Iowa State's sixth-ranked wrestling team will be sending five qualifiers to the 76th NCAA Championships Thursday through Saturday at the Ford Center. Nate Gallick (141), Trent Paulson (157) and Kurt Backes (184) qualified by winning titles at the Big 12 Championship in Ames March 4. Travis Paulson (165) placed third and Jesse Sundell (133) earned a wild-card spot with a fourth-place finish to earn a trip to the NCAA meet. The five Cyclones have made a combined 14 career NCAA tournament appearances. The first session begins at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
"We're sending a very strong lineup," head coach Bobby Douglas said. "These five people carried our team all year and now they have a chance to earn national titles. They all have experience and know what to do to achieve success."
A two-time All-American and three-time Big 12 champion, Gallick comes into his third NCAA Championships with a 30-0 record this season. Gallick was the 141-pound runner-up last season to Oklahoma's two-time national champion Teyon Ware, whom the Cyclone has beaten three times this year. Gallick, a senior, has scored bonus points in 14 of his 30 matches.
Trent Paulson placed fourth at the 2005 NCAA Championships and is coming off his first Big 12 title. Trent Paulson carries a record of 21-2, has defeated seven NCAA qualifiers and is ranked second nationally. Backes is entering his third NCAA Championships on a high note, picking up his second Big 12 title by defeating Missouri's Raymond Jordan in the 184-pound league final. Backes, a 2004 All-American, has won his last 11 matches, scoring bonus points against Penn State's All-American Eric Bradley and Nebraska's Vince Jones.
Sundell will be making his second trip to the NCAA Championships. He went 2-2 at last year's national tournament in St. Louis, scoring a fall and decision. Sundell led the team in pins this winter for the second straight year, garnering seven falls. Travis Paulson will take a 27-5 record into the NCAA meet.
Thurs., March 16
11 a.m. - First Session
6:30 p.m. - Second Session
Fri., March 17
10 a.m. - Quarterfinal Session
6 p.m. - Semifinal Session
Sat., March 18
10 a.m. -Consolation Finals Session
6 p.m. - Grand March (Parade of All-Americans)
6:30 p.m. - Championship Session
First Round Match ups
133 - Jesse Sundell (ISU)
141 - Nate Gallick (ISU)
157 - Trent Paulson (ISU)
165 - Travis Paulson (ISU)
184 - Kurt Backes (ISU)