March 22, 1998 in Sports

Hawke Win 4th Straight Title

Associated Press
 
Tags:College

NCAA wrestling

Joe Williams won his third title and Mark Ironside and Jeff McGinness their second each as Iowa took its fourth consecutive team title at the NCAA Division I wrestling championships Saturday.

The title was Iowa’s 18th since 1975, including seven of the last eight. But it was the first under acting head coach Jim Zalesky, who took over when Dan Gable took a one-year leave after hip-replacement surgery.

“This proved that Iowa wrestling isn’t just Dan Gable,” Ironside said. “It’s an attitude.”

Iowa had 115 points, with Minnesota posting its highest finish ever with 102 points for second place. Oklahoma State was third with 99-1/2 points and Penn State fourth with 70-1/2.

“This takes the pressure off Jimmy,” said Williams, selected as the meet’s outstanding wrestler. “He’s just like Coach Gable. He’s always there - even sometimes when you don’t want him to be.”

That gave Zalesky ideas.

“Boy, this is a tough job,” he said. “I might even consider retiring.”

It was also a banner night for Ohio.

Dwight Gardner upset Oklahoma State’s Hardell Moore at 158 pounds to become Ohio University’s first champion in 20 years, and Ohio State’s Mitch Clark, a former walk-on, won at 177 with a dominating 17-0 technical fall in one period.

Williams led all the way after a takedown 30 seconds into his match with Penn’s Brandon Slay, and finished with a 7-4 decision. The four-time All-American ended his senior season with a 34-0 mark.

Top-ranked Oklahoma State started the finals by winning the first two weight classes with upsets of the top seeds.

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