet with Hofstra Jan. 14, at which point Sanderson could reach 100. Sanderson compiled a record of 39-0 during his freshman year and 40-0 his sophomore year on his way to becoming a two-time NCAA Championship Outstanding Wrestler. His numerous honors and awards come with the fact that he is an outstanding wrestler, the best of his generation. "His father has prepared him well for his challenge to be an Olympic Champion," said Iowa State Coach Bobby Douglas. "There are a lot of people that would like to play this record up for the sport of wrestling, but this is one individual [Sanderson] who loves wrestling; he is having fun, not looking to break records, he's looking forward to the next match. He's proceeding to glory." "I feel like I have improved each season," Sanderson said. "I'm tougher mentally and I don't get caught up in win streaks. I just wrestle the guy that wins his match." The unbeaten streak (whether 98 or 100) has lasted 30 years. Many wrestlers have come close to passing it, but no one has been able to do it. According to Gable, that is a tribute to the sport of wrestling and to Sanderson. "I think we are one of the sports that when you make the transition from high school to college, there is such a difference in maturity that a wrestler has to rely on such toughness. Most kids can't rely on that," said Gable. "Opponents can't keep up with him [Sanderson]. He keeps up the pressure, once he's in on a position, he's very strong with that position and he keeps you off balance." Gable compared Sanderson's wrestling style to that of John Smith. "Sanderson is more of a wide open guy from the outside, like John Smith," said Gable. "He has low angles and creates a lot of motion and action. I was more of a control up top kind of guy, working a lot with my hands." He was the University World Champion in freestyle this fall, and had a very close match with 1997 World Champion Les Gutches at the 2000 U.S. Nationals. He is already making an impact in freestyle international competition. Sanderson has already been compared to the legends of the sport of wrestling, and he is on track to possibly be the best collegiate wrestler ever. No wrestler has ever won four NCAA championships while undefeated through college competition. Who knows, Olympic glory may be in his future. Quarter Roll Clip Roll & Half Clip *Clips courtesy National Coaches Education Progam & NWCA
Untitled Document
   
© Copyright 2000-2014 USA Wrestling, All rights reserved.
Contents of this site may not used without the expressed written consent of USA Wrestling.