Iowa to wrestle Oklahoma St in 1st outdoor NCAA match
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa wrestling team has grown tired of Penn State’s hold on the NCAA record for single-match attendance. The Hawkeyes are going outside to bring that mark back to Iowa City.
Iowa announced Thursday that it will host Oklahoma State in the first NCAA match to be held in a Division I football stadium.
The Hawkeyes will face the Cowboys on Nov. 14 at Kinnick Stadium for “Grapple on the Gridiron,” an effort to break the record for the largest crowd for a single dual meet.
It’s currently held by Penn State at nearly 16,000 — or about 500 more than Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena can hold.
Iowa’s football team will host rival Minnesota in the 70,000-seat Kinnick Stadium later that day.
“Penn State has broken it twice now. They broke it and then they broke their own record,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “It’s time to go to Kinnick.”
Iowa announced the event Thursday on Twitter, saying the team was “excited to introduce Cowboy Wrestling to Hayden Fry Psychology” while posting a picture of Iowa’s pink visiting locker room. Fry was Iowa’s football coach from 1979-98.
The Hawkeyes and Cowboys have a combined 57 national titles.
“Oklahoma State and Iowa is a historical match. It’s got a lot of excitement to it,” Oklahoma State coach John Smith said. “We usually wrestle it in January, and coach Brands called and said he wanted to change the date and put it on the football field. I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Weather might be an issue, with the average high for Iowa City that time of year around 50 degrees. The Hawkeyes said they will move the meet indoors to their regular home, the 15,500-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena, if the temperature falls below freezing or if rain or snow pass through the area.
Iowa also will host the Big Ten championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2016.
“It doesn’t really matter hold cold it is,” Iowa wrestler Brandon Sorenson said. “It’s a match...you’re bringing your ‘A’ game.”